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!

Art of Communication

Please say a warm hello to first-time contributor toki, a poet and hobbyist photographer from the Pacific Northwest, who struggles with depression, anxiety, and life on the autism spectrum. toki finds photography to be not only a calming pastime but also a way to share a particular view of the world and to express what is sometimes difficult to put into words.

About this photo: “As if depression and anxiety don’t make it difficult enough to communicate with others at times, being on the autism spectrum takes it to another level. Even when I work up the courage to talk to others, I often find myself stumbling over what to say and how to say it, or falling back on clichés, idioms, stock phrases, and jargon. Even worse than trying to put my thoughts into words is trying to decipher what other people’s words mean. Depression and anxiety lead me to a lot of self-imposed solitude; combine this with the semantic, pragmatic, and other difficulties associated with autism spectrum disorder, and it should be no surprise that I find communication with others awkward on the best of days and downright agonizing much of the time. I think this photo sums up my experience with language quite well.”

Find more from toki at DeviantArt and WordPress.

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

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7 comments on “Art of Communication

  1. BookOfBokeh
    October 19, 2014

    Well, God knows there are no issues with your abilities to communicate through writing! That was *the* most cogent, clear and illuminating description I have ever read on this site, and 99.99% of the other sites out there! (Including my own!) I just pray that I am not one of the type of people who do not recognize when someone I am speaking with has such issues as yours and therefore do not go out of my way to ease them and facilitate their efforts. Please, I hope I am not.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. autisticaplanet
    October 20, 2014

    I too am on the autism spectrum and sympathize with what you say about photography being able to explain what I can’t in words. It means more to me than writing ever did. people said they couldn’t relate to the poems I wrote, but they can feel the emotions through my photos. Your photo is excellent and makes out perfect what communicating with autism can come down to: scrabble!

    Like

    • autisticaplanet
      October 20, 2014

      P.S. I do not mean in any way to down poetry and those who love to write. We need all kinds of talented people in this world, including writers.

      Like

  3. autisticaplanet
    October 20, 2014

    Reblogged this on autisticaplanet blogs and commented:
    Photography, for some on the autism spectrum, helps them better to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

    Like

  4. spencersamalvin
    October 20, 2014

    Thanks for sharing, toki . . I, too, struggle with communicating with others. I often make minor mistakes in my nonverbal responses to what others say & in finding my way (I’m not real good with directions) which I then feel bad about & I punish myself harshly mentally for these things. All of this makes me want to isolate, but that’s not good, either, for me . . It’s all quite a struggle right now . . I can definitely relate to your use of the word agonizing . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • autisticaplanet
      October 20, 2014

      Please don’t beat yourself up, spencersamalvin! There are enough people in the world to hurt us! We need to be kind & patient with ourselves. God loves us, and how He treats us we should treat ourselves. Not to preach a sermon. I recently wrote along similar lines on my blog. God bless and have a good day. 🙂

      Like

  5. Nora
    October 7, 2015

    I’m not sure if it was a co-incidence or not, but The first four letters I noticed were p,a,i and n, even though they were scattered. It’s almost as if it could have been on purpose, but I know it wasn’t. This is a very inspiring photograph.

    Like

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