Emergence – Poem and Mandala

Emergence ©2016 Bo Mackison

Emergence ©2016 Bo Mackison

In the middle of the night
when my companion is the tick
of the second-hand
– and heart beat

In the early morning hours
awaiting first light
so still in the house
– too quiet

In wait for the coming of storm,
be it thunder, hail, snow squall
– or a brewing wild within

Midst scheduled days or days unfettered,
in calm or angst
with joy or grief,
– take up your pen and paper

And in keen or chant, praise or lament,
in raised voice or sultry whisper,
(remember this)
– all is sacred and profane

Cast spell and benediction,
turn your words into phrases
and phrases into lines
– invite unruliness and ecstasy too

Take up your pen,
invoke madness or muse
Take up your pen and write
– then, poetry emerges.

A Stitch, In Time – A Mandala and a Practice

A Stitch, In Time © 2016 Bo Mackison

A Stitch, In Time © 2016 Bo Mackison

A Stitch, in Time

There are moments in time when it is just too noisy, too busy, too much.

What is the single thing (the stitch) I can do to bring quiet and ease to my life? Right now, without delay.

Some things I do when I need to step into a place of ease:

  • First, the breathing. Steady. Slow. When I feel in control of nothing, I remember I am always in control of my breath.
  • Look. What do I see that is pleasing, comforting. My lounging hound? The orchid I was given as a surprise “I love you” gift? The view outside my window – the backyard maple with a halo of yellow-orange? The sky, deep blue and infinite? What do I see that offers me a moment of ease?
  • Listen. No, really listen. Close your eyes and listen. What do you hear? The murmur of street traffic? Children laughing? Background television? Birdsong? Take a moment to listen to the sounds that surround you. How does this make you feel? If this is a positive experience, pay attention. If this provokes a negative response, pay attention. You hear these sounds even when you are not consciously aware of such. How might you make your environment more sound-friendly? How might you invite more ease?
  • Touch. Something we do not often think about is how touch can affect us. It is a powerful tool, too often neglected. Are you sitting comfortably? Are the clothes you are wearing body-friendly? No binding or rough spots? Touch is also a comfort I can add with minimal effort. Sometimes I finger mala beads. Or hold a special talisman — a ceramic heart from a dear friend — in my hand while I work. Or I rest my feet in the furry coat of Gracie the Wonder Dog — this makes us both incredibly happy. How can you add the gift of touch to this moment?

In a world that often feels over-whelming and loud, how can I find ease and comfort in the tiny space I inhabit? How can I make my environment friendly and conducive to my work? It does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. Just an awareness, a pause, may be enough to invite ease and calm into your day.

Remember. One stitch at a time!


Mandala as Container – Overall Theme


Star Shine © 2016 Bo Mackison

Last in the series of 5 mandalas I created after naming “creative path” as my intention. Each morning for five days I paired a mandala with a Desert Wisdom Card, and then reflected on a question. I followed this with a free write keeping the intention “creative path” in mind.





Explore and bring awareness to the energy of the night.

In the night, in the dark, the cosmos born, swirling energy, awakening.

Infinite possibility, infinite opportunity to create, this emerges from the dark times of the soul, from the energy of chaos.

Creation does not begin in light. Creation begins in the dark, emerges from darkness, from nothingness, from the void.

The grandest of transitions — from chaos, the cosmos is born. From darkness, comes energy.


This writing practice is a part of my #contemplativecreativesjourney.



The Mandala as Container – The Future

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Snake Dance © 2016 Bo Mackison

Third in a series of five mandalas I created after naming “creative path” as my intention. I then paired a mandala with a Desert Wisdom Card each morning for five days and then reflected on a question. I followed this with a freewrite keeping the intention “creative path” in mind.

Illumination - A Desert Wisdom Card

Illumination – A Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison




This past May as I was preparing to pack and return to the Midwest, I found a snake shed in the rocks steps from my front door. And in the past few months, snake has frequently appeared in many places.

Snake is change, transition, transformation.

Snake dances, her rattle sounds. Be aware. She shows her shadow side, her underbelly, a place of vulnerability. Be open. Paired with the desert card illumination. Shine light into the darkness.

She speaks: do not mess with me. Show disrespect and I will strike; show respect, treat me with kindness and I will companion you. I am strong medicine. I have been with you since you found my shed in Arizona. I am the symbol of transformation, outgrowing the old and shedding it. Now I am bright and gleaming in my new skin.

New skin. Is it too soft, is it vulnerable? Yes. And still, do I show up with underbelly exposed, my shadowy side illuminated in the desert sun? Yes. Vulnerable and exposed…and yet? Here I am. I keep showing up. I am present, I am transition, I am transformation. And see what I do? I stay close to the ground, often out of the spotlight.

AND I chose the illumination card in tandem with snake dance. I am wise and I show up. I have great power and yet I do not strike without provocation, and then only in self-protection.

How will I show up? Slip into the light and still stay grounded. Hold on to the power to self protect and to change. Such powerful medicine, this “no” medicine. Such creative force, a living force that courses through, never-ending.

so many life death rebirth challenges and you have faced the all, you have experienced rebirth on so many levels, the four levels of wholeness – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

Release the identity which binds, constricts, limits growth. And dance. dance. dance.


Coming in the next post, Day 4. What is the Gift or the Guidance?


Mandala as Container – The Past

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Emperor Flow © 2016 Bo Mackison

Second in a series of 5 mandalas created after naming “creative path” as my intention.  Each morning for five days I paired a mandala with a Desert Wisdom Card and then reflected on a question. I followed this with a freewrite keeping the intention “creative path” in mind.

Tumbleweed in Barbed Wire Fence

Challenge – A Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison




Masculine energy. Power and control.

What needs to be released? The attempt to control in the midst of challenges. Let go, release the need to control, go with the flow.

There is power in intuition, in the allowing AND there is fear in the flow, in the release. The challenge is, and has been, to allow the flow and the ebb, the stagnation and the flood.

Fear? Allow the fear to flow, to move through, allow the fear to be acknowledged. In its acknowledgement is the allowance for its release?

Set aside the rules and regulations and tight control. Listen to intuition and invite sensuality. Embrace creative energy instead of dominance and rigidity. Accept support and nurturing.


Coming in the next post, Day 3. The Future and The Next Step