Boarded Window – Barrier Series # 2

This post is the second in my photo/story series on my journey of healing and recovery. See the introduction and complete series at My Healing Journey.

Warehouse in Winter

Boarded Window © 2011 Bo Mackison

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor E Frankl,in Man’s Search for Himself



This barrier, a solid barrier.
No light, no sunshine, no blue skies,
nothing natural except the brittle vines.

Impenetrable barrier.
The frozen exterior the world perceives.
The bushes are skeletal in their winter bareness.

Dead vines cling to the bricks,
hang from the window’s edge,
collect in piles on the ledge.

The decorative bricks offer some respite,
though the window is covered with boards.

But wait, it’s been patched neatly, with blue painted boards.
Boarded closed, but with care,
Is there something inside worth protecting?

And the vines?
Dead for now, but the hidden roots,
alive, are protected under snowy depths,
warm enough in the warm earth.
These roots will send forth newly alive green shoots in the spring.

This phase, the deep winter of my spirit-break –
a period of dormancy.

A winter phase waiting for the thaw and spring’s return.

                 — based on journal entries, 1990


The second barrier correlates to the time when I became unable to function, to keep up with life’s day-to-day expectations and demands. It was as if I constructed a barrier much like this one deep in my  interior, providing myself with space and time, waiting for the passage of winter and spring’s thaw.

It was a time of silent waiting.

Next: No Escape

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. I’ve read Man’s Search for Meaning..and the quote you’ve chosen is a powerful one. As I’m reading thru your very personal revelations – I’m thinking about what it is that I do..and how it’s related to my story. Thank-you for sharing this. It’s a gift…both to you and to me.

  2. keep up the journey

  3. The photo is perfect for this section of your journal.

  4. “It was a time of silent waiting.” I am familiar with that kind of time. Thank you for putting words to it, and for sharing your journey through winter dormancy.

  5. The photo serves not only as as a visual, but it makes the perfect analogy. This post speaks to barriers I’ve built myself. Thank you for the post.

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