In the picture is part of a board on our wall. The frame of the board is the window of an old wooden house. An old wallpaper is attached as a background. As I look around at home, I quickly find something that is interesting to photograph. The object relates to a story.

If I’m tired and don’t have the energy to go outside I can look around in my home for a story.

This old window frame takes me to my childhood. Especially in the summertime. During the hot summer days, the windows were kept open and fastened with small metal hooks. I still feel the warm breeze coming through the window and the summer smell, the lawn and yard visible in front looking outside.

I grew up in an old wooden house built in 1900. Memories blend into loneliness and so many things that made childhood very troublesome. There were other people in the family around, but the conventional way to live in my family created a very lonely life for a little boy. By loneliness, I mean, there was no one to talk to about what moves on in a young child’s mind. Joys, sorrows, failures, successes, or why the world is round kind of questions.

In my mind, I lived in my own small world, where things a saw around me build consolation or uncertainty. Perhaps the visual world has, therefore, become a significant part of my life.

Although the window frames roughness brings sadness to my mind, I also recognise the comforting side and things that represent happiness.

Happiness involves the possibility of living in the countryside and walking in the woods. Already, when I was very young, I use to walk alone for miles in the woods.

Forest never felt frightening, even though I was sometimes eye to eye with a big male moose just ten feet away.

The forest became a place for me to sit and relax without thinking if I´m making any mistake which would lead to punishment. Many times I just sat in the beautiful forest. I watched and listened to the sounds of nature. I felt free.

As I looked at the board on the wall and decided to photograph, I was more touched with happy than uneasy feelings. By snapping, I can choose what memories I want to bring to the surface and strengthen them in my mind. Usually, all memories of childhood are rough and nasty, so the possibilities to chose the happy moments and emphasised them by photographing feels so empowering. It verifies that there were happy moments and I want to strengthen my mind with those recalls.

By writing the feelings openly, the empowering effect increases and I can more concretely select the tender moments of childhood memories.

I miss so much the walks in the wildlife. It has always represented me the safest place in my life. Happily, I can return to the wildlife in my mind or real life.

 

— Peter Engberg

 

 

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The One Project is a community of passionate creatives, advocates and caring friends or family members working to support each other and change the conversation around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and more with therapeutic photography.

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