Jessica Martin – Final Portfolio

Posted on February 1st, 2014 by

Personal Narrative: Creative Ireland

                  Ireland is much more than a rainy country composed of endless farmland and pubs filled with unquenchable thirst. This stretch of natural beauty provides the perfect atmosphere for one’s talent and creativity to flow freely like the river Shannon. While roaming through Galway City I notice each little storefront’s unique color. The owners have added their personal style, twist and character to it, in effect creating their own personal world. A wooden wine-red storefront in Crossroad Street catches my attention. In white cursive letters it says The Piemaker. After crossing the threshold and ultimately into the store, I am ensnared by the delicious scents of freshly baked goods. The sight of the little pieces of art, stuffed with various homemade fillings, makes my mouth watery. I clearly have to try some of the homemade apple pie, I thought to myself. However, this delicious delicacy is very popular and I have to preorder my pie in the morning to pick it up at night. I shall be excited the whole day for it and since this day was my last day in Galway, I decided to take an extra pie to go. As the duration I must wait comes to a close, I find myself sitting down on the uncomfortable bench, impatiently sliding from one side to the other. Stephanie, the baker creating these heavenly pastries, carefully opens the oven and a wave of heat fills the room and I know the wait is well worth it! Shortly after, I savor the soft, juicy, cinnamon covered apple pieces, which are buried underneath a golden, crusty dough blanket. While enjoying my meal, Stephanie tells me that despite the recession, the British owner, Marc, courageously opened up this little business just a year ago.

This experience at The Piemaker does not only prove to me that traditional, homemade food is the most tasty but that with creativity and determination it is possible to start one’s own successful business. One should not let the past suppress one’s creativity. Instead one should rise from difficult times like a phoenix from its ashes. Despite the dramatic recession that left its marks on the Irish economy, Marc let his creativity flow freely and he created his own little world called The Piemaker on Crossroad Street, Galway. With a warm feeling in my satisfied stomach and my extra order of apple pie, I leave The Piemaker and tell myself that I will definitely come back some day and I continue my walk of exploration.

When roaming through Galway’s music painted alleyways, I can feel the positive vibrations of the street musicians. Indeed, these artists have become an integral part of the cityscape. Like little metal pieces, crowds of tourists are attracted to the magnetic sounds of the street musician’s voice that echoes through the narrow streets. The artists’ passion for music reverberates through their voices unto the eager onlookers. In the midst of the splendor, one performer in particular fascinated me with his genre. While rhythmically beating his traditional drum, a middle-aged man of African origin was filling the street with his deep strong soul-filled voice. Originating from a narrow side street, this man’s music seemed to magically stupefy the formally hysterical mass that is the common people. His feeling for rhythm and melody chases a warm feeling down my skin, making my little hair stubbles on my arms stand up like miniature antennas trying to catch as much as possible of this mystical sound. I admire theses talented people for their courage to sing and perform in the middle of the busy street. However, they’re not afraid of judgments or opinions; they just do what they love: perform music. I realize that like these street musicians, I need to believe in myself and be courageous to follow my passion and dreams despite those who may view otherwise.

After this mesmerizing musical experience I continue my journey. Soon, a forest-green wooden storefront decorated with a golden ring as its sign, catches my attention. I slowly read out loud the white writing on it: Cl-add-agh. When coming closer I notice that the ring is made up of two hands holding a heart with a crown on it. I curiously enter into the store. With every step the old wooden floor cracks under my feet. An elderly man with silver colored hair notices me and inquires in a friendly manner: “Can I help you…younglady?” I nod and ask if he can tell me a little more about the rings he’s selling. He smiles, “No problem younglady.” And he passionately explains, “The ring is called Cla-dd-agh an the crown stands for loyalty, the hands for friendship and ..ehm..the heart stands for love. This is the only shop in the world that has the right to sell the original version of the ring.” I am impressed by the creativity of the legend and I tell him that I would like to try on one of these valuable rings. He carefully takes one of the jewelry pieces out of the protective glass case and hands it over to me. I slowly slip the ring over the knuckle of my left ring finger. I hold up my hand to take a closer look at the silver piece of jewelry decorating my finger. The shiny and smooth surface reflects the beams of sunlight coming through the window of the little precious shop. I smile, take care in sliding the ring off my finger, and I tell the friendly storeowner “I’ll take it!” The corners of his mouth quickly rise causing his dimples to show up on his wrinkly cheeks. After beautifully wrapping my newest acquisition he hands it over to me and I proudly leave the shop with the forest-green storefront. With a green bag filled with paperwork proving the originality of the ring in one hand and a brown paper bag with the deliciously smelling apple pie in the other, I enjoy my by music accompanied walk back to the hostel. For me, Ireland is clearly a source of creativity. If it is baking pies, playing music or designing rings, its creative people follow their passion without hesitation.

Natural landscape: Natural Mirrors

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Spirit of Ireland: The Raven’s Land

Atop the pillars of time-lost wind

The air—so thick with haze and damp

Flew we; my troubled mind and I

Across the land of Éire

 

The rain beat down like drums of war

Against my feathered ebon back

Descend, did I, below the clouds

And blinded by the purest light

I saw a sight of dreams

 

A golden arm extends its reach

And paints the land with Nature’s brush

The palette—stocked with endless joy

Shall furnish all with sights galore

 

The brazen bush and pebbled paths

Doth share the land with homes of old

Though speckled be this cohort three

In sync they all shall fill the mold

 

When then adjusted I became

I soon beheld the game of life

The boulders green and woolen white

The ghastly strain of shear and knife

 

Yet still I flew—pondering

What title shall each creature hold

A pawn or rook along the field

A gallant knight upon the board

 

And Men, the most perplexing beast

Who sheltered once from primal teeth

Have pushed against the tide of fate

For soon King Time shall kneel beneath

 

Upon the Blarney tower high

Like Cuchulain—I yearn the hero’s cry

I see no tinge of rusted knife

The stone indeed was kissed by Life

 

Until that age we all must pass

And rest beneath the dolmen tall

Exist—in peace—with Nature’s brush

To paint the Earth once more

 

Urban Landscape: Upside Down

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