散文翻译:席慕蓉·《时间》

摘要

On Time

On Time

Xi Murong

 

A pot of cooked rice, if left out overnight, will become a bit dry because of loss of water. On the third day, it may not taste as good; and on the fourth day, as you’ll discover, it becomes sour. If kept even longer, it will surely get mouldy.

 

Why? What has made this happen?

 

It is time.

 

However, there is another story about it. In Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, young parents brew a kind of wine with rice and store it underground in jars when they have a daughter. When the girl grows to the age of marriage, the wine is used to entertain guests at the wedding banquet. So it is given a fascinating name Nü Er Hong, literally “Daughter Red”.

 

What turns the ordinary grains of rice into good wine?

 

The answer is also time.

 

Is time a benevolent magician, or a wicked witch? It is neither. It only serves as a multiplier, which makes the original number increase by several times. When cooked rice begins to go bad, it will become worse with each passing day; however, when it begins to turn into wine, it will become mellower minute by minute.

 

Our society has witnessed how naïve and innocent young men become detestable villains: once they begin to degenerate morally, they sink deeper and deeper into the mire of sin and cannot get out. Yet for those in constant pursuit of kindness, time is a factor that makes them wiser and more mature, ever more ready to extend warmth and understanding to the people around them.

 

Cooked rice may grow mouldy, yet it may also turn into good wine. What is it that makes the difference? It is the tiny bit of yeast mixed in.

 

We were all born to be human, yet some sink as low as beasts and some attain perfection of character. What again makes the difference? It is the desire for truth, kindness and beauty so dearly cherished in our hearts.

 

In which way do you want time to produce its effect on you? It all depends on what you expect of yourself.

 

(李运兴 译)

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  • 版权声明 本文源自 英文巴士 整理 发表于 2019年12月12日20:20:10