Family Values

On my 30th birthday last year Benni and his family of five came along to celebrate with me. As I was living in Helgoland on an island far far away in the North Sea, Benni packed their tents, stoves, sleeping bags, games and camped on my island for a week. The kids, when they first came and put their tiny feet on the beach watching the seals from far away asked him: can we stay here for a long long time daddy? The holiday was just beginning. I know Benni and Christina, now his wife, since their first flirts and their first attic studio apartment. Many things happened since - their first pregnancy test, moving to their second, third, fourth, fifth apartment, second baby boy arriving, then their third baby girl. I was the one trusted to look after the two older babes when the third was in the hospital on its way to see the daylight for the first time. And then in the morning in the hospital - I was invited to be introduced to their new baby on her very birthday.

It's the closest and most intense connection I have had to a family apart from my own. And the most intense connection I've had to growing humans - knowing someone from his first foetus cells up to when his cells have multiplied so many times that a conversations about 'where do babies come from' with him eight years later is possible. And then you tell him about the foetus he's once been, telling something about starting out in mamas belly.. I can't believe how time passes - best way to see it is to watch a little person grow.

All this experience makes me realise how thankful I am to each one of Bennis family. How much more prepared, shaped and better educated I feel when approaching any other little (or big) human being on this world just because Benni let me be so close to him.

As that close friend I know what Benni and Christina had been through in their relationship. Warm and cold, sometimes ice cold times. But following their story, or rather being trusted with their story, I could learn much about human relations, husband and wife relations and whats the glue keeping people together for the lasting.

And that is only because Benni has let me so close to him, talking openly about his joys and worried concerning his family; and at times maybe taking my opinion, my experience as an advice or just some words or a piece of music I'd show to him. Only through honesty and complete openness we could bound this strong trustful friendship, and most of all - learn to be a better humans from each other. We exchange, therefore we grow ourselves and grow values between us.

Now he is like my third brother, with whom I occasionally share Christmas, Easter or even Thanksgiving festivities (as of his American mother). And if it's needed - he'll be the one bringing me to the hospital on a Christmas Eve with a tonsillitis - true story, really happened.

And so here's a few days of our week together - with summer sun, beach, campsite and burger brunches.

Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8725
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8729
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8730
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8732
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8736
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8738
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8745
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8746
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8750
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8757
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8760
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8777
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8780
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8782
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8783
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8787
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8788
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8794
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8796
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8800
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8806
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8809
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8815
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8819
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8823
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8824
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8832
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8854
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8857
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8859
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8863
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8868
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8870
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8884
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8882
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8888
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8906
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8922
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8924
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8925
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8933
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8936
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8944
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8950
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8954
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8961
Dorija Apple Parsley_Benni Family-8976

Shot with Nikon D7000 + Sigma Art 35mm f1,4

Hint me a message for a family portrait sessions - legere, playful, natural, pure. I'm currently in Spain, but will be travelling to Germany and Lithuania this summer.

Leaving Helgoland

Maren came to visit me back in October last year. We explored the autumn sun of Helgoland, checked if the seals were still chilling on the beach. I kept on testing out my new Fuji x-t1, trying to catch the rays before they settle down for the winter, much photographing against the sun. Back at home, between tea sessions, a little cold that I caught, veggie english breakfasts and birdy visitors we also made some photos of Maren which I published already few posts back. Also, I sat down for a few self portraits with my slightly sick face.

Now, every day the sun stays up for a few more minutes. Yet I will be leaving Helgoland by the end of this January for good. On the day I leave I will have spent sixteen months of my life living on a 1,8 square kilometres piece of land, 50 km away from the next mainland shore. Building up new friendships, diving into daily office work life, changing my personality a bit, fulfilling one of my fundamental dreams - to live at the seaside, to live in the middle of the North sea - a few of the things I’ve done at the time of my stay.

Truth is - this island actually is a magical place. Here, I understood a lot not only about myself, but the dear old Universe, you call it. I was raising questions and I got a few answers, very simply while doing every day things, walking from A to B and observing some amazing everyday 6 am sunrises. Then I forgot the answers. In good moods I remembered them again. Helgoland comes from ‘holy land’ and you start feeling different once set foot over here. The longer you stay, the stronger the impact.

Will I miss the constantly fresh healthy air? Yes. Will I miss the quiet mornings with seagulls calling to begin the day? Also, the evenings with the noise of strong wind blowing along my windows as the biggest noise that the street here can offer? Yes. The lighthouse beams scanning my bedroom from one corner to another at night time? So romantic - yes. Will I miss short ways from house to work to beach to shop to anywhere? And everyone saying hello to you all the time because it’s just those 1300 people living on the island and you sort of know two thirds of them? Yes. Will I miss tax free internet shopping? Hell yeah! Sauna spa with a view to the stormy waves while you’re sitting all sweaty salty in all lavender mint orange pine tree - you name it - scent in the air? Well, guess the answer.. The ocean view everywhere? Oh, my ocean, my daily moon arisings over the ocean. Yes. My dear friend Nadja, her I will miss a lot, too.

Even though, I’m not sad to leave. The reasons are more complex and private then the need to write them down over here. There are things I won’t be missing at all, nonetheless I leave the option wide open to come back here again and spend some later years of my life over here.

Even though I’m risking much by leaving, much needed stability, regular income, this safety feeling on this island in general, even though - I’m embracing all new whats there to come and encounter me soon. Or rather even - I am going to take and hug nicely all what’s been calling and waiting for some time already.

Good Vibes at the Lobster Breeding Station, AWI Helgoland

The Alfred Wegener Institute - AWI - is a biological institute for polar and ocean science (also check their general english page). There are a few stations around Germany and also, proudly to say, there is one on Helgoland! so the other half of the island inhabitants are students from all over the globe, who are somehow not often to be seen anywhere around, but they are young, fresh, full of energy and - at least it's my impression - positively loaded people. A few weeks ago the institute had an open door day and I took the chance to finally look around (and finally see those cheerful people all in one building, magically lowering the average age of the already mentioned inhabitants of the island).when i was in school i had a great biology teacher and she didn't need to do a lot to force me to do any homework for her subject. I was redrawing the human blood systems voluntary of the book into my notebook, spending more hours than needed for a regular homework. for some reason though I never dreamed of a biologist career. event though I think it would have suited my soul quite a lot. Either way, the doors where open and finally one could see those crazy funny creatures in tanks and basins, or their skeletons or drawings. Lobsters and sea spiders in neon colours, all having their own names given by the workers of the station. The Lobster Breeding Station is one tour you can buy tickets for on regular days, and it's booming for it's popularity. Because lobsters are facing difficulties in the raising temperature of the north sea, here scientists grow the lobsters to a certain size and once in a year they let them out into the wild to continue on grow in their natural habitat in there. Here are some quick and very positive impressions of a place that is worth coming back to.

AWI Helgoland by DorijaAppleParsley-9413

That's Valentine, the Hugh Hefner of the Lobster Breeding Station. He's here to get laid with as many female lobsters as possible. As it is a breeding station... remember.

This above - one of my favourite photos i had taken.

All this warehouse style space full of water and life - good energy, good vibe, good colour for the day and more. It reminded me of some good.

Photography Adventure #3: Meadow Magic

From my left way up to the dark sky and down on my right I see the borders of our galaxy. The milky way all blooming in an August nights gloom. I live my dream - I live at the sea. Not only at the sea - I live IN the sea. Helgoland isn’t set at the water, it is far away in the north sea and contains out of sea shores as it is such a tiny piece of land. Often I make a late night run or walk around the island just to remember where I am and what my personal paradise feels like. while letting some music on my earphones give the rhythm to my steps, with my hips I start invisibly dancing. The beauty and whole sense of living here is to have the treasure just seconds away from the home door. It is above fantastic to be able to reach the beach and escape to the meditation zone within minutes.

When I go out past sunset it is like going to my very own personal Church. Here is where in my mind I pray in positive vibrations rather than thoughts, and above all I sense gratefulness. Here I sense - God remembers what I crave for, and I don’t really need to think in sentences. Stars replace candles, last bits of the setting sun replace all the golden framed imagery and the the smell of salted waves seals the whole deal of sacredness.

My Church feels more like a safety zone that way. I remember my own dreams and my real me doesn’t have to hide anymore neither fit in some kind of shapes.

The lighthouse scans the sky in ever same steps reminding us of how far away we actually are. The windmills in the far north join my earphone music with their collectively blinking red lights.

When I start heading home I am clean and free again. Super free, filled with air and freedom for the eye in such a tiny closed pinch of land miles and miles away from mainland. No real place to escape, and yet feeling more free and connected than ever.

How ever life goes on and no matter how much longer I stay here, this island will always stay the place for me, where I found peace and for a few seconds there decoded the sense of life.

Photos underneath of when Indre Winterrain was visiting and we went out for more photographic adventure.