dear, sweetheart, loved one “little love”
I can not think of two more appropriate words to have had etched not just into their wedding bands but also into the hearts and thoughts of everyone who was in attendance at Mabel & Helmut’s wedding. Dear- they are dear to each other and if you were there then you are dear to them. Loved- friend and family were one and the same, definitely loved. Costly- love and life can be very costly in so much more than the literal sense. When you risk love and to be loved it can cost you everything and that very same cost can be returned to you tenfold if paid out to those that give back freely and selflessly. Love your parents- you may or may not ever be a parent but you will always have a parent and the sheer magnitude of what a parent feels for their child can rarely be measured. It is a weight that anchors your very being, sometimes existence and when you the child are happy and fulfilled and safe it is a weight that dissipates into the air faster than the sea wind can carry the clouds. Little love- ahhh, the sweetest of all, not just because Helmut is this tall, handsome, strapping man and Mabel is this delicate beautiful woman but for the simplest of loves, the purest of loves, the kind of little loves that impact us so much more than grand gestures but… also because Helmut is tall and handsome and Mabel is delicate and beautiful ;-)
I have so very much to say about the experience I had at the wedding celebration held at the Coyaba Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This post will be long and it is not to discount any other posts long or short because the length of my ramblings are not necessarily equivalent to the depth of my experience, however… Having said that, the length of this particular post most certainly represents not just how I feel but how I felt and how spending time on an island with an amazing group of people has impacted my life. It seems that I have had a long string of epiphanies. Mostly induced from the relationships I have formed through the years with strangers who became clients who became friends. I am floored when I look through my records and I see 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th degrees of referrals from the wonderful and thoughtful people who I am honored to have spent some of the most poignant moments of their lives. A super special shout out to the lovely Rachel and Bill who linked me to Heather & Robin & Han who linked me to Nhat & Arthur who linked me to Mabel & Helmut who have already linked me to the amazing Jody & Marcus.!!!
So yes, There is no question as to the why when I ponder how these referrals come. It is an exchange…a rather simple one at that. For your trust and vulnerability, your laughter and your tears, your pureness in the moment and your ability to not care whether you can pull off the cool, sexy or artsy side of yourself – I will exchange with you my zen like calmness, ability to keep your trust and vulnerability safely cradled within my minds eye and heart, my laughter and my tears and the pureness of the moments that we share and the coolness of the moments that we make! This is the currency that we trade, it’s the currency that should rule the world! Of course there are fees for my services but those fees merely gain you entrance. They are but a small investment made in the scheme of the experience that we provide when working with my studio.
I know that not everyone wants to be that deep and that’s more than okay. For those that know me, have worked with me and love me you know that this is merely scratching the surface. The real goal is human connection and it is something that we all long for. How can you share happiness, triumph, joy, pride, excitement when alone, In a world where technology has made it so easy to be virtual we are pushed towards the longing of and we gravitate to virtually anything and everything that can make us feel more real.
In Jamaica, on the day before, the day of and the day after, I could not have felt more real or more relevant, appreciated and more than anything else… A part of a very intimate and emotional celebration of two people in love that was shared with a handful of people who traveled across the world to spend a few days relishing in each other and in this union.
It is interesting that they chose such a boutique styled resort. Coyaba Resort is nestled on 4 private acres of beachfront property with 50 rooms and 3 restaurants serving everything from great lunch bites to fine dining, it is an oasis!!! The word COY-AH-BA comes from an Arawak Indian word meaning “a kind of heaven where time is passed feasting and dancing.” Well… that pretty much sums it up! In the hours and days before the wedding and afterwords I had the pleasure of making friends, chatting with, hanging out, soaking in the sun under a thatched umbrella facing the ocean with the kind of friends that anyone would be lucky have in their lives. It is no surprise if you have ever had the pleasure of meeting either Mabel or Helmut. They are two completely lovable, sincere and truly beautiful people on the inside, where it counts and on the outside for those that it matters to. There were no pretenses, no need to search for perfection in the day, the perfection came in the enjoyment of each other and those around them. Their personalities made it very easy to provide for them a collection of images that they abso-freakin-lutely love because they said, do what you do. Everyone here matters to us and having you here we know that you will capture all that matters and more! No pressure, ha ha. It’s a photographers dream to hear these things because you know that no matter what is suggested the answer will be yes! For example, I know we all have flip flops on, let’s climb up a jagged cliff together. Okay ;) Having no boundaries and having all the trust that anyone could have plus a beautiful location and sprinkle in people who adore you equals the perfect storm!
I wish I could share the whole collection, but 20 or 30ish of my faves will have to suffice or I’ll be here all day blogging and my boss always nags when I blah blah blog for too long =) I will however leave you with the single most impressionable moment for me. The sun had set and the darkness had settled in blanketing us with a feeling of closeness as the impending storm was ushered away by the tropical winds. Laughter and clinking of glasses echoed off of the shore and carried back to us by the breeze blowing off of the water. My eyes had adjusted to the faintest of ambient light left and I caught a glimpse of Mabel’s dad standing in the cabana where the bar was located. He was heavy in thought as his body bent towards the papers that he had prepared earlier in the day. It was like a movie playing out as Helmut walked over to the corner of the bar to meet him. I could not hear what they were saying but I could tell by the closeness and the way that they embraced that the next few moments would be special. As Mabel’s father approached the long table where the guests were seated and as he began to speak I could hear the trembling in his voice. It didn’t tremble out of fear. It was the outpouring of emotion, the kinds of emotions like pride and thankfulness and love and hope that only comes from a well deep inside of us. It was too dark for him to read his notes so I handed Helmut a video light to help illuminate the papers… the words that were spoken from this man resonated with everyone that heard them. These words touched a part of me that I hold dear, being a parent myself. He thanks everyone for being there with him to celebrate with Helmut’s parents and his daughter & Helmut his new son in law but that Helmut was worthy of being more than a son in law- he was more like a real son. Likened to the son he never had. He thanked the lord for keeping Helmut safe and bringing him back safe and sound from his deployment in Iraq and most of all as he looked into his daughters eyes… He made a plea.. He said ” Please take good care of Mabel as she is the only one that I have left, she is my Joy in this world and she constitutes my whole family. Please respect one another and more importantly put your love above all things.”
Yep, I can’t freakin see now cuz I’m crying like a child who just had her doll or iPad stolen. I don’t know if it was because I have a daughter, an only daughter or because of the respect that Helmut has earned to have warranted the words and the trust that ensued. All I know is that once your child leaves your protective wings as a parent you don’t always breathe a sigh of relief. No matter how old they are you will always worry but you do feel relief when they are gone and you know they are safe and loved elsewhere. It is a source of gratitude that cannot be explained. I am affected. The warmth of the island was no match for the outpouring of warmth and love from all sides. Now don’t get me wrong, there was some crazy booty shakin’ going on and all I got to say is, stay away from the island punch!
So, to all of the beautiful people that I met on this trip, xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo I know that I will see you all again =) Until then may we all take a little extra time to love the ones that are here and to remember that moments like these can be fleeting so cherish them.