Chow The Secret Meaning
Last night, after a meal at the Capitol Club with Michael Hebberoy, the “rebel restaurateur,” who, until very recently, shared ownership of the three Portland restaurants that once made up Ripe (the story about his break from that business can be read here), I had a meal with Bethany Jean Clement, who I have known for as long as I have lived in this city.
The restaurant we drank wine and ate bread in is French, new, small, on Madison, and called Saint-Germain. Lots of French was being spoken, and lots of French hiphop was being played. One of the owners of the pleasant place declared that La Haine is the greatest French movie. But this is not leading to my final point. What I have in mind at the moment has to do with this morning when I woke up and reread for the third time this year the first chapter of the book I will never get enough of, Phenomenology of Spirit. The chapter is on the problems of sense-certainty, and near the end of the chapter is this, one of the greatest passages in all of philosophy:
“…[T]hey have still to learn the secret meaning of the eating of bread and the drinking of wine. For he who is initiated into these Mysteries not only comes to doubt the being of sensuous things, but to despair of it: in part he brings about the nothingness of such things himself in his dealings with them, and in part he sees them reduce themselves to nothingness.”
One of my few achievements thus far in life is that I’m not “shut out from the wisdom” of eating bread and drinking wine. And now it is time for me to return to that wisdom, which will be supplied in the form of lunch. Back at one.