A Filtered Year

Photography is life through a filter. They say what you see is what you get. Is that true?

The central exercise and experience of using photography are to capture the images more for my benefit, mental wealth, interest, an extension of my mind, sight, perception, feelings and reality during a bout of mental illness. Most of these shots stretch my situation during an episode of mental illness by focusing on the light. Even though my mind is dark, I kept the color to help me realize that I don’t have to live in the dark except for Family Portrait.

As I look back, they now bring pleasure to me.  The photos are linked to the original post.


Pilgrim Progess by Perpetua

It was serendipity when I found this boat with the name Pilgrim on my way to Angel district of London that reminds me what I am. A Pilgrim.

When I am tired of the issue of solving the state of my mind, the camera allows me to focus away from the automatic thoughts. That fracture of a second is life-saving.

DSS Infinitiy Hope Nov 2017 for TSS

Painted Prayers

For seventeen years, my brother lost his desire to paint due to mental illness as well. On September 2017, he picked up the brushes again. For him, this moment was a call from the Holy Spirit. Most of his artwork is based on sacred art. When it comes to spiritual belief, it baffles medical science the power of faith.

do what you love

I do. I do. I do.

This is an advertisement for higher education at DOuglas College, and I just love it. It’s a moving statement that brings me out of the paralyzing thoughts. What makes my heart skips a beat with joy, love, excitement and gratitude is what I what I Love to DO.


Mural at Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, BC

In the margin of the peace-loving community where I grew up, a group of artists with the help of local government change is happening to make this area attractive to locals and visitors.

A tear of a leaf

A Single Drop

This shot exposes how a photo can conjure the vulnerable side of me.

Water Girl in Red

Girl in Red

In a world driven by earthly desires, how refreshing it is to lose ourselves and still win.

Talk me to sleep

Family Portrait

Here I will stop providing you the world as I view it and allow you to pay more attention to what these shots speak.

Discover Sqwabb's red wagon

Stanley Woodvine aka “Sqwabb” writes about Homelessness in Vancouver featured in WordPress Discover. He owns the wagon.


2018 Camping Cousins

Fruit of our lives, younger generation. The Future.

The Great Pumpkin

I want this one!


Mums and Lilac

The Last Leaf


Time Square

Born Quarter past Six


Murder of Crows

The Gathering of Crows (No murder happened)

Way before the movement of let’s Talk mental health, I am not ashamed to discuss this with my employers, colleagues, friends and family.  I could speak in front of strangers or groups with no filter. In my experience, they are more uncomfortable to ask questions not because of shame but because they are more fearful than the disease itself, until now.

With gratitude to my family and friends for their love, prayers and support. I live for another day!

30 thoughts on “A Filtered Year

  1. Perpetua, what a great way to address mental illness and bring it other people’s attention. It’s not something to be ashamed of as it was years ago, plus, as you write about this you are helping others learn more, become more understanding and in turn willing to reach out and help. So glad to know your brother improving and hopefully able to enjoy a happier life.

    • Hi Sylvia, thank you for your kind words. You’ve said it well. Nothing to be ashamed about it. That is a great topic to share on shame. Yes, I am ecstatic about my brother. Happy New Year.

  2. Happy New Year and have a great 2019, Perpetua.
    You don’t know how many times after reading your article, I told myself I need to write something related to your subject, but when I sat in front of PC to write it, I couldn’t find words. Just want you know I think of you a lot. Keep taking wonderful photos, my friend. I like this post! You did much better than me for this challenge. I struggled. Ha.
    Have a great day.

    • Helen, my blogging friend, Happy New Year. It is a tough subject. Sometimes, it’s better to hide behind the facade of happiness. Only in writing about we gain insights and regain our spirit. Be well and happy New Year.

  3. I know something of mental illness – I have had many students not feeling well, and the internet (fb) is a big villain here. Hate and foolish comments, retouching photos making bodies even more thin, and so on. I am glad you are a pilgrim – I believe we all are, but some just never realize it. Mental illness is everywhere, and what scares me is that our young, our future, is suffering heavily from it. At least here in Sweden research tells us so. I am glad your brother found his remedy, and that you found photography! A lovely gallery of your year, and I love your family portrait.

    Personally, I know my remedy, whenever feeling down – is Nature. Long walks with only myself and the dogs. This Christmas and New Year I was blessed with having my children close to me as well. Chatting and playing games, and walking in Nature. Each person finds her own ways to survive and thrive! Keep photographing and blogging – looking forward to seeing more from you.

    • Happy New Year, Leya, from Vancouver BC, Canada. Sweden seems more progressive when it comes to mental wellness. I love Sweden how it promotes active living by cycling. That I remember.

      I love your remedy. Must keep that in mind.

      Thank you for your kindness and hosting L-A.

      • I would love to visit Canada – you have wonderful nature. My father’s best friend lives and works in Banff national park. Hälle Flygare! Getting old now, but I know he used to be a legend over there when he was younger.
        Thank you for being there!

      • Leya, please do. Come to Vancouver and let’s meet. We really should start thinking of Meetup L-A. Ah… Banff, paradise. I will look for Halle. Glad to be here and again, thank you. Perpetua

  4. Hi, Perpetua. Your post is a beautiful reminder of the transformative power of art. It’s a mirror through which we can more clearly see ourselves and the world around us. It’s also a way to heal. Thanks for your brave honesty.

  5. This is such a moving post, Perpetua. It takes courage to talk about mental health. You presented it eloquently, and you captured the moments beautifully. So glad your brother picked up the brushes again.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  6. I love your header photo. I spotted it on one of your posts for Becky and now my curiosity is satisfied. Sorry about the mental health issues. I know from experience how incredibly difficult they can make life. Glad you can find some means of escape. 🙂 🙂 And I like that little one running through the fountains too. Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year. The header photo was taken at one of the canals of London. Thank you for your curiosity. There is plenty to learn about mental health and it can be a saving grace.

  7. So glad that you’ve found photography as a mental health tool Perpetua – while I do not suffer from mental illness I do know that it is a wonderful outlet and has been used by many as a therapy tool. I think it also moves us to be outdoors, which is also good for us. Glad your brother found his art again, another excellent therapy. It’s great that mental illness has come out of the closet and is getting much-deserved attention. Keep up the good work, your art is coming along beautifully.

    • Tina, thank you for your encouragement and L-A for allowing me to share even though you are the only one in the group that paid attention to it. Don’t blame them. It’s a tough subject.
      Your photos are inspiration to me focus on light. Your words speak kindly. In summation, thank you for your kindness.

      • Well I think it being the holiday week the responses are fewer for mos everyone Perpetua. I expect a few more will come along, but you’re right, it is a hard subject and you are very brave to be open about it. I’m happy to call you a friend, even if it’s in the blogosphere 😊

      • See … I know you are kind. Thank you for being a bio-friend. I think you are God send. And in my funny way of saying ‘antidepressants’ 🤗a cure.

  8. “Photography is life through a filter”. What a great quote!! I’m late to photography, having picked up a camera only 6 years ago. It’s changed how I see the world.

    An interesting selection of photos for your year in review. My favourite is the Family Portrait 🙂
    Happy New Year … and glad to hear your brother is painting again 💕

    • Filtered life, ain’t that true? Or one-pointedness? It’s changing my thought process as I try to reflect what made me capture the moment. I am planning to get a light Canon camera that is inexpensive.

      I played around my family portrait. 🙂 And as for my brother, he is very talented then and still is. I will eventually post his paintings in the new year and maybe talk more about the positive effect of the art of any form that helps mental illness.

      Bonne année !!!

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