Ragged Beauty

Photos taken by first-time contributor Alison Gunn, a 54-year-old writing coach from Seattle, Washington. She works with beginning or reluctant writers who would like to write but aren’t able to, most commonly due to psychological blockages. After many years of therapy due to PTSD and child abuse issues, Alison has found photography to be the most helpful tool in getting her out of her house when she experiences severe depression. Alison is often attracted to photographing wrecked or ravaged things, things that aren’t necessarily obviously beautiful, but have a ragged beauty. She finds that nature especially has a ragged beauty, and often sees herself reflected back in nature and her photography. Alison spends most of her time pretending to be in better shape than she is, so it’s nice to just be able to tell the truth for a change here in the understanding environment of Broken Light Collective. She came to photography late in life, and is so grateful that she did. Photography is helping her find joy again.

About these photos: “I took these recently; they’re from Öland, an island nature reserve off the south coast of Sweden, facing the Baltic. I like saying “facing the Baltic”—it sounds so romantic. I’d say that these particular pictures came as a gift to me, in that I was housebound last year this time, and being able to get out and take pictures of these glorious colors somewhere across the globe, feels very liberating. I have, so many times, commented aloud to myself, and told others, that without photography, I would not have a reason to keep going. For most people, I know that sounds overly dramatic, but it’s the simple truth. Also, I have a physical disability, in that I have a congenital birth defect in my left foot which makes it harder to get out into nature, so I’m very grateful when I can.

Find more from Alison at her website.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

*Facebook & Twitter @BrokenLighCo & @DanielleHark. Follow for e-mail notifications.

18 thoughts on “Ragged Beauty

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  1. Thank you, Tina. I don’t know if this is going to post above or below your comment, but I wanted to say thank you to each person, and the previous “thank you” went above you as if to imply it wasn’t directed to you, when it was. Global thanks, global thanks…!!


  2. It is nice to see these as we have bad color with our leaves this year. I’m glad God has blessed you to do what you do. I used to write poetry, and I found general society very hostile & elitist-even 15 years ago. Add having a disability, and it gets daunting.


    1. Hello, austiticaplanet. I feel very grateful to have been able to see such glorious colors this year. It doesn’t happen every year, that’s for sure! As for writing… your perception that society is capable of being very elitist is exactly right. That is pretty much my entire subject on my blog, actually, of how to change that perception, to make writing more of an action or work that we do, than a sacred mountain pinnacle we fight to climb to, which only certain anointed few have a “right” to. If you are interested, take a look here http://collaborativewriter.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/the-intrinsic-writer/


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