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Solitude2

2006-07-29 00:25

  Yet I experienced sometimes that the most sweet and tender, the most innocent and encouraging society may be found in any natural object, even for the poor misanthrope and most melancholy man. There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still.  There was never yet such a storm but it was AEolian music to a healthy and innocent ear. Nothing can rightly compel a simple and brave man to a vulgar sadness.  While I enjoy the friendship of the seasons I trust that nothing can make life a burden to me.  The gentle rain which waters my beans and keeps me in the house today is not drear and melancholy, but good for me too.  Though it prevents my hoeing them,it is of far more worth than my hoeing.  If it should continue so long as to cause the seeds to rot in the ground and destroy the potatoes in the low lands, it would still be good for the grass on the uplands, and, being good for the grass, it would be good for me. Sometimes, when I compare myself with other men, it seems as if I were more favored by the gods than they, beyond any deserts that I am conscious of; as if I had a warrant and surety at their hands which my fellows have not, and were especially guided and guarded. I do not flatter myself, but if it be possible they flatter me.  I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when, for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life.  To be alone was something unpleasant.  But I was at the same time conscious of a slight insanity in my mood, and seemed to foresee my recovery.  In the midst of a gentle rain while these thoughts prevailed, I was suddenly sensible of such sweet and beneficent society in Nature, in the very pattering of the drops, and in every sound and sight around my house, an infinite and unaccountable friendliness all at once like an atmosphere sustaining me, as made the fancied advantages of human neighborhood insignificant, and I have never thought of them since.  Every little pine needle expanded and swelled with sympathy and befriended me.  I was so distinctly made aware of the presence of something kindred to me, even in scenes which we are accustomed to call wild and dreary, and also that the nearest of blood to me and humanest was not a person nor a villager, that I thought no place could ever be strange to me again.

  "Mourning untimely consumes the sad;Few are their days in the land of the living,Beautiful daughter of Toscar."

  Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain-storms in the spring or fall, which confined me to the house for the afternoon as well as the forenoon, soothed by their ceaseless roar and pelting; when an early twilight ushered in a long evening in which many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves.  In those driving northeast rains which tried the village houses so, when the maids stood ready with mop and pail in front entries to keep the deluge out, I sat behind my door in my little house, which was all entry, and thoroughly enjoyed its protection.  In one heavy thunder-shower the lightning struck a large pitch pine across the pond, making a very conspicuous and perfectly regular spiral groove from top to bottom, an inch or more deep, and four or five inches wide, as you would groove a walking-stick.  I passed it again the other day, and was struck with awe on looking up and beholding that mark, now more distinct than ever, where a terrific and resistless bolt came down out of the harmless sky eight years ago.  Men frequently say to me, "I should think you would feel lonesome down there, and want to be nearer to folks, rainy and snowy days and nights especially."  I am tempted to reply to such —— This whole earth which we inhabit is but a point in space.  How far apart,think you, dwell the two most distant inhabitants of yonder star,the breadth of whose disk cannot be appreciated by our instruments?

  Why should I feel lonely? is not our planet in the Milky Way?  This which you put seems to me not to be the most important question. What sort of space is that which separates a man from his fellows and makes him solitary?  I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.  What do we want most to dwell near to?  Not to many men surely, the depot, the post-office, the bar-room, the meeting-house, the school-house, the grocery, Beacon Hill, or the Five Points, where men most congregate,but to the perennial source of our life, whence in all our experience we have found that to issue, as the willow stands near the water and sends out its roots in that direction.  This will vary with different natures, but this is the place where a wise man will dig his cellar……  I one evening overtook one of my townsmen, who has accumulated what is called "a handsome property" —— though I never got a fair view of it —— on the Walden road, driving a pair of cattle to market, who inquired of me how I could bring my mind to give up so many of the comforts of life.  I answered that I was very sure I liked it passably well; I was not joking.  And so I went home to my bed, and left him to pick his way through the darkness and the mud to Brighton —— or Bright-town —— which place he would reach some time in the morning.

  然而我有时经历到,在任何大自然的事物中,都能找出最甜蜜温柔,最天真和鼓舞人的伴侣,即使是对于愤世嫉俗的可怜人和最最忧慢的人也一样。只要生活在大自然之间而还有五官的话,便不可能有很阴郁的忧虑。对于健全而无邪的耳朵,暴风雨还真是伊奥勒斯的音乐呢。什么也不能正当地迫使单纯而勇敢的人产生庸俗的伤感。当我享受着四季的友爱时,我相信,任什么也不能使生活成为我沉重的负担。今天佳雨洒在我的豆子上,使我在屋里待了整天,这雨既不使我沮丧,也不使我抑郁,对于我可是好得很呢。虽然它使我不能够锄地,但比我锄地更有价值。如果雨下得太久,使地里的种予,低地的土豆烂掉,它对高地的草还是有好处的,既然它对高地的草很好,它对我也是很好的了。有时,我把自己和别人作比较,好像我比别人更得诸神的宠爱,比我应得的似乎还多呢;好像我有一张证书和保单在他们手上,别人却没有,因此我受到了特别的引导和保护。我并没有自称自赞,可是如果可能的话,倒是他们称赞了我。我从不觉得寂寞,也一点不受寂寞之感的压迫,只有一次,在我进了森林数星期后,我怀疑了一个小时,不知宁静而健康的生活是否应当有些近邻,独处似乎不很愉快。同时,我却觉得我的情绪有些失常了,但我似乎也预知我会恢复到正常的。当这些思想占据我的时候,温和的雨丝飘酒下来,我突然感觉到能跟大自然做伴是力瞩此甜蜜如此受惠,就在这滴答滴答的雨声中,我屋子周围的每一个声音和景象都有着无穷尽无边际的友爱,一下子这个支持我的气氛把我想象中的有邻居方便一点的思潮压下去了,从此之后,我就没有再想到过邻居这口事。每一支小小松针都富于同情心地胀大起来,成了我的朋友。我明显地感到这里存在着我的同类,虽然我是在一般所谓凄惨荒凉的处境中,然则那最接近于我的血统,并最富于人性的却并不是一个人或一个村民,从今后再也不会有什么地方会使我觉得陌生的了。

  “不合宜的哀动消蚀悲哀;在生者的大地上,他们的日子很短,托斯卡尔的美丽的女儿啊。”

  我的最愉快的若干时光在于春秋两季的长时间暴风雨当中,这弄得我上午下午都被禁闭在室内,只有不停止的大雨和咆哮安慰着我;我从微明的早起就进入了漫长的黄昏,其间有许多思想扎下了根,并发展了它们自己。在那种来自东北的倾盆大雨中,村中那些房屋都受到了考验,女佣人都已经拎了水桶和拖把,在大门口阻止洪水侵入,我坐在我小屋子的门后,只有这一道门,却很欣赏它给予我的保护。在一次雷阵雨中,曾有一道闪电击中湖对岸的一株苍松,从上到下,划出一个一英寸,或者不止一英寸深,四五英寸宽,很明显的螺旋形的深槽,就好像你在一根手杖上刻的槽一样。那天我又经过了它,一抬头看到这一个痕迹,真是惊叹不已,那是八年以前,一个可怕的、不可抗拒的雷霆留下的痕迹,现在却比以前更为清晰。人们常常对我说,“我想你在那儿住着,一定很寂寞,总是想要跟人们接近一下的吧,特别在下雨下雪的日子和夜晚。”我喉咙痒痒的直想这样口答,——我们居住的整个地球,在宇宙之中不过是一个小点。那边一颗星星,我们的天文仪器还无法测量出它有多么大呢,你想想它上面的两个相距最远的居民又能有多远的距离呢?我怎会觉得寂寞?我们的地球难道不在银河之中?在我看来,你提出的似乎是最不重要的问题。怎样一种空间才能把人和人群隔开而使人感到寂寞呢?

  我已经发现了,无论两条腿怎样努力也不能使两颗心灵更形接近。我们最愿意和谁紧邻而居呢?人并不是都喜欢车站哪,邮局哪,酒吧间哪,会场哪,学校哪,杂货店哪,烽火山哪,五点区哪,虽然在那里人们常常相聚,人们倒是更愿意接近那生命的不竭之源泉的大自然,在我们的经验中,我们时常感到有这么个需要,好像水边的杨柳,一定向了有水的方向伸展它的根。人的性格不同,所以需要也很不相同,可是一个聪明人必需在不竭之源泉的大自然那里挖掘他的地窖……有一个晚上在走向瓦尔登湖的路上,我赶上了一个市民同胞,他已经积蓄了所谓的“一笔很可观的产业”,虽然我从没有好好地看到过它,那晚上他赶着一对牛上市场去,他间我,我是怎么想出来的,宁肯抛弃这么多人生的乐趣?我口答说,我确信我很喜欢我这样的生活;我不是开玩笑。便这样,我回家,上床睡了,让他在黑夜泥泞之中走路走到布赖顿去——或者说,走到光亮城里去——大概要到天亮的时候才能走到那里。

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