Crossing the Bridge

Bridge to the Art Festival
Bridge to the Art Festival © 2012 Bo Mackison

 It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.  ~ e e cummings

When I study this photograph, I see a long bridge, laced with a repetitive pattern of lights and shadows. The bridge looks very solid, very safe. At the end of the bridge is marvelous sculptural art from the K. Newby Gallery – kinetic, metallic, engaging. And beyond the spinning sculptures are rows and rows of white tents, set up for the Tubac Festival of the Arts, (Though you can barely see it, my booth for Seeded Earth Photography is the second on the left – only a few steps from the bridge.)

I wish I were a great metaphorical writer because the metaphors that come to mind when I look at this photograph are amazing. Crossing a bridge – a sturdy bridge. Crossing over from one life experience to another. The repeating light and shadowy spaces. Life replicates the contrasts — sometimes life is light and the way is well-lit on a smooth path, sometimes life is shadowy and the way is difficult. But continue on the path, and you will find beautiful art, the kinetic art, moving and glistening in the sunlight. And then finally, not distracted by the larger than life sculptures, not comparing my art to others’ art nor finding it lacking, I reach the art festival. And there is my booth, standing in a row of artists’ booth, fitting in, one with the whole.

So continuing with the art fair experience from the last blog post…


Sherpa definitely could not come for the set up nor the opening days of the art festival. I had never set up alone, but I knew the mechanicst. I knew how to put the tent together, rather like a ten foot high metal and plastic Tinker Toy model, and set up the inside panels on which I hung my art. Since I always hung my photographs, that part was easy. I decided that I would do the show solo.

I carefully planned how many trips it would take me to get to Tubac, a 20 minute car trip from my home.  If I could take the tent, the floor rug, the panels, and the bins of art in two loads, I could make one trip on Tuesday and finish on Wednesday before the show began.

On Monday evening, I loaded the car with the rug, tent and as many Pro-Panels as would fit. I added two bins of art in the passenger side seat. On Tuesday I drove to Tubac. Check in and booth assignment was at 2:00 pm. I arrived at noon, and got in line. Happily, artists are a super friendly bunch, and so there was lively chatter, lots of stories and talk of traveling across the country doing art shows. Time passed, and soon I had my booth assignment.

First I started with the tent. Fortunately, the artist next to me helped me at two crucial points and in an hour the tent was standing. I added weights and ties to the tent for stability, and set up the pieces of Pro-Panel I had with me.

By this time it was nearly 5 in the evening, an hour til dark, and I realized that the remaining panels would fill most of the car. I would have to go get the panels and return in the dark or I would never be ready for the Wednesday morning opening.

I had my camping lantern and the light of the full moon. How beautiful. I was one of only a few artists still setting up, and the silence was strikingly quiet. The moon lit up the sky, the village streets, and the outside of my tent. The tiny lantern cast a soft glow inside my tent. It was a gorgeous night. I felt a sense of well-being and confidence. I felt a sense of peace and awe alone with the beauty of the night.

“By the light, of the silvery moon….”

When I finished, I headed home, with a sense of a new-found confidence and self-awareness.

Tomorrow’s post continues with Part III.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Bo is discovering that every day provides opportunities to learn new and amazing things.

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. What a great start!

  2. Your writing is so beautiful, Bo. Just as beautiful as your photography. I am so proud of you – what you have accomplished. Bo going solo has been good for your soul. Solo Soul. This is lovely, and I look forward to your next missive, my friend!

  3. i love the lines in the photo. Hope the show went well for you.

  4. How wonderful, Bo. Not only did you meet the challenge, you had moonlight to guide you along the way. 🙂

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