See Through Barriers

Barrier of Branches

Barrier of Branches © 2013 Bo Mackison

“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike.
And no two journeys along the same path are alike.” ~ Paulo Coelho, Aleph

Barriers. I’ve been writing about, photographing, thinking about barriers lately. Real barriers, invented barriers. Barriers in the forms of stories we tell ourselves. Barriers we erect and mistakenly believe will provide us with protection, or hide us from our truths. Barriers to hide us from our fears, other emotions, other people.

Many of those barriers are like the photograph of the trees. I can see through these trees. People on the other side of the tree line can also see through the bare branches, and can surely see me – perhaps not plainly, but they still know I am here. Because I am not easily seen, they may make assumptions about who I am and why I am standing (or hiding) on this side of the trees.

How easy would it be for me to cross through the tree line, make my way to the other side? I have a good idea of the terrain that lies beyond the trees. Grasslands — a few spongy areas where I will get my feet wet, or detour around. A mountain range rises in the far distance. I will expend a lot of energy climbing the mountain, but won’t the view be grand and well worth it? There are storm clouds in the distance too. I may run into bad weather. Or not.

Do I make my way through, explore a new space, or stay in familiar environs?


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is exploring creative photography and emotion in a  series called 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. Wonderful post, and timely for me. These are the questions I need to start asking myself about my creativity.

  2. Love the photo and the metaphor. If only the barriers we create for ourselves were so beautifully visible!

  3. This speaks to me as well. This image so clearly portrays your words.

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