Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Wishful Thinking

©Brigitta Huegel


I took better photographs of the big starfish I found in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
But I cannot find this photo at the moment - the only choice now is between NOT to write this post or use this not so perfect photo.
Reality versus perfectionism.
Sign of beginning wisdom that I let realism win?

Why "Wishful Thinking"?
Well: about two weeks ago, walking at the shore of the North Sea in Holland, I thought:
"I want to find a seahorse."
(It is always good to aim for something high: genus hippocampus is nowadays so rare in the North Sea, that a few years ago the fisherman Manfred Sophra in St. Peter Ording (Germany) who found a litte seahorse among the caught fishes and crabbs, brought it instantly to a breeding farm).
Yet I wished.
And No - I did not find one.
But I found something else (though took it not with me): a starfish.
When I showed the photos to Wietske, who is in Berlin my Dutch "tandem" and friend, she said: "I NEVER found a starfish, NEVER."
I did. Expecting something extraordinary sometimes help. (Advice: Never be too specific if you are looking for something - all women know that: if you err through a department store in search of the cobalt blue blouse, you will find lots of pink, white and green ones --- but cobalt blue? Sorry..).

I love this little story about starfish:

A young man and his friend walked along the sea, and on the shore they saw many many starfish after a storm, still living. 
The young man bent down, threw a starfish back into the sea, bent down again, threw another one back into the sea - until his friend asked:" What are you doing?" 
"I throw them back to the sea, so they can live." 
"But", said his friend, "look at the shore: there are hundreds and hundreds on it! Honestly: it will not make any difference if you throw a few ones back to the sea!" 
"To this one it does!"  answered the young man and threw another one back. 




14 comments:

  1. I like your perfectly imperfect photo. Do you see the grumpy face at the center of the starfish?

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    1. Dear Emma, thank you! Now that you showed me: yes, I can see the grumpy face (well - the starfish had a reason to look like that :-)

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  2. Perhaps next time, if you say you want to find a mermaid you will come across a seahorse Britta !!! It's a good photograph and I love the starfish story. XXXX

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    1. Hahaha, Jackie: you got it! And I will try - especially as mermaids are a subject that interests me since a very long time, in pictures and stories. XXXX

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  3. It is good that you decided to write this post after all.

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    1. Thank you, Yael - I so often want to write, and then 'every day life' comes in between. But I always enjoy the comments.

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  4. Human involvement in nature is never as simple as saving one or two starfish's life I think.

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    1. Agreed, Tom, in one way- on the other hand: for me the only way to not give up and despair. Following your argument I would become a politician - with the danger to see people only as numbers (and we have enough examples in history where the individuals in the 'numbers' did not count for a lot of looney despots). Honestly: if everybody (!) "saved" one or two other unfortunate ones, the world would be a better place.

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  5. There must be a moral to this story. The only one I can think of at this moment is that the North Sea is bloody cold at this time of year and all sensible sea horses have gone to warmer waters.

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    1. The moral, Rachel, is given by Joanne :-)
      As the sea is so polluted, seahorses are a very endangered species meanwhile - but that was not my point.

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  6. Replies
    1. Yes, Joanne, it is, thank you for mentioning!
      One can so easily "give up", if one tries to put all suffering of mankind on ones shoulders...
      And wishful thinking might be another word for optimism or simply: having a dream, or an aim.

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  7. In your walk along the cyber-shore, you found me --and I am always glad about that. To a starfish, I think discovery and restorative recognition would be even more important even though they have slightly less brain than I.

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    1. Thank you, Geo., that is so cute! But c'mon: you know that I think you are a very brainy person, with so much intellect and thoughts in your lovely posts. No fishing for --starfish!

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