Garden Party – Coneflowers Aside the Path

Coneflowers in Olbrich Garden

Aside the Path © 2013 Bo Mackison

When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of creation is completed within us, the doors of our souls fly open and love steps forth to heal everything in sight. ~ Michael Bridge

I paged through one of my older journals this morning, looking for a quotation to pair with this photograph. I thought perhaps I’d find something related to the idea of walking on the journey and noticing the flowers along the way. I filled this particular journal several years ago — lines from poetry that resonated with me, notes from the books I was reading, quotations I’d cataloged for future use, scribbled ideas and plans and lists.

Instead I found the above quote by Michael Bridge, and after I read and re-read it several times, I realized that it truly resonated with me, with where I am traveling on my personal journey.

There are early mornings when I lose myself in these often studied journal pages. Today I also found myself in awe at the ending of a poem — which happens to be about the everyday and transcendence. The poem is “Initiation II” by Nina Bogin. I once called it my “Calming Down Poem”. Here is the ending, though the entire poem is delicious and worth reading/absorbing:

I climbed the pink stairs, entered
the house as calm and ephemeral
as my own certainty:
this is my house, my key,
my hand with its new lines.
I am as old as I will ever be.

I spent an hour yesterday contemplating the first half of 2013, and marveling at the distance I have traveled. Not only the distance on a cross-country trip from Arizona to Wisconsin, but also the distance I have traveled on my creative path.

I set up first solo photography exhibit this past weekend, and its opening was yesterday, the first day of the second half of the year. A solo show was once a goal I thought out of my reach, and now it is no longer a wish or a dream, but reality.

I hold many dreams, still. Dreams that once seemed impossible, but as I keep adding new skills and venturing into places I have never before dared, the dreams are no longer dreams. They are achievable goals.

There is still much work to be done, but as I complete each new step, I get nearer to my goal of providing on-line and in-person workshops to complement the Desert Wisdom Cards I’ve created.

This month I finish Jen Louden’s TeachNow course. I complete advanced training in Creativity Coaching in mid-September. I’ve discovered a wonderful resource for in-person workshops on book structures in Madison, and these supplement my book-making activities in Tucson. And so my art career is in transition.

Though photography remains an passionate piece of my daily life, I’m adding new techniques, expanding on current themes, and my photography practice evolves as I add creating artist books to my repertoire. Each step completed leads to the next step, and the momentum continues.

I look forward to amazing things in the last half of 2013.

Life is good.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.   Her exhibit, Garden Party – A Celebration of Botanical Photography, is at the Alicia Ashman Branch Library Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin and runs through September 5, 2013.


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. Online courses that complement the Desert Wisdom cards? I’ll be looking forward to that – the Wisdom Cards have been favourites of mine since I first discovered your blog. Excellent!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Barbara. There’s much work to be done before a course will go online, but simply writing the intention brings all those dreams into clearer focus.

  2. So much goodness to look forward to coming from you!

    You’ve done such beautiful, soulful work so far, I so look forward to how all the new things will unfold.

    You inspire me to keep putting one foot infront of the other.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Ah, Kimberley, this comment brings joy to my heart. If I can give encouragement by writing of my journey, the practice will be well worth the effort.

  3. I stand in awe at how far you have come since first we met. You are on a roll, honey. Thanks for sharing it all with us mere mortals – ha!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I surely am as “merely mortal” as you, dear Debi. But thanks for your continued encouragement!

  4. Lovely. Lovely flowers and composition.

  5. Bo, your blog is so inspiring. Your photos are amazing, and you always manage to choose just the right quotes, and to write just the right amount of accompanying text, neither too much nor too little. Your Desert Wisdom Cards have been a favourite feature of mine, and I look forward to being able to purchase a set of them. Seeing how your art career has developed gives me much hope for my own creative work.

  6. Love how you’re putting your story together – one flower…one step at a time. A gorgeous quote!! And so exciting to hear about your up and coming desert card workshop – YAY!!!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Ah yes, Marcie. One flower, one photo, one step at a time. It all adds up with daily practice, as you are well aware! 🙂

  7. Wonderful Bo. cone flowers are one my favorite and these don’t disappoint !!

  8. You are such an inspiration, Bo. It’s been a great pleasure following you. 🙂

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