Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Path to Nowhere

Photos taken by 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 this photo: “I took this at the Nature Reserve in Sweden. At first glance, this path seemed to lead somewhere, but then, upon more careful inspection, it became clear that it petered out. When I first took this picture, I was excited to see the metaphor of the obvious path in front of me, but when I actually walked it, I found it literally led to nowhere in particular. Someone had driven a vehicle, making the pattern of lines, but to no real end. I thought it was a perfect metaphor for some of the decisions I’ve made in the past 10 years; they started out enthusiastically, but ultimately led nowhere in particular, and are just learning experiences. I counsel a lot of people who experience this same feeling; they are rather desperately seeking a clear and obvious path, and yet ultimately find out the path may have appeared obvious on the surface, but led nowhere in particular. Ironic.

Find more from Alison at her website.

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

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9 comments on “Path to Nowhere

  1. Sam Spencer
    November 18, 2013

    Great stuff, Alison- I may want to look you up later for how to get better motivated & past some of my blockages- one of my past therapists recommends writing for me . . . Sam

    Like

  2. jsnowman
    November 18, 2013

    Beautiful metaphor. And yet, the quote that comes to mind is, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” It looks like you had a beautiful journey along that path! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  3. Developing A New Image
    November 18, 2013

    Yo Ally………I recognize that path, I have spent a lot of miles on it……j

    Like

  4. muffins&mocha
    November 19, 2013

    I absolutely LOVE that photograph. Beautiful

    Like

  5. Alison M. Gunn, Ph.D.
    November 19, 2013

    Thank you one and all for your kind comments! It’s exciting getting so many ‘likes’ on a picture, particularly one I took that day, when everything seemed to come together, the light, the weather, the location.

    Like

  6. Alison M. Gunn, Ph.D.
    November 19, 2013

    Thank you Jim!

    Like

  7. Alison M. Gunn, Ph.D.
    November 19, 2013

    Sam, I’m looking forward to hearing from you, and thank you!

    Like

  8. Paula McLane Jennings
    November 19, 2013

    love the photo. I often also take photos of oddities in nature. Trees that came down in storms, tree bark patterns etc. Love your analogy of the road going nowhere. I have taken many of those paths over the course of my life also.

    Like

  9. KashanAdeem
    November 20, 2013

    This is a brilliant photograph. I agree that the paths we choose in our lives do not always lead to a destination that they were intended to. And sometimes, it’s great to be lost in the middle of nowhere.

    Like

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This entry was posted on November 18, 2013 by in Depression, PTSD and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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