Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stranded on the Road with Ayn Rand's Anthem

 "Today we have discovered the word that could not be said, "I."  -Ayn Rand, Anthem

Today as I was crossing through the desert, our bus broke down and we had to stand out in the dunes while the repair man came to hoist our massive Promethean vessel on its axis and examine the problem.
 "There is the banner in my hand.  And I wish I had the power to tell them that the despair of their hearts was not to be final, and their night was not without hope."  -Equality 7-2521, by Ayn Rand

Most of us were without water.  Famished after the day's work, we pulled up our coat collars and hunkered down in the windswept sand swirls.  No shade for miles, pondering our lot.  Men in trucks stopped.  Some gave rides back into town.  I decided to walk.  It wasn't far, a few miles.  My legs could use the work.
"Our dearest one.  Fear nothing of the forest.  There is no danger in solitude."  -Ayn Rand, Anthem

It's a strange person who steps out into nothingness to earn a buck.  Then, when finding himself stranded there, continues blindly on his adventurer's trail as if it will lead him home.  Why not just go back the way you came?  Why move further away to eventually return?  Why love the work so dearly it takes you to the edge of life and death?
"The shadows of leaves fall upon their arms, as they spread the branches apart, but their shoulders are in the sun."  -Ayn Rand, Anthem

As I trudged along, I thought about my daughters across the Indian Ocean at the water park, riding the carousel, watching cotton candy dissolve in their fingers, bouncing up and down and begging to be spun and dumped and shaken for sheer thrills.
 "We are one in all and all in one.  There are no men but only the great WE.  One, indivisible and forever."  -Ayn Rand, Anthem

I was also thinking about Ayn Rand, some newspaper article was throwing her name around with this politician and that... to the point where even a president had to make a narrow comment of her scope.  For the record, high school kids don't read The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.  They may start it, but they're not finishing it.
 "My dearest one, it is not proper for men to be without names..."  -Ayn Rand, Anthem

How do I know this?  Because characters like Howard Roark and Dangy Taggart, John Gault and Hank Rearden, aren't for confused teenagers.  They're not for children playing hide in seek in the living room and checking under their bed for monsters in the dark.
"The sacred word:  EGO"  -Ayn Rand, Anthem

No.  They're for adults.  Serious adults, who want to live and know their life intimately, who want to destroy themselves so that they can evolve through time, and one doesn't even know this until they have walked through the desert with everything to lose.

Postscript:  For you that have inquired, I took down the previous blog post entitled "Daring Life" because they slice by the neck here with swords for such words.  I'll live to fight another day.  Keep walking through the desert, everybody!

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