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瞬间之美

作者: admin来源: 网络文章 时间: 2016-10-28

My morning routine varies little from day to day. I walk the dog, eat breakfast at the kitchen counter with Katie and Matt, then settle in for a day at the computer. And because I work mostly from home, I have learned that little forays into the outside world are imperative for psychological well-being. So before I begin attempting to put sentences together, I stroll over to a quirky little coffee shop in my neighborhood, chat with the folks behind the counter, and get a large coffee to go. No sugar. No cream.

每天早上,我都要做这样几件事:遛一阵小狗,坐在厨房餐桌前陪妻子卡蒂和儿子马特吃早餐,然后对着电脑,一头扎进写作天地中。天天如是,无甚变化。由于主要在家里工作,我很明白时不时到外边的世界“闯荡”一下对自己保持良好的心态有多么重要。因此,在推敲词句着笔成文之前,我会散步去附近一间风格奇特的小咖啡店,和店里的伙计们聊聊天,然后带回一大杯咖啡——不加糖、不加奶的那一种。

The coffee shop is on the other side of the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal from my house. In season, a mule-drawn barge is docked there, and tourists line up to take a slow boat, if not to [en]China, at least into the 19th century. The men who work the boat wear what canal workers might have worn back then-broad-brimmed straw hats and suspenders that pull their scratchy-looking pants high above their boots.

离我家不远的地方就是历史悠久的切萨皮克—俄亥俄运河,那间小咖啡店就座落在运河对岸。每逢旺季,便有一条用骡子拖拽的驳船停靠在河边,游客们会排起长队等着乘坐一艘慢悠悠的小船,即使不像驶往古老的中国,至少也像是要驶回19世纪的昔日时光。船上的工人穿着只有当年运河船工们才有的行头:宽边草帽和吊带裤。那吊带把他们那看起来粗糙的裤子高高吊起,露出他们的靴子。

One warm day last fall, I was on my morning outing when I turned the corner to see one of the men sitting alone on the boat, bathed in early-morning light. He was playing a tiny accordion, the kind such canal men squeezed as they floated down the inland waterways of a westward-expanding America. The sound was both melancholy and sweet. It was as if he were alone in the universe. The scene stopped me in my tracks. What I witnessed could only be described as a perfect moment. Ten seconds at most. But months later I still remember just standing there, watching, listening, taking it all in.

去年秋天里的一天,风和日丽,我还和平常一样一早外出溜达。刚转过街口,我一眼就看见那条船。船上没有别人,只有一个船工静静地坐着,沐浴着晨曦。他正在船上拉着小手风琴。当年的运河船工正是这样,抚琴驾舟,沿着这条古老的内陆河道向美国西部航行。琴声忧郁而甜美,仿佛整个宇宙只有他一人。此情此景,令我情不自禁停了下来。我所看到的这个情景只能用“完美时刻”来描述!不过十秒的时光。可数月后,我仍清楚地记得当时自己就站在那里,注视着,倾听着,把一切都刻印在脑海中。

We all have such moments put before us. Little surprises. Whether we're wise enough to see them is another thing.

我们都曾经历过类似的时刻。小小的惊喜。不过,我们是否都具有发现这种瞬间之美的智慧,则是另外一回事。

I thought of the accordion man Sunday afternoon while reading the biographies of those killed in the Columbia tragedy. Mission specialist Laurel Clark, talking from the shuttle a few days before it was to land, said she was delighted by the simple unexpected wonders of space. Like a sunset. “There's a flash; the whole payload bay turns this rosy pink,” she said. “It only lasts about 15 second and then it's gone. It's very ethereal and extremely beautiful.” A moment not lost on her.

一个周日的下午,当我阅读有关哥伦比亚号航天飞机事故中丧生的宇航员的传记时,我的脑海中又浮现出那个船工在演奏手风琴的情景。执行那次飞行任务的女专家劳雷尔?克拉克,在哥伦比亚号着陆前的几天,曾从飞船上发回讲话,她说能有幸看见太空中那些意想不到的自然奇观令她非常开心。比如日落。“有一道闪光,整个有效载荷舱被晕染成了玫瑰红,”她说,“这仅仅持续了15秒就消失了。过程神奇非凡且美艳绝伦。”她没有错过这一瞬间。

In The Hour Meryl Streep and Ed Harris recall a moment they shared years before at a beach house on Cape Cod. It was nothing more than him watching her walk out into the early-morning light. But for that moment, everything was right with their world, everything was possible, everything aligned. They agreed it was the happiest they had ever been.

在电影《时时刻刻》里,梅丽尔?斯特里普和埃德?哈里斯回忆起多年前他们俩在科德角上的那间沙滩小屋里共度的时光。也就是他看着她走出小屋,走进晨曦的一幕。就在那一刻,在他们的两人世界里,一切都正好,一切都变得可能,处处是生机。他们都认为,那是他们一生中最幸福的时刻。

And in last month's issue of her magazine, Oprah Winfrey confessed to a “moment” she had last summer. It was a walk down a Santa Barbara lane, a hummingbird and the smell of orange blossoms. She said it was one of those rare times she could say she was truly happy.

奥普拉?温弗瑞在她上个月出刊的杂志中提到,去年夏天她也有过一次美妙的“时刻”。那一刻她正走在圣巴巴拉市的一条小巷子里,猛然间看见一只蜂鸟,和着一阵扑面而来的橘子花香。她说,这是她一生中难得的几次让她真正感到幸福的时刻之一。

I once had a friend who had an odd habit that never ceased to amuse me, maybe because I never quite knew when she was going to spring it on me. It could be while sitting quietly at the end of a dock on Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. Or it could come in the middle of a particularly lively dinner with old friends. Out of the blue, she'd say, “Stop! I want to remember this moment.”

我曾有一个朋友,她有个怪习惯,对此我总觉得很好笑,或许是因为我始终没法料到她的怪癖会在什么时候发作。或许在我们静静地坐在阿迪朗达克山下舒伦湖边的码头边上之时,或许在和老朋友那次尤其热闹的聚餐之时。每每在这样的时刻,她会突然说道:“停一下!我要记住这一刻!”

I realize now, after her death, what wise advice that is.

她去世以后,我才明白到,那是多么明智的建议啊。

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