Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
– Question everything.
Micheal is the owner of Salvagem on McCurtain Street in Cork, city. We have all fallen and encountered our struggles. Something Micheal is and has been open about when he meets people. Vulnerability is being broken and being willing to shine and let the light flow through you. Your healing comes through sharing and being able to create something beautiful with those broken pieces.
Micheal acknowledges that he is on his own journey. A journey that entails creativity and being child like. Everyday, you wake up and sow seeds for tomorrow. Those seeds involve being true to yourself. Just, keep creating and making nice things.
The pieces in Salvagem are his children. Each one of them has a bit of him inside them. They all take time, effort, and devotion. He makes certain to make something worthy of praise, admiration, and acceptance. When a person is looking to purchase an item, he likes to make sure that the person is a suitable match for that piece. As he does see part of him going out the door. He has spent time restoring and giving life to the pieces in the shop.
Each piece restored a piece of Micheal. Five years ago Micheal had a breakdown. He found everything about life difficult. He felt very constrained. His mental and physical health were shit. Internally, he thought he was doing well. Even though, “I was drinking, gambling, and doing drugs.”
“However, to the outside world, I was a man on fire. Essentially, I didn’t want to be an adult, full stop.
Eventually, I recognized that I had an addictive personality; and, as a result, I sought counselling. Those old broken chairs, tables, and cabinets needed restoring; as a result, the shop and those pieces of furniture gave me a sense of purpose: they need me; and I needed them.”
Rubbing Up & Polishing Up
There is no point in doing something half hazard. Go all in and do the job. As you sit and listen to Micheal your belly aches from his twisted gentle sense of humour. You get the sense that you have entered into a different dimension. A world that has slowed down. A place that you are one with everything around you. The shop and his personality envelops you with comfort and good humour.
Just like a great musician feels the vibration and plays accordingly, you need to find your inner vibration. By playing and creating worthy things, your sense of self-worth increases. You start to come alive when you create pretty things. Your life takes on a whole new meaning when you are doing what you like to do. Your sense of pride and self-esteem rise. Something shitty has the potential to become something beautiful.
Outside of Waterford city, there is a wall that the Kittiwake gulls nest on every year. Over the course of the years, in Dummore East in a fishing village, these Kittiwake birds breed, eat, and shit. From a distance, this wall looks like an abstract art piece. People that visit this place compliment and make mention of this particular part of the wall. Clearly, these Kittiwakes don’t give a shit. They didn’t make a conscious effort to create an art piece.
Life is an art piece in the making. Commit do what you are doing: full immersion. Life is a one way ticket. How you get there is entirely up to you. Are you going to be a passenger or the driver? What ever way you decide to take make sure to take time to sight see and look around you. You can get on the hamster wheel or have a destination. According to Micheal, have something that you are going to finish. Have a starting point and a finishing point; give yourself that gift of accomplishment. Just make sure to do it right and have the right people riding shot gun with you.
As Micheal and Salvagem grew; they needed the right Amigo (friend/ partner). Micheal had worked in Mother Jones Flea Market, in Cork City, for several years. At that time, he met Andrew. Andrew understands Micheal and compliments him in many ways. They work well together. Travel well together. Now, they have embarked in this enterprise together.
You will see these two hanging outside of BUS STOP cafe. Micheal, likes to hang out at BUS STOP. The banter makes the visit worthwhile. Ian adds a certain spice to the conversation that you don’t necessarily get at the other coffee shops and cafes.
When asked what Micheal’s go to coffee was. He replied “cappuccino”. How he likes it depends. Sometimes, he likes a bit of chocolate on top other times he doesn’t. There is no real reason or method to this madness. However, he likes having that illusion of being pompous. He doesn’t like to make coffee. It really is about being served.
How coffee has been served has evolved for Micheal. As a child, he remembers his aunt making filtered coffee with a percolator. He remembers the brand being Ramboo Coffee or something like this. The coffee was heavy and terrible. When you opened the jar, you were seen as Posh. It had the aluminum seal on top that popped, when you opened it. You would then take heaping spoons full of this black powder. It was a coffee jar full of tar. Eventually, the coffee culture in Ireland evolved.
You now find specialty coffee shops all around Cork, city. A fun fact, from Micheal, Ireland drinks the most coffee per capita, more than any other country in the world. The people of Cork, and assumably the Irish, pride themselves on supporting fair-trade coffee by supporting the local farmers around the world.
The reason God invented Cork: so, the rest of the world would have heroes too. We are legends.
When asked about what makes Cork, Cork, he responded, “Cork: floats. Yes, indeed it does. Yes, Cork floats, yes indeed.” On the map, there is Cork and Not Cork. There is a certain charm about the city and the county that you will not find anywhere else. It is a city that you can walk across and through easily. You can get anywhere in the city: by foot. People will say hello to you and help you.
Cork is home. The place wants to see you succeed. The people of Cork will look after its own. They support one another and welcome new people to the city with open arms. The people of Cork care. Cork is the real capital with a Rebel spirit.
Words of wisdom, “when you are planning/ drawing out your life, use a pencil not a pen. Remain flexible to draw in and erase: just keep creating”