It used to be a town of four nations, and three of them are gone now. They were replaced by newcomers, coming from places both near and far, yet newcomers who still are rooted elsewhere and who do not consider my town to be their own; it often seems to me, that the town hasn’t given them the warmest of welcomes, it hasn’t accepted them, they were only given shelter in homes constructed all too hastily, in concrete high-rises, not at all cosy and to many even scary and big.
And yet, when I look at these parts of my town, I clearly feel the unique spirit emanating from the soil and enchanting my town. I don’t know whether the town will heed the call or not, whether the spirit will recreate it, whether it will let itself be shaped, whether the spirit will bring about some specific change for people living here today and tomorrow and help to create new and original inhabitants. It would be interesting, and in no way unreal. People, though unaware, are greatly guided by the spirit, for it came here to stay, and I think it’s influence can be both felt and suspected.
If I were a geologist, I’d insist that deep in the earth on this location there’s a disturbance; if I were an ethnographer, I’d speak of the diminishing scent of the relics that an ancient community of four ethnic groups left behind. If I were a historian, I’d point out that this is the only capital in the world, borders of which are at the same time borders of three states, or, on the other hand, that this town was always marginal, a stop between other truly large and grandiose towns. I’m neither of them and my profession of a philosopher is so remote from all this. I can only be a small child discovering things, that are so trivial for grown-ups, that they don’t even take notice of them.