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Sounds

2006-07-29 00:15

  But while we are confined to books, though the most select and classic, and read only particular written languages, which are themselves but dialects and provincial, we are in danger of forgetting the language which all things and events speak without metaphor, which alone is copious and standard.  Much is published,but little printed.  The rays which stream through the shutter will be no longer remembered when the shutter is wholly removed.  No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert.  What is a course of history or philosophy, or poetry,no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen?  Will you be a reader, a student merely, or a seer?  Read your fate, see what is before you, and walk on into futurity.

  I did not read books the first summer; I hoed beans.  Nay, I often did better than this.  There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work,whether of the head or hands.  I love a broad margin to my life. Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery,amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller's wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time.  I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been.  They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance.  I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works.  For the most part, I minded not how the hours went.  The day advanced as if to light some work of mine; it was morning, and lo, now it is evening,and nothing memorable is accomplished.  Instead of singing like the birds, I silently smiled at my incessant good fortune.  As the sparrow had its trill, sitting on the hickory before my door, so had I my chuckle or suppressed warble which he might hear out of my nest.  My days were not days of the week, bearing the stamp of any heathen deity, nor were they minced into hours and fretted by the ticking of a clock; for I lived like the Puri Indians, of whom it is said that "for yesterday, today, and tomorrow they have only one word, and they express the variety of meaning by pointing backward for yesterday forward for tomorrow, and overhead for the passing day."  This was sheer idleness to my fellow-townsmen, no doubt; but if the birds and flowers had tried me by their standard, I should not have been found wanting.  A man must find his occasions in himself, it is true.  The natural day is very calm, and will hardly reprove his indolence.

  I had this advantage, at least, in my mode of life, over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre, that my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel.  It was a drama of many scenes and without an end.  If we were always, indeed, getting our living, and regulating our lives according to the last and best mode we had learned, we should never be troubled with ennui.  Follow your genius closely enough, and it will not fail to show you a fresh prospect every hour.  Housework was a pleasant pastime.  When my floor was dirty, I rose early, and, setting all my furniture out of doors on the grass,bed and bedstead making but one budget, dashed water on the floor,and sprinkled white sand from the pond on it, and then with a broom scrubbed it clean and white; and by the time the villagers had broken their fast the morning sun had dried my house sufficiently to allow me to move in again, and my meditations were almost uninterupted.  It was pleasant to see my whole household effects out on the grass, making a little pile like a gypsy's pack, and my three-legged table, from which I did not remove the books and pen and ink, standing amid the pines and hickories.  They seemed glad to get out themselves, and as if unwilling to be brought in.  I was sometimes tempted to stretch an awning over them and take my seat there.  It was worth the while to see the sun shine on these things,and hear the free wind blow on them; so much more interesting most familiar objects look out of doors than in the house.  A bird sits on the next bough, life-everlasting grows under the table, and blackberry vines run round its legs; pine cones, chestnut burs, and strawberry leaves are strewn about.  It looked as if this was the way these forms came to be transferred to our furniture, to tables,chairs, and bedsteads —— because they once stood in their midst.

  但当我们局限在书本里,虽然那是最精选的,古典的作品,而且只限于读一种特殊的语文,它们本身只是口语和方言,那时我们就有危险,要忘记掉另一种语文了,那是一切事物不用譬喻地直说出来的文字,唯有它最丰富,也最标准。出版物很多,把这印出来的很少。从百叶窗缝隙中流进来的光线,在百叶窗完全打开以后,便不再被记得了。

  没有一种方法,也没有一种训练可以代替永远保持警觉的必要性。能够看见的,要常常去看;这样一个规律,怎能是一门历史或哲学,或不管选得多么精的诗歌所比得上的?

  又怎能是最好的社会,或最可羡慕的生活规律所比得上的呢?你愿意仅仅做一个读者,一个学生呢,还是愿意做一个预见者?读一读你自己的命运,看一看就在你的面前的是什么,再向未来走过去吧。

  第一年夏天,我没有读书;我种豆。不,我比干这个还好。有时候,我不能把眼前的美好的时间牺牲在任何工作中,无论是脑的或手的工作。我爱给我的生命留有更多余地。有时候,在一个夏天的早晨里,照常洗过澡之后,我坐在阳光下的门前,从日出坐到正午,坐在松树,山核桃树和黄栌树中间,在没有打扰的寂寞与宁静之中,凝神沉思,那时鸟雀在四周唱歌,或默不作声地疾飞而过我的屋子,直到太阳照上我的西窗,或者远处公路上传来一些旅行者的车辆的辚辚声,提醒我时间的流逝。我在这样的季节中生长,好像玉米生长在夜间一样,这比任何手上的劳动好得不知多少了。这样做不是从我的生命中减去了时间,而是在我通常的时间里增添了许多,还超产了许多。我明白了东方人的所谓沉思以及抛开工作的意思了。大体上,虚度岁月,我不在乎。自昼在前进,仿佛只是为了照亮我的某种工作;可是刚才还是黎明,你瞧,现在已经是晚上,我并没有完成什么值得纪念的工作。我也没有像鸣禽一般地歌唱,我只静静地微笑,笑我自己幸福无涯。正像那麻雀,蹲在我门前的山核桃树上,啁啾地叫着,我也窃窃笑着,或抑制了我的啁啾之声,怕它也许从我的巢中听到了。我的一天并不是一个个星期中的一天,它没有用任何异教的神祗来命名,也没有被切碎为小时的细末子,也没有因滴答的钟声而不安;因为我喜欢像印度的普里人,据说对于他们,“代表昨天,今天和明天的是同一个字,而在表示不同的意义时,他们一面说这个字一面做手势,手指后面的算昨天,手指前面的算明天,手指头顶的便是今天。”在我的市民同胞们眼中,这纯粹是懒惰;可是,如果用飞鸟和繁花的标准来审判我的话,我想我是毫无缺点的。人必须从其自身中间找原由,这话极对。自然的日子很宁静,它也不责备他懒惰。

  我的生活方式至少有这个好处,胜过那些不得不跑到外面去找娱乐、进社交界或上戏院的人,因为我的生活本身便是娱乐,而且它永远新奇。这是一个多幕剧,而且没有最后的一幕。如果我们常常能够参照我们学习到的最新最好的方式来过我们的生活和管理我们的生活,我们就绝对不会为无聊所困。只要紧紧跟住你的创造力,它就可以每一小时指示你一个新的前景。家务事是愉快的消遣。当我的地板脏了,我就很早起身,把我的一切家具搬到门外的草地上,床和床架堆成一堆,就在地板上洒上水,再洒上湖里的白沙,然后用一柄扫帚,把地板刮擦得干净雪白:等到老乡们用完他们的早点,太阳已经把我的屋子晒得够干燥,我又可以搬回去;而这中间我的沉思几乎没有中断过。这是很愉快的,看到我家里全部的家具都放在草地上,堆成一个小堆,像一个古普赛人的行李,我的三脚桌子也摆在松树和山核桃树下,上面的书本笔墨我都没有拿开。它们好像很愿意上外边来,也好像很不愿意给搬回屋里去。有时我就跃跃欲试地要在它们上面张一个帐篷,我就在那里就位。太阳晒着它们是值得一看的景致,风吹着它们是值得一听的声音,熟稔的东西在户外看到比在室内有趣得多。小鸟坐在相隔一枝的桠枝上,长生草在桌子下面生长,黑莓的藤攀住了桌子脚;松实,栗子和草莓叶子到处落满。它们的形态似乎是这样转变成为家具,成为桌子,椅子,床架的,——因为这些家具原先曾经站在它们之间。

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