4th Annual Alphabet – Part II


Upon Opening, Tulip at Allen Centennial Garden, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Upon Opening © 2011 Bo Mackison

Anaïs Nin’s quotation — “…the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” — seems to apply to some of the challenges that I’ve overcome this year. Years ago, after a series of losses, I found it safer, less painful to curl tightly into myself and hide rather than face the beauties in life coupled with the possibility of yet more loss.

Eventually the ‘too quietness’ in my head and the loneliness in my heart became to difficult to bear, and so I, with great hesitation, opened my eyes and looked around. It seemed safe enough. I uncurled. Stretched. And made the decision to begin connecting with people again, no matter how uneasy I was with this change.

How wonderful to rediscover that the world is a bright, beautiful place. That there are beautiful, loving people in it. And that even if you cannot see the sun, it is always shining somewhere.


Christmas Eve 2011

Christmas Eve 2011 © 2011 Bo Mackison

Family. I am truly grateful for my sensitive, supportive, and loving family. What a gift – the love of those nearest and dearest to my heart. Sherpa. My children and their partners. My extended family. I send my love to all.


Garden Gate

Garden Gate © 2011 Bo Mackison

Ah, offer me an afternoon of solitude and time to commune with nature –  in a deep thinking space where I can journal and photograph – and lead me to the gate of a yet to be discovered garden. As perfect a recipe for heaven on earth as I can imagine.

The garden doesn’t have to be the typical garden, either – though garden paths and courtyards and tended flowers are indeed lovely. I also find delight in overgrown gardens and in natural gardens. To me a space with any type of living plants is garden-like enough, be it mountain peak, desert floor, a prairie rise, a deep woods path.

When I spend time in a garden – any kind of garden – I feel revived.


Sculpture Garden

Turquoise Cow, Grazing © 2011 Bo Mackison

You say you’ve never seen a turquoise cow, painted with dandelion flowers and grazing in the grass? Well, now you have.

Sculpture Garden

Purple Cow © 2011 Bo Mackison

And you’ve never seen her purple sister cow? Well, now you have. Are you smiling? I am.

Because I can never look at these wonderful sculptures without breaking out in a huge grin. They make me smile, they lighten my heart.

There is humor all around us. I am learning to look for the humor in life and in life situations. I am learning to laugh. What a glorious feeling – the moments when a smile breaks into laughter which turns into unstoppable glee. Those moments when laughter is contagious, when the laughter just won’t stop. What treasured times those are.



Atrium of Colors © 2011 Bo Mackison

I’ve been thinking about interiors lately. Interiors of buildings, yes, for I do love the lines of good architecture, but more important to me are the interiors of people as a whole, the insides of the society we live in, the inner workings of human brains, and who I am on the inside. There is a much inside work to be done.

If the foundation is not sturdy and well-built, the structure will not be functional and safe.


Two Benches

Two Benches © 2011 Bo Mackison

No matter where I go, I carry a short pencil and a small notebook — about 3″ by 4″ — in my back pocket. And it is almost impossible for me to sit and enjoy some quiet time without taking out that notebook and writing down a thought or two. Often the notes are reminders of things to do, or things I want to look up. Once in a while I capture an Aha! moment and I record it for remembering.

Yellow Chair

Yellow Chair © 2011 Bo Mackison

Any seat will do, and if there’s a table and a cup of coffee to go with my journal time, so much the better. Journaling has been a part of my life since I was in my early twenties. In the midst of chaotic times, happy times, quiet times, and times when time stood still, I have always kept a notebook and pen nearby.


Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters E, F, G, H, I and J.

Tomorrow’s post will be brought to you by the letters K, L, and M.

And yesterday’s post was brought to you by A, B, C and D.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Blog posts are brought to you by letters of the alphabet — what would we do without alphabet letters! — through January 3rd.


About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanna Paterson says:

    These are wonderful – I love how they capture and express different aspects of you.

  2. I love this idea! Thank you Bo! I plan to go back and read part I and I look forward to seeing/reading what you do with the rest of the alphabet. Have a happy new year!

  3. Wonderful, Bo! The cows made me smile, too. They also brought back memories of when they had the cow sculptures in Chicago in 1999, when (and where) my oldest son got married.

  4. The Atrium of Colors!!!!!!!! Gasp. Gulp. The cows made me smile but the Atrium astonished! Wow!

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