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!

Broken Tree

Please say a warm hello to first-time contributor Sherri Matthews, a 54-year-old woman who lives in Somerset, England. Sherri is the mother of three grown children. Her youngest, her now 21-year-old daughter, was diagnosed three years ago with Asperger’s Syndrome. At the same time Sherri lost her job and, unable to find work with the part-time hours she could cope with, became her daughter’s full-time carer to help and support her with her daily struggles caused by severe social anxiety and low mood. Seeking help for her daughter within the confines of the limited help available left Sherri, at times, battling her own anxiety and depression, but she sought help for herself by making the life-changing decision to pursue her life-long dream of starting a writing career. She believes that by sharing our stories with others facing similar circumstances we can help and support one another and so lessen the daily burden so many of us carry when helping others we love and also when trying to help ourselves in the process.

About this photo: “I try to get out for walks as much as possible with my husband, both for the physical and the mental benefits.  This photo was taken not far from where we live in Somerset, just after the severe storms which battered our part of the world this past winter.  I adore trees and the stark contrast of this ‘Broken Tree’ against the blue sky really struck me and compelled me to take this photo and write a poem from my place of brokenness such as I felt that day. Ultimately, reflecting in this way enabled me to look past the poor, dead tree to the blue sky beckoning beyond, enabling me to look to a future with renewed hope.

Find more from Lori at her blog.

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

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11 comments on “Broken Tree

  1. inesephoto
    June 1, 2014

    Sherri, write. Your roots will get stronger and your tree will bloom again.

    Like

    • Sherri
      June 4, 2014

      Thank you so much. I adore your profile pic, red foxes hold a very precious place in my heart, I love them 🙂

      Like

      • inesephoto
        June 4, 2014

        Thank you Sherri! I love foxes too:) I am going to see them in July again .

        Like

      • Sherri
        June 5, 2014

        😀

        Like

  2. Mahesh Nair
    June 1, 2014

    Sherri’s writing is natural, and I love reading her posts 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri
      June 4, 2014

      Thanks so much Mahesh, you are very kind 🙂

      Like

  3. Paula McLane Jennings
    June 2, 2014

    wonderful photo. I too seem fascinated by taking photos of trees, roots, bark etc. It so often speaks to me about life – the tangled mess it sometimes is, the depth of the roots, the life etc.

    Like

    • Sherri
      June 4, 2014

      Thank you very much Paula, and yes, I feel just the same way as you about trees. When I was growing up the one place where I felt most at peace was when walking through the woods and hearing nothing but the trees whisper one to another. I still feel like that. Trees do indeed speak volumes to us about life.

      Like

  4. autisticaplanet
    June 2, 2014

    A compelling image. I have Asperger’s and photograph nature as well as write a blog. I think people can learn a lot from the struggles people with autism spectrum disorders and their families face. Images can impact in the quick way words can’t always do.

    Like

  5. Sherri
    June 4, 2014

    Thank you very much! There is no doubt that images are very powerful tools in releasing creativity. I’m so glad that through your writing and photography on your blog you can help educate others about the daily struggles those like yourself and my daughter with ASD struggle with every day, as well as their families. In this way we can support and encourage one another. Very inspirational! Keep blogging 😀

    Like

  6. restlessjo
    June 27, 2014

    The warm heart behind the struggles is what always strikes me. 🙂

    Like

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