Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tasting is listening

Imagine wine is speech.

Imagine you are listening to a dude and he is witty, a bit irreverent, entertaining. Maybe there is some scatalogical humor. It's all very much fun. A nice time.

Now imagine Immanuel Kant has you over for a talk. A lecture, really. He wants to prove something, something deeply important, but he isn't just exactly sure how. Of course he doesn't say so. He lays out the thinking before you. There is a precision that is palpable, each moment in which the clock ticks there is a plan. You feel the answers have been provided for you, but also that maybe this isn't the book you thought you had been reading from. There is a sense of purpose behind the reach and the placement of the words. You maybe had not expected that. Maybe you don't want to dismiss the casual in so sweeping a fashion, but when you hear it done just so it does seem, well, IMPRESSIVE. There it is. Impressive.

Or maybe on another day William Carlos Williams comes over. And you listen to him for a moment. And you had never seen the terrace outside your window in just that way before. The importance of that view, until he told you about it. What was out there. He said only a couple words but that was enough. Everything seemed simple until it wasn't.

Churchill elects to join you. "Don't you realize other lives are valuable or your own isn't?" He asks you point blank. Well, yes, yes, you had. "Then do something about it. And doing something about it isn't just sitting there, is it?" And then you go about to something you didn't know possible. Not really.

There are many kinds of speech. Each is appropriate for a different time. For a different you. If you decide to listen to only one, well, that's a shame.

Wine is speech, by the way.

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