My name is Jeff, and I would like to welcome you to the Omphalos Cafe.
Was it a coincidence that I first stepped through the door into the Omphalos Cafe shortly after turning my back on formal education? Back then, some twenty odd years ago, I might have said yes; today of course I know it was not.
What I do know is my education finally took wing at the Omphalos Cafe. It was there that joy and wonder became the driving inspiration for inquiry and learning.
Imagine for a moment giving free reign to curiosity and fancy, to follow a chain of discovery wherever it might lead, and to read only what your heart desired, and to do that not for a month or even a year, but for a decade or two! That is what the Cafe afforded me for so many years and still does to this very day.
About? This is not a blog about me. There is nothing remarkable about a man in his mid-to-late forties with wife and son, living in a modest house in a fairly quiet leafy neighborhood not far from the center of a medium-sized Canadian city.
Nothing remarkable…except for the Omphalos Cafe.
What can I say about it? There is a timelessness about the place. It has a magical, indescribably poetic quality, like nowhere I’ve been before. Like where you strive to go when meditating or doing yoga.
And then there is Xenon’s back room, with the laden shelves of books ranged around a circular table and chairs. The collection spans the ages, he seems to have gathered giants of the human spirit from all lands and times. Xenon sometimes refers to this cozy book-filled back room as his ‘Bible Room’, though I’m not sure whether or not it actually contains a Bible. I suppose it must. For me, Xenon’s Bible Room is the heart of the place.
So once again, welcome. Come in, sit down, and take a load off. Take a load off… I like that. Free yourself, and enjoy.