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回归童真(双语)

2006-02-20 00:00

  Peeling Away Artifice For the Pure Original

  Sarah came running in."Look what I found." Over the top of the paper I was reading came a crispy, crumbling long object that caused me to jump. It was a snake skin that had been shed by one of our many garden snakes.

  "Isn't it beautiful?" said my wide-eyed seven-year-old.

  回归童真

  萨拉跑进来。"看,我发现了什么。"我正在看报,一条卷长的有点支离破碎的东西出现在报纸上,把我吓得跳了起来。那是一条蛇的蜕皮,我们的花园里有很多蛇。

  "它难道不漂亮吗?"我那7岁的小女儿眨着她的大眼睛问道。

  I stared at the organic wrapper and thought to myself that it really wasn' t that beautiful, but I have learned never to appear nonchalant or jaded with children. Everything they see for the first time is elementary to their sense of beauty and creativity; they see only merit and excellence in the world until educated otherwise.

  "Why does it do this?" Sarah asked.

  Robert, ever the innocent comedian, said:"We have a naked snake in our garden!"

  我看着那条蛇皮,自忖它实在算不上漂亮,但我明白决不能对孩子冷淡抑或感到厌烦。孩子们初次见到的东西对于他们是形成美感以及创造力的基础。在接受相关教育之前,他们应当只会看到世上美好的事物。

  萨拉问:"蛇为什么要蜕皮?"

  曾经做过天真喜剧演员的罗伯特说:"我们花园里有一条光着身子的蛇。"

  I also try to customize every opportunity to teach my children that there is almost always something beyond the obvious; that there is something else going on besides what they see in front of them."Snakes shed their skin because they need to renew themselves," I explained. As is so often the case in my family, the original subject leads to another and another, until we are discussing something quite different.

  我也利用一切机会教给孩子们知道任何事物不单有其表像,更有其深层原因的含义。 我解释说:"蛇为了获得新生,所以要蜕皮。"正如我家常常出现的情况,最初的话题会引出其它一个又一个新问题,直到我们谈论的内容与最初的毫不沾边为止。

  "Why do they need to renew themselves?" Sarah asked.

  Robert quipped:" 'Cos they don't like who they are and they want to be someone else."

  Sarah and I politely ignored her brother. I suddenly remembered an article on this page many years ago where the writer was expressing her concept of renewal. She used layers of paper over a wall to describe how we hide our original selves, and said that by peeling away those layers one by one, we see the underlying original beneath.

  萨拉问:"蛇为什么要获得新生?"

  罗伯特诙谐地说:"因为它们不喜欢自己的样子,想要变成另外的样子。"

  萨拉和我没再理会她哥哥。我忽然记起许多年前报上曾有一篇文章,作者表述了她对新生的看法:她用糊在墙壁上的一层层的壁纸来形容我们是如何将真实的自我隐藏起来的,并且说一层一层地剥去那些壁纸,我们便会发现藏在下面的纯真。

  "We often need to shed our skins, those coatings and facades that we cover ourselves with," I said to my now absorbed daughter. "We outgrow some things and find other stuff unwanted or unnecessary. This snake no longer needs this skin. It is probably too stiff and crinkly for him, and he probably doesn' t think he looks as smart in it as he once did. Like buying a new suit."

  Of course, I' m sure this explanation won' t sit well with bonafide naturalists. But Sarah was getting the point. As we talked, I knew that she began to comprehend, albeit slightly, that renewal is part of progress; that we need to take a good look at ourselves, and our rooms and schoolwork and creativity and spirituality, and see what we need to keep and what we need to cast off. I was careful to point out that this is a natural process, not one to be forced.

  我告诉全神贯注的小女儿:"我们常常要'蜕皮',换掉身上那些衣服。我们长大了,有些东西不想要了,有些不需要了。这条蛇不再需要这张皮了。可能是蛇感到这张皮既僵硬又难看,穿在身上不像以前那么漂亮。就像买一套新衣服那样。"

  当然了,我敢肯定这样的解释不能让真正的博物学家满意。但萨拉听明白了。谈话间,我知道萨拉尽管是朦朦胧胧的,但理解了新生是进步的一部分,理解到我们需要好好审视自我、房间、功课、创造力以及灵性,想想需要留下什么,摒弃哪些。我用心地解释这是自然过程,并非强迫着去做的。

  "Snakes don' t peel off their skin when they feel like it." I explained. " It happens as a natural consequence of their growth."

  "I see, Dad," said Sarah and jumped off my lap, grabbed the snakeskin, and ran off.

  I hoped she would remember this. That often, in order to find our real selves underneath the layers of community and culture with which we cloak ourselves year after year, we need to start examining these layers. We need to gently peel some away, as we recognize them to be worthless, unnecessary, or flawed; or at best, store the discarded ones as mementoes of our promotion to a better vitality or spirit.

  我解释说:"蛇喜欢它的皮的时侯,就不会蜕皮。随着它们的生长,蜕皮是自然的过程。"

  萨拉说:"爸爸,我懂了。"说完从我腿上跳下去,拿着蛇皮跑了。

  我希望她能记住这一次。为了找寻年复一年为社会和环境所掩盖的真正的自我,我们需要检查这些"壁纸",一旦认识到它们毫无价值,不再需要或者有缺陷,需要轻轻剥去一些,最好是将那些摒弃的东西尘封在记忆中,激励我们更有活力和更有精神地前进。By Roy H. Barnacle (袁堂欣 译The Christian Science Monitor)

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