“There was a Viking whose eyes never looked farther than the point of his sword, but there was no boundary for the point of his sword; a Viking who walked through life , breaking barriers and reaping victories, who walked through ruins while the sun made a crown over his head, but he walked, light and straight, without noticing its weight; a Viking who laughed at kings, who laughed at priests, who looked at heaven only when he bent for a drink over a mountain brook and there, overshadowing the sky, he saw his own picture; a Viking who lived but for the joy and the wonder and the glory of the god that was himself. When the Viking stood on a tower over a city he had conquered, he smiled as men smile when they look up at heaven; but he was looking down. His right arm was one straight line with his lowered sword; his left arm, straight as a sword, raised a goblet of wine to the sky. The first rays of the coming sun, still unseen to the earth, struck the crystal goblet. It sparkled like a white torch. Its rays lighted the faces of those below. ‘To a life,’ said the Viking, ‘which is a reason unto itself.’
-Ayn Rand ( from “We the Living”)
The aforementioned story is in commemoration of Kira’s spirit. It was an insurmountable spirit. It was a hymn. It was a spirit, if only because it could have been, because it should have been. It was a realization of all that is possible. It was a realization of the complete passion to a single goal. It was the goal. It was a tribute to the sanctity of that which is inexorable. It was a tribute to the human life. It was a value, a promise, a jubilation.
I first read this book when I was thirteen, soon after I had read “The Fountainhead.” I read it once every six months now. It is an important read. It reminds me of what is important in my own life. I remember my indignation when I first read it. I remember the heroic in Leo. I recall his disintegration inspite of that, because of that. I remember that he did not bend. I remember that he broke. I remember his life after that. The vacuity, the lies, the dissipation, the living-death. I recall Kira’s undying campaign. I remember a life that could have been.