Vintage Golden Poppy

Vintage Poppy

Vintage Poppy © 2012 Bo Mackison

There are times in our lives when too many voices seem to be pulling us this way and that. We can seek silence and order within. Then we will hear the truth.   ~ Osho

I’ve been in a wild and whirling space the past few days. So much to do, not enough time. Too many shoulds listed on my to do list, and I am ignoring them. The script rushing through my mind sounds like it was written by a convention of gremlins, intent on keeping me on the practical path. Except I am not one who appreciates the practical as much as I appreciate the spur of the moment, the adventure, the explore, but on my terms. I love the adventure but I like to have my feet firmly on the ground, adventuring in safety perhaps. Are those two incongruous? Adventure and safety?

I don’t think so. I like to have a little planning in my explores. Maybe I head west not knowing exactly where it is I am going, but I have a list of three or four places that are possible destinations. I am not one to travel the open road without some idea of where I am. But I also like to leave my schedule open enough to accommodate the serendipitous meeting, the landscape I just have to get to know more intimately, a town that demands more than a cursory visit.

I have been having many conversations with myself. These talks invariably consist of what should I be doing. Now? A month from now? A year? What plans do I have for exhibiting my photography? Where am I going with my art? What path should I follow? As a wise person once told me, “You can’t just sit in an arroyo and watch the poppies bloom.”

Currently I have two of my photographs in an art exhibit at University Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. I have another photograph accepted for an  exhibit in March and April, an exhibit called Beyond the Lens at the Tubac Center for the Arts in Tubac, Arizona. I do freelance photography, shooting interiors and exteriors of living spaces. My art fair and festival schedule is slowly taking shape. I’ll be at Tucson’s Fourth Avenue Street Fair in March and I have Midwest art festivals on my calendar from May through September, and adding more each week as the notifications come in. And I photograph and work on my photographs – editing, post-processing, printing, matting, framing – 50+ hours a week.

The conference of my gremlins settled on a conclusion – they want me to expand my photographic repertoire. Actually, in plain-speak, my gremlins want me to become financially solvent. And then save for retirement. Save for a rainy day. Save for their retirement. All excellent suggestions.

And here I am, feeling quite the contrarian, wanting to return to the lovely arroyo to see the poppies again. Maybe I can go sit there and re-think my business plan WHILE watching the poppies grow.

A compromise?


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. If you need to find Bo today, she’s sitting on a rock in an arroyo in the Tucson Mountains, and talking to the poppies about life goals.

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. Joanna Paterson says:

    Enjoy the poppy wisdom 🙂

  2. Do both. Take the poppies while they are here and do the next adventure.

  3. Wonderful!

  4. I like Gandalf’s idea… do both.

    That is a gorgeous poppy. I wouldn’t be able to resist sitting and watching them, either. 🙂

  5. The wise Gandalf said it best – do both.

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