Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photo taken by contributor Kyle Anderson, a man from Saskatchewan, Canada. Kyle is a health care professional in his forties who has battled depression and addiction for most of his life. He escapes by letting the camera become his mind’s eye, and hopes that each photo he takes allows others to see the world as he sees it, even for a split second. About this photo: “Selfie. Who is the one that is really seeing a distortion? Is it you or I?”

Photo taken by contributor Kyle Anderson, a man from Saskatchewan, Canada. Kyle is a health care professional in his forties who has battled depression and addiction for most of his life. He escapes by letting the camera become his mind’s eye, and hopes that each photo he takes allows others to see the world as he sees it, even for a split second.
About this photo: “Selfie. Who is the one that is really seeing a distortion? Is it you or I?

The Broken Light Collective, the online photography gallery for people affected by mental illness. Broken Light’s main goal is to create a safe and accepting environment where photographers of all levels who are affected by mental health issues can display their work, as well as inspire one another to keep going and keep creating, despite the dark or scary places in which they may find themselves.

I think it’s important to remember that art has an important place in helping people cope with serious illness and problems. Myself, I know how much focusing on photography can get me through very bad times with PTSD, and how much art work can help in not focusing on every day physical pain. There are times when the physical pain I deal with is enough that I just want to stop altogether, because pain is my whole landscape. Those are times when channeling all that into art is the only thing that saves me. Life is a struggle for so many, and art can ease that struggle a great deal.  Being involved in art work, especially with others who are coping with illness can provide strength and a necessary social connection, as well as helping to fight off the internal and external stigmas of mental illness.

The Revival of Indigenous Ink

A nice article on the revival of indigenous tattooing, by Ruth Hopkins. And yes, I have a wrist tattoo, for a lot of years now.

Due to colonization and the spread of Christianity throughout Native lands, Indigenous tattooing became taboo during the assimilation era. Even today, it’s discouraged. As a result, the practice went underground. Thankfully, genocide was unsuccessful and Native Nations remain, along with their languages, customs, belief systems, and rich heritages. As Native people begin to return to their traditional ways, we are starting to see a resurgence of the ancient art of tattooing.

. . .

Indigenous tattooing is part of who we are. As non-Native hipsters and popstars display generic dreamcatchers and Americans get so-called ‘Tribal’ tattoos on their flesh en masse, it becomes even more vital that we save the art of Indigenous body design from the brink of extinction, thereby preserving its true meaning and place in Native history so we may pass it down for generations to come.

There’s more about Indigenous ink here, about Nahaan.



Hi, and welcome to TNET. The Prime Directive applies, even more so here: don’t be an asshole. Peas are optional. This is a place which is safe. You can be serious, silly, supportive and all things in between. You can argue too, but keep arguments about the subject, not those arguing. If there’s a problem, holler in thread or email me (there’s a link on the sidebar.) Have fun. The tentacles in a tea cup design is available at Urban Threads.

Quotation Challenge

There’s a quotation group on Moblog, and it’s a lot of fun. You choose a quotation, then illustrate it photographically. Some quotations can be a real challenge. I’d like to do that here, but with a bit of a twist. Leave quotations you’d like to see illustrated here, and anyone can choose one, and illustrate it any way you like, with a photo, drawing, or other art form, then send it to  Here’s an old one I did for the Moblog group, way back when, titled Perhaps:


Perhaps the most lasting pleasure in life is the pleasure of not going to church.” – William Inge

SIGNAL BOOST: Counter the Horror


Marquez Tolbert, photo from Project Q

I’m sitting, typing, with tears flowing. A woman’s boyfriend, not in his own home, decided to pour boiling water over the woman’s son and his boyfriend, because he just didn’t like all that gay. Christ. That anyone could do such a thing, to deliberately cause such traumatic injury…this shit has to stop. We must be better than this. The story is here, and it’s graphic and beyond heart wrenching. Both of these young men have Go Fund Me accounts set up, to help counter the medical cost. Please, even if it’s just a dollar or the equivalent, please, help. If nothing else, it shows these young men that there are people who care, who accept them unreservedly. Anthony’s Burn Medical Fund and Marquez’s Burn Recovery Fund. There are graphic images of their injuries at the sites.

Dreaming of Dandelions


It’s too early here yet, but every year, I eagerly await the first appearance of the dandelions. I love dandelions, and I loathe this odd mania so many people have for golf course lawns, bland, boring, non-nutritious, and toxic. Dandelions are not only a boon to all pollen gatherers, they are beautiful flowers, attractive, the clocks are fun for everyone (make a wish!), and they are a great food source for us human types. The flower heads can be dipped in batter, fried, done up sweet or savory. Then there are fritters. The dandelion bud omelet, of course, which has been a favoured Spring food for ages. Getting outside to go gathering dandelion bits is a nice way to spend part of a day, too. You can get your exercise without even noticing.  The young Spring leaves are best, the older leaves become bitter, but there are ways around that if it’s all you have. The roasted roots make a good substitute for coffee, and there’s an adventurous recipe out there for roasted dandelion root ice cream. (I don’t make ice cream, but I’d like to taste that). There have been many additions to the store of dandelion recipes over the years, and I’m looking forward to trying out many of them.

I’m definitely going to give the Dandelion Flower Burgers a try, they sound fun in a messy sort of way:

Dandelion Burgers from Forage Ahead

1 cup packed dandelion petals (no greens)

1 cup flour

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp each basil and oregano

1/8 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together. The batter will be goopy. Form into patties and pan fry in oil or butter, turning until crisp on both sides. Makes 4-5 very nutritious vegetable burgers. No, they don’t taste like hamburger, but they ain’t bad.

The old bud omelet will be first, though:

Gather one cup dandelion buds before flower color shows. Fry buds in dab of butter until they ‘pop’.
Add 4 eggs, salt and pepper.
Top with raw (young) dandelion leaves, finely cut before serving.

Dandelion recipes are all over the ‘net, and easy to find. Here are two sources to get you started: and

Going Postal

Every now and then, I need to have my meds mailed to me, and generally they arrive just fine. This last month, I’ve thought that I either managed to throw a scrip out by accident, or was actually seriously slipping in the mental department, but no, it was the post office. My meds were mailed on 2/3/16, and I got them today, 3/15/16. Well, at least I’m not losing my mind. I think.


Hey, everybody!

Welcome to Affinity. The emphasis here is on the social. We’re social critters, and it’s important to connect with one another, to share our lives, experiences, and perspectives. This will be a heavily visual blog, featuring much photography and other arts. This is not a place for me to simply showcase my stuff. I want the readership, fellow bloggers, and commentariats to join in the fun, too. Have a photograph you’d like to share? Or artwork, craft, or similar? There’s an email link on the sidebar for submissions, and I’d ask you keep photos to a maximum of 12oo px at the longest side (if you prefer I resize, that’s fine too). If you’d also like to say something to go with your photo or other work, add that too.

There will be some regular features. For my fellow dinosaur watchers, Wednesday Wings, and I’d be thrilled to have bird photos submitted, because as much as I love watching them and photographing them, there isn’t a great deal of diversity, and I love seeing birds from all over the world. There might be Raturdays. There will be an ongoing, open thread, The Never-ending Thread (starting on the 22nd), so there will be continuity, and people can socialize and talk about anything at all.

Rules will evolve as needed. The primary rule: don’t be an asshole. Who defines asshole? I do. And the moderators* will also have that ability. If you decide to push things on the asshole front, or think it would be cute to argue the definition of asshole, you’ll most likely find yourself summarily wished into the cornfield. I would ask that you use people’s nyms, as they have them for a reason.

Now that’s out of the way, how about the most conventional start ever? Tell me, how’s your weather?

weather,boots in the snow