Renewal – A Desert Meditation


Renewal © 2013 Bo Mackison

“You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,
The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brand
Your breath into my mouth. You reach—then bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.”

~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz, from “To the Desert” in Dark and Perfect Angels

A Change and A Move

Blowing Seeds © 2012 Bo Mackison

Blowing Seeds © 2012 Bo Mackison

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.” ~ Elizabeth Lesser

I’ve been blogging on Seeded Earth since 2007.

I chose the name quickly one afternoon, as I was setting up my blog for the first time. That autumn most of the photographs I took were of landscapes, gardens, prairies, flowers, all growing things. Since these all had their beginning as seeds in the earth, I determined that Seeded Earth would be an appropriate name for my new blog.

Seeds are, indeed, good beginnings, and Seeded Earth took root and grew.

It began as Seeded Earth Photography, morphed into Seeded Earth Studios when I added new products and services, and eventually became my official, government approved, business name, Seeded Earth Studios LLC.

The name served me well as I embarked on the art fair circuit and traveled in the Midwest and Southwest, showing my macro-photographs of botanicals. It worked less well as I photographed fewer landscapes and more desert-scapes. And when I added stories about the arts and healing, and more personal writing, it lost even more of its cohesiveness.

While I still love the Seeded Earth moniker, it’s time to step up and re-christen my soon to be launched website Bo Mackison.

The seeded wonders and desert wonders will still be featured as I continue to post my photography, but I am expanding. I’ll be offering online photography workshops beginning in early 2014, and adding Desert Wisdom Workshops and Retreats later in the year.

Seeded Earth has grown, flowered, given fruit. Now the fruit’s seeds have burst from their container.

In a few days, my new website will be launching at Please join me soon in welcoming my newest venture (and adventure).

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.


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.

Sunlit Milkweed Pod

Milkweed Pod

Milkweed Pod © 2011 Bo Mackison

By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.
~ Robert A. Heinlein

I wouldn’t be autumn without a photo session with a milkweed pod, recently split open, and spilling its many feathery light seeds into the world. Even as I was shooting, a light breeze picked up many of the seeds and sent them sailing into the sky.

I was lucky to be shooting early in the morning, when the winds had not yet turned strong and the morning sun rays illuminated the milk pods in its golden light.

Milkweed seeds are closely associated with my business name, Seeded Earth.

I began taking macro-photographs of the many autumn seeds in a nearby prairie in early October, 2007, and really took my first prolonged look at a few of the millions of seeds covering the earth. At the time I thought of how the earth was a “seeded earth”. When the time came to choose the name of my first blog, one in which I planned to feature a daily photograph of nature, the name “Seeded Earth Photography” came to mind.

Macro Milkweed Exploding Seeds

My First Milkweed Seed Photograph © 2007 Bo Mackison

This is one of the first photographs I took when I began my daily photography challenge in October, 2007. And that was the beginning of Seeded Earth Studio.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.