At the foot of this post is a poem I wrote in 2004. I still believe that we can, each of us, re-create the eternal city inside ourselves, in each moment in which we connect with the humble reality in front of us. But I no longer associate this with a place or any time other than now.
This is a message for the disillusioned. You carry with you everything that through your work you have gained.
Here is a link to Cavafy's poem, The god abandons Anthony, which expresses this idea better than I can.
Below is my 2004 poem:
Another Athens shall arise
Though our untended wasteland's choked with weeds,
Yet, bramble-bound, a rough Arcadia lies
Here hidden, and its dark earth holds the seeds
From which a city's garden shall arise.
Tear with bare fingers ivy from the face
Of Dionysos! Here we'll plant a hill
Of vines, and there Athena shows a place
For rustling olive groves. Then, labouring still,
We'll change the thorns of bramble for the rose;
Among the flowers build a noble square
Where love shall wear away the years of those
Who, ever younger, greet each other there.
Here a new, waking Athens shall arise
That with our hearts shall mirror Paradise.