Annual Alphabet Tribute to 2014 – Part III — JOURNEY through LIFE IS A VERB CAMP



Most of the month of May I spent trying to get from Point A to Point B. From Arizona to Wisconsin. The trip that was supposed to take a week took a month, and culminated with me finally calling in reinforcements to get me home the last 800 miles.

Not what I had planned. Not what I had hoped for. Not what I expected.

Glen Canyon Dam Overlook

And? I survived it. I actually had fun the first week, when the promise of a repaired car by the next weekend was still a possibility.

The second week? Not so much fun.

In fact, even reflecting on the trip and its endless postponements and broken promises…well, it makes me not want to write about it again. Don’t misunderstand me. There were parts of the month that were great. There were soooo many lessons learned. But much of the trip called on deep reserves of energy, and I think I may still be a bit trip-lagged after all these months.

So I’ll just say, I went on a trip last May. It took longer than expected and there were many adventures. For more details, check out the month of May blog posts. It’s all there…


Desert Labyrinth

Labyrinth Connection © 2013 Bo Mackison

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
from an Irish headstone” ~ Richard Puz

On July 14 of this past year, my dear cousin and friend died unexpectedly.

Karen was the girl cousin closest to my age; we were fast friends from the time we were young children.

She loved her solitude in a way few people truly understand, yet she was one of the most generous, kind people I have known.

Although she worked in a bank in the days of the first computers —  when computers were so delicate they required special air controlled rooms, were often “down” for unknown reasons, and when working did little compared to the smart phone we now routinely accept as a part of our lives — and she worked with computers when employed, she never owned her own computer.

She didn’t have a Facebook account, she didn’t write emails, she didn’t have internet accounts. Her phone was just advanced enough to transmit photographs and send text, but she only did so on special occasions. But she sent cards for every imaginable occasion and wrote letters, long newsy letters.

In the past month, as I’ve been organizing my studio, readying it for a partial move to Arizona, I’ve come across over a dozen cards and letters from Karen — a congratulations grandmother card celebrating the arrival of my first grandchild, several thank you notes, Christmas, birthday, and several “hello, thinking of you” cards.

As I write my summary of 2014, again I am reminded how much I miss my cousin, once again I’m “thinking of you,” Karen. Missing you so much!



I had the great honor and privilege to attend Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb Camp 2014 in November. There, a hundred wonderful people gathered for the second annual camp near Asheville, North Carolina.

We danced by the lake at the sun rose over the tree line and the fog hovered upon Lake Kanuga, crying and laughing and hugging and offering deep support and love.We struggled though yoga moves before coffee(!!!) and breakfast while the kindest of kind instructors gently, so gently, encouraged.

I listened to the key-note presentations of two of my poet heroes – Amy Shihab Nye and Ellen Bass. And decided I could call myself a poet again!


We collected camp badges for doing things like showing up (which can be amazingly hard), speaking out, being ourselves, making strong offers, claiming our birthright as poets.

And I presented my workshop on Desert Wisdom and the Gifts of the Desert – what a thrill for me.  I so loved sitting in our circle and connecting with each other through our precious gifts of self!  (Though I find it almost impossible to comprehend that I did not remember to take a single photograph during either of my workshops. I’ll just have to hold them tightly in my memory — easily done!)

Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb Camp 2015 will be held in California at Asilomar on the Monterey Peninsula.  Serving up loaded scoops of . . . Community. Courage. Creativity. And Compassion. (Wouldn’t it be a fine thing if you were there?)

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. This post sure covers a lot of ground. I’m sure you miss your cousin. She sounds like a wonderful person. Your car adventure sounds well “adventurous.” I’ll have to read (or reread) your May posts.

  2. Life is a Verb Camp sounds like a grown-up version of “Brownies” and “Girl Guides” from childhood days, but I’m sure you left the camp feeling far more wise, having attended as an adult. And I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin….. xxx

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