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 contributor Jan Smitowicz, a 29-year-old prison survivor and vegan who suffers from depression and anxiety, both of which are exacerbated by severe and constant pain in both knees caused by nerve damage. Jan is a fiction and narrative nonfiction writer, interested in producing work with dark humor and progressive social justice ideals. Jan’s debut novel is titled Orange Rain. He’s currently hard at work editing his memoir, Rebel Hell: Disabled Vegan Goes to Prison, which he expects to publish in the first half of 2015. Jan’s mother has depression, and his closest aunt suffers from bipolar disorder.

About this photo: “This photo was taken along the shore of Mono Lake, an ancient inland sea nearly three times as salty as the ocean. My girlfriend and I took a trip there to celebrate the paperback publication—by ethical-minded, independent Treból Press—of my novel Orange Rain. We rented a kayak and camped on one of the volcanic islands within Mono. The massive lake sits just past the towering crest of the Sierra Nevadas due east of Yosemite, and is one of our favorite places to visit. It was a marvelous and adventure-packed trip that further strengthened our amazing bond. After FINALLY readying Orange Rain for release (following many months of painstaking edits), my mind was absolutely exhausted, depleted. The trip proved wonderfully restorative. The wondrous lake provides crucial habitat for millions of migratory birds; similarly, it delivered solace and succor to my own ragged psyche. As time spent intimately amid wild nature always does.

Find more from Jan at his website.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here ▸ Now a 501(c)3 non-profit! Please donate here.

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

10 responses to “Salt-Crust and Blue”

  1. vaesherry Avatar

    Reblogged this on vaesherry's Blog and commented:
    photography speaks to the heart

    Liked by 2 people

  2. thecottagechics Avatar

    that’s beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. chrisrenney Avatar

    the peace on the surface, the activity beneath – as with the sea so with us. I wish you well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. justme Avatar

    Wonderful photograph and caption. I’ve shared it on my blog. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. juneribaldi Avatar

    Exquisite ♥’s Great to be here with you All ✴;-) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. josephong Avatar

    Reblogged this on Shattered Eyes and commented:
    I honestly don’t understand what’s deal with me and an ocean, but the sight of this in person or in a photo seems to be the division between my soul and the physical world. There are days where I just want to walk off into the pacific and not come back. Too bad I’m not a fish though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. autisticaplanet Avatar

      For me, water is calming and soothing. Don’t do that..walking off into the ocean w/o returning. I wish there were more warm water opportunities sans the screaming kids typically found at a pool.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. josephong Avatar

        I agree. But I didn’t mean to literally walk off into the ocean and drown. Somedays my imagination goes wild and I feel like I’m being pulled off into the horizon.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. autisticaplanet Avatar

    Wow, publishing your own book must take lots of hard work and guts! Your photo is great. I’d never heard of Mono Lake.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. eLPy Avatar

    Congrats on your book, self-publishing is not easy when you’re serious. I speak from personal experience. 😉 Best to your future and current projects.

    This is a cool photo. I love the distance you captured and I like your position where water meets land.


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