Who we are & why we are

Welcome to the gallery site of Broken Light Collective. We are artists of all levels and abilities who are affected by mental illness. We create and we share our work for the therapeutic benefits to us, as well as others who may be struggling and feeling scared and alone. Together we can move from disconnected to collective.

Photo taken by Jim, a man from Texas who has struggled with depression for much of his life. This post is a follow-up to his recent Broken Light post Struggles, which was featured on Freshly Pressed.

About the photo: “With all the rain we have had, the weeds do grow. I have been busy with work and with broken lawn mowers and rain, I have willingly put off what now had become a major job with 4-5 foot weeds. So this morning with much determination, I got a brush whacker to run and started the task at hand, but I was haunted by an image from yesterday.

I posted a few weeks ago, an image of my young neighbor struggling through the dust and tall grass. We shall call him “Harvey.” Harvey has fought through much greater struggles than just trying to keep a mower churning through tall grass. When he was 4, his mom and dad went their separate ways. Feeling as though they could no longer care for him, Harvey was left with his grandparents. He has lived with them for the last 4-5 years. His parents have visited him maybe twice in that time.

Pushing through my tall weeds, I could not get rid of the image from yesterday afternoon. It was hot, close to 100 and the area where Harvey was once again mowing had grass as tall as my waist. I had the luxury of my iPhone echoing encouraging music, telling me how I am not the same me, I have been reborn, but in reality, despite Big Daddy Weave’s words to the contrary, I was shackled by my chains of the past.

Harvey was having a hard time pushing through the grass and keeping the mower from stalling. He had not the pleasure of music but the taunts of his aunt, following him making sounds of a mocking cry and yelling over the noise of the mower reminding Harvey what a G.. D…. cry-baby he was.

I wondered if she realized the pain of what she was doing when it hit me that she had grown up with her mother as the master of verbal abuse. She knew full-well the sting of the words. She had lived under them, the student had become the teacher.

Memories of my past, the taunts, ridicule by bullies and others echoed. Oh how I longed for a hero to rescue me. How I wanted to be a hero to Harvey. Instead, I did just as I did as a kid, I cried and carried on as best I could. I too, had learned just about as well as Harvey’s aunt.”


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15 responses to “Struggles, Part II, Chains of the Past”

  1. rayfausel Avatar

    spectacular shot


  2. Mark Simms Avatar

    Wow – great image!


  3. Robert Revill Avatar

    Strong dramatic image.


  4. Emilio Avatar

    For the life of me I will never understand why people that have been abused – and know and lived thru the destruction of it – then go on and do the same to someone else. I will never get that. But…

    Excellent image – and a thought: While the past will help shape who you were, YOU shape who you are today.


    1. Developing A New Image Avatar

      Emilio……I am of the attitude, and then I think about how both of my parents were drunks and then I became one. Go figure, sober 21 years 4 months & 3 days…..shalom en theos…..jim


      1. Emilio Avatar

        Good for you Jim – glad to hear it.


    2. tchistorygal Avatar

      Great advice, Emilio. A friend of my mom’s said that to me when I was a teenager griping about my dad after my parents divorced. I never forgot it, and it may have been what broke the chain for me. Great picture and article, Jim.


  5. writerwannabe2011 Avatar

    OMG that’s an amazing image — one which perfectly shows the filthy chains of depression — thanks for sharing this 😀


  6. buntscheck Avatar

    Absolutely Fantastic!


  7. Bernadette93 Avatar

    Love this shot, brilliant.


  8. Mitch Elder Avatar

    Superb imagery and a wonderful story.


  9. perfectlight Avatar

    excellent shot, strong message


  10. Developing A New Image Avatar

    Thanx to all for the supportive and encouraging words….shalom en theos…jim


  11. pokretac Avatar

    Just awesome!


  12. thefotobird Avatar

    Wow. That is the definition of an image that needs no words.


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