Barbed Wire – from “The Barrier Series” on Art and Healing

Barbed Wire © 2012 Bo Mackison

Barbed Wire Barrier © 2012 Bo Mackison

“Your life with its immensity and fear . . . is alternately stone in you and star.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from the poem Evening

Before there was a beginning, before the crisis and a diagnosis, there was a dream.

I see the world. It is there. When I reach up, I reach into the cool air. When I look up, I see a bright blue, cloud scattered skies. Yet the world is beyond my reach. In this dream I have repeatedly, I’m trapped in a tiny enclosure, an enclosure tall on four sides, but open to the sky. I struggle to unlock the gate. When I try to move forward, I’m blocked by a cold steel fence and chain-link wire. Barbed wire adds an extra degree of isolation.

Barbed wire – a common fence, a stereo-typical barrier.

And then I am no longer dreaming. I am living my life in slow-motion, denying there is a problem.

I know I am in a separate place. I cannot reach out to my family and friends, I cannot communicate with them. They are on the other side of the barrier, and even if I managed a whisper, no one can hear me.

I am cast in fear, held down by a weighted stone. My only relief is a connection, however slight, to the natural world. When I look out the window, it is snowy and cold, but I do look up at the sky. I can always see the sky.

The human spirit focuses on that which is in the beyond.

— based on journal entries, October 1990.


Over the next weeks, I’ll be re-posting an 11-part series I first ran in January, 2013 on art and healing. Feeling somewhat vulnerable doing this once again, but this message is too important to keep buried in the bowels of my blog. It is my hope that my journey will also inspire others. We are all on a journey of one kind or another. We are all pilgrims following our path.

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.

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