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毛毛虫怎样才能到达大海另一头?

更新时间:2015-11-16 18:21:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Will a caterpillar ever be able to reach the other side of the sea?
毛毛虫怎样才能到达大海另一头?

“Will a caterpillar ever be able to reach the other side of the sea?”

“毛毛虫怎样才能到达大海另一头?”

“Yes, if metamorphosis turns it into a butterfly.”

“变成蝴蝶飞过去。”

But from the moment the iron bird landed in the roaring noise of Logan Airport with its wings proudly spread, my wings withered quietly in this unfamiliar country.

然而,当我乘坐的那只铁鸟骄傲地展着双翼,在轰鸣声中降落在洛根机场时,我的翅膀却在这陌生的国家悄然萎缩了。

“I think...I don’t know...I just want to say...” My voice trailed off into the clamor of the grand dining hall of Deerfield Academy, my face paralyzed from smiling, nobody listening.

“我觉得......我不知道......我只想说......”在Deerfield Academy华丽的食堂的喧嚣声中,我的声音被淹没了;我的脸因强笑而僵硬。没人在听。

“Time is up!” Soft as it was, the firm voice of my English teacher exploded in my head. My hands trembling, sweaty and cold fingers could hardly hold the pen in position, under which lay an unfinished in­class essay about the significance of a passage from James Joyce’s Ulysses.

“时间到了!”英语老师轻声却不容置疑地说道。我的脑子嗡地一响,湿冷的手指险些握不住笔。笔下是一篇尚未完成的作文,题目是《尤利西斯》的段落分析。

Bewildered and frustrated, I found myself able to raise my head, like most of the Asian students, only in math class.

在迷惑与沮丧之中,我如同许多亚裔学生一样,只能在数学课时寻找安慰。

“Helen, what is your name in Chinese?” Rosie, a girl with pink cheeks, asked me one morning as I dropped my back pack onto the seat next to her.

“Helen,你的中文名字是什么?”坐在我旁边有着粉色脸颊的Rosie在我放下书包时问道。

“Gao Yuxin”, I pronounced clearly in standard Chinese, slightly startled by the spontaneity of the question. “Why?”

"Gao Yuxin."我用清晰的中文回答,对问题感到有些意外。“怎么了?”

“Just interested. Can you write it there?” She pointed at the board.

“好奇而已。你能写在这里吗?”她指了指白板。

I printed my name in Chinese characters “高雨莘” in the center of the board.

我在白板中央一笔一画地用汉字写下“高雨莘”。

The class fell into silence. I turned and faced the questioning eyes, which reminded me of an American idiom I had learned in English class in China: “It’s all Dutch to me.”

课堂陷入安静。我转过身,面对着询问的眼神,想起了一个我在中国时学过的英文习语:"It’s all Dutch to me."

“Yuxin (雨莘) is my first name. Yu (雨) means ‘to rain’ or ‘to give rain’ and ‘xin’ means ‘many’. ‘To give rain to the many’ stands for my parents’ hope that I can nourish and...and bring joy to the many people around me.”

“‘雨莘’是我的名字,‘雨’的意思是‘下雨’或‘使下雨’,‘莘’的意思是‘许多’,我父母希望我能‘为许多人带来雨’——为我周围的人带来快乐和帮助。”

Mild laughter, even one or two whistles rose from the silence. “Wow.” “Cool!”

安静中响起几声轻笑和口哨声。“Wow!”“Cool!”

“But I am new.” I murmured, “I think I need your help more than you need mine...” intimidated by the stillness in the air and the amusement in my classmates’ eyes.

“不过我是新来的,”我小声说,在教室的一片寂静中和同学饶有兴趣的眼神下感到有些紧张。“比起你们,我可能更需要帮助......”

“So, what are the four little dots in the character ‘rain’?” Rosie asked.

“那么,雨字中间的四个点是什么意思?”Rosie问道。

“They are rain drops.”

“是雨点。”

“What if I put eight dots in it?”

“如果我点八个点呢?”

“Hmm...Big rain, then.” I answered, suppressing the laugh jumping into my throat.

“那就是大雨的意思,”我回答道,抑制住喉咙中想笑的冲动。

“Really! That’s funny!”

“真的?太逗了。”

“Just kidding!” escaped my lips.

“开玩笑的,”脱口而出。

A slight trace of puzzlement clouded Rosie’s face.

一丝困惑划过Rosie的脸庞。

“Hahahaha!” No longer could I restrain the laughter. Three seconds later the whole class joined in.

“哈哈哈!”我忍不住大笑起来。几秒钟后整个课堂跟着笑起来。

Now, Rosie, reddened with embarrassment, indeed resembled a peony in full bloom.

Rosie的脸因尴尬而变得通红,如同一朵盛开的牡丹。

For the first time since my arrival to the school, I laughed with such abandon, and my old ease, as Grandma said, with which fish swims in water. The Deerfield river, not the Yangtze River, but the same fish.

那是我来到这所学校后第一次笑得如此自在。如同我奶奶说的:如鱼得水。由长江来到Deerfield河,还是同一条鱼。

Helen Keller, after whom I named myself in English—a privilege reserved for most Asian students coming West—miraculously managed to communicate with the world and “nourished the many” despite her loss of vision and hearing. From the moment she learned her first word—“water”— by feeling the flow of the cold stream running from a tap across her fingers, she had taken her first step into the human river.

我和其他来西方留学的亚洲学生一样,有幸能够为自己选择英文名。我的英文名来自于海伦·凯勒(Helen Keller)。尽管她又聋又瞎,却仍能与世界交流,奇迹般地为他人带来帮助。她用手指去感觉自来水管中流出的冷水,学会了她的第一个单词——“水”。从那一刻起,她踏进了人类的长河。

More than a century later, a little golden fish, who used to imagine herself as a butterfly that had flown across the ocean, is just starting her journey across the real Pacific Ocean.

一个多世纪后,一条小金鱼明白了自己不是一夜之间能够化茧成蝶飞过海洋的毛毛虫。它游过太平洋的漫漫旅程才刚刚开始。

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