A Meditation in the Desert
Entangled © 2013 Bo Mackison

Entangled © 2013 Bo Mackison

The Desert has Many Teachings

In the desert,
Turn toward emptiness,
Fleeing the self.
Stand alone,
Ask no one’s help,
And your being will quiet,
Free from the bondage of things.

Those who cling to the world,
Endeavor to free them;
Those who are free, praise.
Care for the sick,
But live alone,
Happy to drink from the waters of sorrow,
To kindle Love’s fire
With the twigs of a simple life.
Thus you will live in the desert.

– Mechthild of Magdeburg
from The Desert has Many Teachings,
translated by Jane Hirschfield

Reflections from my Journal

In the desert, emptiness is everywhere. It touches me most deeply after the sun sets, when a sliver of moon sets its place, offering direction, but little illumination. Then darkness descends.

The world slows in labored breathing, a pause, preparing for a new day.

To free yourself is to ask for nothing, to find hidden resources and strength developed from living each day authentically. Waiting, until the time is right for the right question, the question is asked, an answer received.

Love’s fire, caught in the crook of a desert branch. Fire-bright in harsh light, precarious, entangled. Lines and curves, shadows and light, a love-story.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is exploring creative photography. poetry, and emotion in a new series featuring desert botanicals.

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. Simple and yet so beautiful. Love the light in this photo.

  2. This a beautiful post from beginning to end, I love the image.

    BTW You might like to visit my blog, I have started a new section Mental Health Bi-polar, I’m going to start posting about my adult daughter’s and my journey, just saying, would be grateful for any input!

  3. captivating image, beautifully matched with the poem.

  4. Simply – lovely. Beautiful photograph.

  5. This entire series of images – the colors and light, the details and the poetry, is inspired. As you can tell, I’m reading backward, catching up, so I see the series as a piece of work. Just lovely!!!

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