Creating the Future


In the Present © 2013 Bo Mackison

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created — created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. ~ Deborah James

The word for desert is derived from the Greek word, eremes which, literally translated, means abandoned. The desert has often been described as a place where one meets life and death — face to face.

A place where one goes to face themselves. The desert provides a container in which one can eliminate distractions and experience deep encounters with the self. There is not much escape in the desert, though when I first made my frequent treks into the desert spaces, I felt as if I were escaping from many of life’s expectations. As I acclimated to the desert landscape, I found it was not an escape, but an invitation to dig deeper, to experience the intricate balance of life, death, and rebirth.

Every desert plant does the most intricate of dances to stay alive, to regenerate, to seed the earth and create the next generation of its species. Timing, luck, and chance weather play a part in the plant’s continued existence.

I once imagined I’d live life in the desert more as a contemplative than as a contributor. But contemplation, good for the mindful creation of dreams and goals, doesn’t have much of an action component. To bring those dreams to fruition — to allow the seeds to reach the earth, germinate and grow — requires workable steps of action.

I discovered that thinking and planning are only stage one. Stage two is active  — scheduling, meeting deadlines, connecting with other people, visiting sources, taking workshops, collaborating on ideas.

Stage one is necessary. Stage two is vital in order to create rather than only imagine the future. Action in the present is critical for the success of any plan, no matter how small or grand.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is exploring creative photography and emotion in a  series featuring desert lines – a combination of visual lines and written lines.

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 must another one of the photos you’ve taken recently. They have an ethereal feel to them. I found the quote and your observations particularly fascinating. The message of discovery and connection really strikes a chord.

  2. Early on in my experience with the Sonoran desert I also looked to it for an escape. Finally I realized that the way to address the desert was to become a part of it, after which everything became possible.

  3. I love the way you’ve been charting your desert journey. The photographs you’re sharing just now are stunning.

  4. I like this simple, subtle image.

  5. You are light years ahead in your thinking, your pondering and planning. I bow in your general direction, and look forward to your next post with great anticipation. XO, babe.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Not light years ahead, Debi. Old wisdom from the desert wanderers, perhaps I’m just reliving the experience.

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