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经典美文:愿望小径

发表时间:2011/3/11字号:T|T
Thearchitecturalterm,pathwaysofdesire,referstodirtruts1inthegrassthatpeoplemakewhentheywantashortcutbetweenprescribedroutes.Ifyouhaveayard,youprobablyhaveatleastafewofthem.Iliveonafarm,andwehavedozens...
      The architectural term,pathways of desire, refers to dirt ruts1 in the grass that people make when they want a shortcut between prescribed routes. If you have a yard, you probably have at least a few of them. I live on a farm, and we have dozens. The path between the doghouse and the porch, the tight corner around the house on the south side, horse trails, the line between one gate and the next.I’m a firm believer in protecting pathways of desire, but I believe we have to be careful of them too.
  “愿望小径”是个建筑学上的术语,它是指人们希望在规定路线间建立一条捷径时在草地上踩出的一条条土痕。如果你有庭院,那院子里可能至少也得有几条这种小径。我住在一个农场里,那里有许多许多——犬舍到门廊间的小径、房子南面紧贴墙角的转弯处的小道、马匹踩出来的土痕,还有从一扇门到下一扇门之间的小路。我深信,我们应该保护这种打破规矩的开创行为,但我也相信,我们必须谨慎对待它们。
 
      On one hand, I hate rules. I’m pretty creative about finding ways around them, and I always think twice about thwarting2 those of others. I respect desire in my children and in the animals on my farm. Their pathways look, to me, likeindividual choices, and I respect those. But my respect is double-edged because pathways of desire can also lead us into trouble.
  一方面,我不喜欢循规蹈矩,而会很有创造性地寻找其他方法,在阻止别人的这种“创造性”时,我会考虑再三。我尊重我的孩子和农场里动物们的愿望,对我来说,他们脚下走出的小径就像是他们个人的选择——我也尊重这些选择。但另一方面,我的这种尊重是把双刃剑,因为愿望小径还可能给我们带来麻烦。
 

     Lately a pathway of desire has led our horses across what are supposed to be impassable barriers, the cattle guards3. They want to come into our yard to eat green grass and apples off the trees before the family can.I understand this desire, even though I feed them bales of hay every day, and it ought to be enough. Well, Saturday night, our oldest horse fell while leaping the cattle guard and broke his hip. We had to put him down4 and have his carcass5 hauled away. The other horses watched the drama unfold. Did they learn anything? No. Today, they’re back in the yard.
  不久前,一条愿望小径将农场的马引到了沟栅的外面——它们本该无法跨过这道屏障的。它们想溜到我们的院子里吃青草,并抢在我们之前把苹果从树上弄下来吃掉。尽管我每天都喂它们一捆捆的干草——它们吃这东西应该是足够了——我还是很理解它们这种愿望。唉,周六夜里,我们最老的一匹马在跃过沟栅时跌了一跤摔断了骨盆。我们只能帮它结束生命,然后将尸体拖走。其他的马目睹了这一悲剧的发生。它们学到了什么吗?没有——今天它们又到院子里来了。

  Thwarting pathways of desire is a constant concern of planners and architects and farmers, too.I’m going to have to pull out and enlarge our cattle guards, excavate deeply under them, paint them bright yellow, and pull a strand of electric fence across them until the horses understand that their pathway of desire isn’t available to them anymore. This is hard for me. It goes against my nature, but sometimes I need to modify my belief based on what I’ve learned.
  遏制愿望小径的产生不光是设计师和建筑师长久以来心头的困扰,对农夫们也是如此。我只能打算着将沟栅拔出来加大间隙,将沟栅下面的沟接着深挖,把沟栅涂成明黄色(黄色是警告色),在上面再拉上一张电网,直到那些马明白,它们的愿望小径再也走不通为止。对我来说这样做很难,因为这与我的天性相悖。但有时候,我需要根据教训修改自己的信念。
 
      I realize that as a mother, a farmer, and wife, I sometimes must go along with the rules.For instance, my husband and I disagree on a lot, religion, politics. We don’t like the same music.While our pathways of desire might breach6 our relationship,we put up a cattle guard, and we stay obediently on our own sides.It mostly works.
  作为一位母亲、一名农夫和一个妻子,我意识到,有时候我必须要按照规矩做事。举个例子,我和我丈夫在宗教、政治等很多事儿上都持不同见解,我们喜欢的音乐也不同,但这样一来,我们各自的愿望小径就有可能破坏我们的关系。因此我们设下一个沟栅,各自老实地待在自己那一边。多数情况下这样都管用。
 
  Boundaries are necessary sometimes. Enforcing them takes a lot more effort than it ought to.I believe you have to choose your pathway of desire with care. Get it wrong and the consequences might be fatal. My old horse and I learned this the hard way.
  有时候,划分界限是有必要的,但执行起来却比预料中还要费力。我认为你得小心选择你的愿望小径,如果选错了,那后果可能会是致命的。我和我的老马都付出了惨痛的代价才明白这一点。
 
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