生活的艺术 The Art of Living

2021年1月30日
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生活的艺术 The Art of Living

The art of living is to know when to hold fast and when to let go. For life is a paradox: it enjoins us to cling to its many gifts even while it ordains their eventual relinquishment. The rabbis of old put it this way: “A man comes to this world with his fist clenched, but when he dies, his hand is open.”

生活的艺术在于懂得何时应该紧紧抓住,何时应该放弃。因为生活就是个矛盾体:它要我们紧紧抓住它赐予我们的生命之礼,但同时又注定了我们对这些赐予的最终放弃。老一辈犹太学者如是说:“人们紧握着拳头来到这个世界上,离开这个世界时却摊开了双手。”

Surely we ought to hold fast to life, for it is wondrous, and full of a beauty that breaks through every pore of God's own earth. We know that this is so, but all too often we recognize this truth only in our backward glance when we remember what was and then suddenly realize that it is no more.

当然,我们应该紧紧把握生活,因为它美妙得不可思议,充满了美——上帝创造的大地的每一个空间都充斥着至美。我们都清楚这一点,但我们常常只有在回首往事时才明白这个道理,然后突然意识到过去永远地消逝了。

We remember a beauty that faded, a love that waned. But we remember with far greater pain that we did not see that beauty when it flowered, that we failed to respond with love when it was tendered.

我们追忆逝去的美丽,残缺的爱情。但更令我们痛苦的是繁花盛开时,我们却没有发现;爱意正浓时,我们却没有回应。

A recent experience re-taught me this truth. I was hospitalized following a severe heart attack and had been in intensive care for several days. It was not a pleasant place.

最近的一次经历再次令我悟出了这其中的道理。因为严重的心脏病发作我住进医院,接受了几天的重症特别护理。那可不是个好地方。

One morning, I had to have some additional tests. The required machines were located in a building at the opposite end of the hospital, so I had to be wheeled across the courtyard on a gurney.

一天早上,我需要进行几项辅助检查。检测用的设备安置在医院的另一头,因此我只好躺在装有轮子的病床上,被推着穿过庭院到那里去。

As we emerged from our unit, the sunlight hit me. That's all there was to my experience just the light of the sun. And yet how beautiful it was—how warming, how sparkling, how brilliant! I looked to see whether anyone else relished the sun's golden glow, but everyone was hurrying to and fro, most with eyes fixed on the ground. Then I remembered how often I, too, had been indifferent to the grandeur of each day, too preoccupied with petty and sometimes even mean concerns to respond from that experience is really as commonplace as was the experience itself: life's gifts are precious—but we are too heedless of them.

在我从病房里出来的一瞬,阳光暖暖地洒在我身上,我所感受的只有阳光。它是那么的美丽,那么的温暖,那么的耀眼,那么的灿烂!我想看看还有没有人也在享受这金色的阳光,但是却发现每个人的双眼都只顾着盯在地上,来去匆匆。我就想起过去我也总是漠然面对壮丽的每一天,脑子里装满了琐碎的甚至是私心杂念。从这次的经历中我所洞悉的实际应像这个经历本身一样并无什么奇特之处:生活的恩赐是珍贵的——只是我们对此留心甚少。

Here then is the first pole of life's paradoxical demands on us: Never too busy for the wonder and the awe of life; be reverent before each dawning day; embrace each hour; seize each golden minute.

而这就是生活给我们的第一个“荒谬”的真理:不要太执着于生命的奇迹和敬畏。虔诚对待每个黎明,拥抱每个小时,抓紧珍贵的每分每秒。

Hold fast to life but not so fast that you cannot let go. This is the second side of life's coin, the opposite pole of its paradox: We must accept our losses, and learn how to let go.

紧紧把握人生,但不要抓得过死,以致你放不下手。生活像硬币一样也有另一面,也是生活矛盾的另一端:我们必须接受放弃,并且学会如何放手。

This is not an easy lesson to learn, especially when we are young and think that the world is ours to command, that whatever we desire with the full force of our passionate being can, may, will, be ours. But then life moves along to confront us with realities, and slowly but surely this truth dawns upon us.

学习放弃可不是一件容易的事,特别是当我们还年轻的时候,我们以为世界都是可以被我们征服的,只要我们想要,并全力以赴去争取,我们就能得到,而且一定可以得到。但是生活仍在继续,把现实一一带到我们面前,慢慢地使我们明白这样一个道理。

At every stage of life we sustain losses—and grow in the process. We begin our independent lives only when we emerge from the womb and lose its protective shelter. We enter a progression of schools, then we leave our mothers and fathers and our childhood homes. We get married and have children and then have to let them go. We confront the death of our parents and our spouses. We face the gradual or not so gradual waning of our strength. And ultimately, as the parable of the open and closed hand suggests, we must confront the inevitability of our own demise, losing ourselves as it were, all that we were or dreamed to be.

在人生的每个阶段我们都要承受失去——并在这样的过程中成长。我们刚从母体中出来,就失去了母体这个庇护所,并开始了我们的独立生活。我们上了一级一级的学校,然后离开父母和儿时的家。我们结婚生子,然后看着他们离去。我们得面对父母、爱人的离去。最后,如松手和握拳的比喻所示,我们不得不面对自己的死亡,失去我们自己或梦想的自己。

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