Macedonia is not an island. It has never been “a forgotten place” or “a place of forgetfulness”; it has never hidden from distance and threats behind opaque walls. It never took root in distrust, nor grew in a place where hatred of the Other might be considered an honorable shelter from the fear of the Other. In its memory, in the sum of its historical consciousness, the ideas of “peripherality” and “inferiority”, the characteristic and constant companions of lands which have been isolated and which have lived in isolation, have never been inscribed nor meaningfully formulated.
Without Macedonia, the world would be a sum of vast solitude. Division is the most eloquent mark of this planet: besides the hundreds of thousands of islands and islets, embroiled In the agonizing struggle against submersion in autism, the continents themselves are, after all, only islands; all around them a solid limitless sea. But man “is not an island, entirely unto himself. Every man is a part of the Continent, a piece of the Land…“ Many have known this, maybe all men, at all times. But for John Donne and for Ernest Hemingway, this knowledge spurred them to oppose the merciless factography of their own lives, but only through poetry, through art. The poet Donne, who felt so deeply the need for the pieces of the human Land to be united in the immense Continent, lived and died on an island – England. The master of the novel, Hemingway, authentically moved by the same noble consciousness that the bells which toll for each human death, toll for each living person, yet had to accept island of Key West, turned in vain towards a kind of unity and bridging the gulf that divides men from men. Neither of them saw the fulfillment of their dream: they never found their Macedonia.
The search for Macedonia! There it is, squeezed into a single call, the dream of humanity scattered around the archipelago of lonely and divided living. Far from being an overemphasized, local, groundless metaphor, this call, an echo of a geographical specificity, unique in the world, is at the same time a privileged formula of the mental and comparative advantage of the inhabitants of Macedonia in the overall topography of the world’s soul. Macedonia represents a concrete counter – argument to the imperative of selfishness and solitude; as a pure gift to the world, as its bond, it is a direct denial of the thesis of the fatal solitude of men in this world.
The search for Macedonia is, therefore, a search for the gravitational kernel of the torn Land! It is the quest for a point in search of which Archimedes wandered in dream and reality – not needing to move the world (it is moving anyway, as Archimedes certainly knew) – but to move it in a determined direction of unity and understanding. However, even if Archimedes did not succeed in discovering that desired, indispensable, longed for “firm point” (his quest, as is the case with most people who undertake it, brought him nearer to reading his name as “Archi-pain”1F, for without it, “what used to be honey turned into bitterness and anguish”), its location in the part of the world known as “Macedonia” had already been seen as such.
Apparently, the region of this fascinating pool recognized as the Mediterranean, is truly placed “in the middle of the Earth”. The children of Europe, Asia and Africa swim in it. Parts of each Continent are found on beaches and rocks, on hills and promontories of all three continents. The hot desert wind “hamsin”, numerous plants, various animals, olive groves, fig trees, sudden downpours, proud pines and the bristle “north wind” cross paths and flow across the Mediterranean Sea, which seems to separate the three largest Continents in the world: Europe, Africa, Asia.
However, the Mediterranean, the real “heart of the world” has its own center – the point where the three enormous loners, the continents, meet and grow familiar with each other; the point where the most ominous curse cast upon mankind to live in fear and solitude – has been denied. Macedonia, the core of the heart of the world, is a real, living amalgam of roads, more solid than the distances and abysses which hinder conversation by placing mute voids between people. Macedonia is a universal equivalent of hospitality and decent living. It offers enough room not only for all winds, rains, plants, and other forms of life around the Mediterranean, but also for its own winds, rains, waters, herbs and birds, which it wholeheartedly offers to the three largest continents in the world. At the same time it remains pure and individual placing its own indelible and unforgettable mark on everything it touches: an impression which, once received, can make anyone proud and beautified.
1. Archimedes: med (Maced.) – honey