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【名篇背诵】第08篇: 办公室里的垂钓者(理查德.萨蒙)  

2016-06-16 08:57:07|  分类: 【英语】阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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I Do a Lot of Office Fishing

Some years ago, I started to look at the stars through high-powered binoculars and began reading books written by astronomers for people like me. I became an entranced stargazer for a while.

The men who have learned as much as we know about the universe point out that the sun is an insignificant, moderately hot star in a nebula where it is fixed. The Milky Way, which I have always wanted to spell “w-h-e-y,” is composed of our brothers and sisters, and we are all moving around a central hub. And the hub is moving toward some place, I don’t know where. My brothers and sisters are numbered in billions of billions, and our galaxy itself is one of many, many…how many, I don’t know.

Our sun is so small and our earth, its offspring, is so tiny that when I think of the magnitude, I think of what O. Henry described as a “Statue of What’s the Use.”

What difference does it make that I exist? What possible influence can I make, or my nation make, or a world make?

Where am I going on this ride and does it make any sense? Who’s the boss and what’s He got in mind?

That’s what I got to thinking…it’s all too big, too inevitable, too uncontrollable, and if I think about it with my eyes closed, it’s a pretty pessimistic picture.

Then one day I saw a hunting dog in the woods, an English setter flecked with black. His tail tangled with dock burs. This is a common occurrence to guys like me. I always want to stop and pull out the burs. But this time, out of nowhere, came the realization that this bounding, healthy dog was performing an important job: the job of transporting seeds that were constructed for the very purpose of hitchhiking. The fluff of milkweed sails on the wind to start a new colony miles from its original parent. This dog and its tangle of dock burs are all part of a plan. And so am I.

I believe the plan on this small, lonely earth is to make the best of it—a policy that is becoming increasingly more difficult as the number of human beings increases.

When I came to New York many years ago, I found that in big cities people live faster and decide things quicker than country folk. They have to, in order to survive in the struggle for existence.

Several times a week I slug it out with city dwellers for a place in the subway. They seem a bad lot. But when I pass a city dweller on a trout stream I find he’s just like other people. He’ll speak to me with interest, even warmth. He will ask me how many trout I’ve taken, what fly was successful. And I break down and tell him, and point out that perhaps the black gnat he’s using is too large.

I have tried to make the best of it by doing a lot of office fishing, some front porch fishing, and some quiet mulling about the magnificent things such as dock burs and remote stars. What’s more, I have found it fun; fun that has brought me a lot of happiness, a lot of contentment, and a lot of peace.

办公室里的垂钓者

 

几年前我开始用高倍望远镜观察星空,按自己的想法解释天文学家撰写的天文学入门读物。很快我就迷上了观星。

迄今为止人类对宇宙的探索表明太阳不过是星云中极为普通的一颗燃烧着的恒星。银河(我总想称其为“星河”)里有许多颗地球的姊妹星球,大家都围绕着同一个轴心旋转,而这个轴心又在向某个我不知道的地方移动。地球是银河系里亿万星球中的一颗,而银河系不过是许多星系中的一个。宇宙中到底有多少星系,我也说不清。

太阳在宇宙中是那么微小,太阳的孩子地球则更是微不足道,以至于我一想到地球的分量,就想起欧·亨利说过的那句话——“无用的化身”。

我的存在有何意义?我也好,我的民族也好,我的世界也好,我们的存在能起什么作用呢?

我生命的旅程向何处延伸,这个问题真的重要吗?是谁主宰着整个宇宙,他在想些什么呢?

这是我得思考的问题……一切都那样浩渺无边、无法避免、无法掌控。当我闭上双眼思考这一切时,脑海里便浮现出一幅令人相当悲观的画面。

有一天我在小树林里看见一只长着黑色斑点的英国种塞特猎犬,尾巴上缠着几根酸模芒刺。这种情况像我这样的人在森林里经常碰到,每次我都会停下来把刺拔掉。可这一次,不知道为什么,我突然意识到这只活蹦乱跳的猎狗身负着一个重要的使命:那就是把芒刺播撒到某个地方,这和司机让陌生人搭个便车是同一道理。芳草花凭借风力离开故土,飘向自己新的家园;而这几根芒刺靠的就是这只猎犬的尾巴。一切在冥冥中自有安排,我也是如此。

我相信微小而孤寂的地球应妥善处理自己的一切——这一原则随着人口增加而越来越难实现。

多年前我初到纽约之时,发现大都市里的生活和办事节奏远比小镇上要快。人们必须如此,方可在激烈的竞争中生存。

我一个星期要挤好几次地铁,满眼所见尽是面目可憎的都市人。但当我在溪边钓鳟鱼碰到一个城里人时,会发现他和其他人并无两样。他会饶有兴致、甚至十分热情地与我聊天,询问我的战果,或是请教关于鱼饵的问题。我也会停下来,提醒他那块黑蠓鱼饵可能得掰小点儿。

就这样,我努力妥善处理一切,在办公室和自家院子里都像在溪边垂钓时一样,多与同事或邻里交流,并常常静下心来体味世间伟大的万物,诸如那几根芒刺,又或是遥远的星辰。这样做乐趣无穷,且让我幸福,让我满足,让我能求得内心的宁静。


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