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Winter 2021 Letter

Dear Casa Carmen Family,

It is said that when travelers arrived to visit the great philosopher Heraclitus in his home, they were astounded at finding him sitting in his kitchen. They stood on the doorway, perplexed at seeing him in such a humble place. But he invited them in saying, “here too the gods are present.” What he meant is that even the highest things inhabit the most humble places, and that the most important dwells in the simple.

This is what we believe at Casa Carmen. Our imagination is filled with simple things, with memories of friends and laughter, of good wine and good food, with the mise-en-scène of a life lived around nature and the kitchen table, of which you are all an integral part.

There is something deeply transformational about this perspective. It furnishes our imagination with moments, rituals, memories and rhythms. It is an attention and attunement to the simple that acts as a shield against the nihilist tendency to know it all. It is a redirection to the work of the hands and the heart. It is a recognition that we are “guarded by mystery.”

Far from a defeatist position that gives up on the search for knowledge, this is a disposition towards knowing that places the person not as the master of all things but as a part of a great and mysterious reality that unfolds before our eyes. The life of the vineyard, the cellar, the bar and the kitchen is so curiously fulfilling because meaning is inextricably bound to the simple.

This is what we strive for here at Casa Carmen. We live in the kitchen because “here too the gods are present.” This is what we refuse to surrender. This is the true resistance.

Salud,

Enrique

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