Saturday, March 13, 2010

Answers of Travel / 旅行的答案




圖攝於北京,2010年春 / photos taken in Beijing, spring, 2010
「是因為缺乏想像力,所以我們來到想像中的境地,而不是待在家?」

“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come to imagined places, not just stay at home?”

依麗莎白畢夏普在「旅行之問」詩中,提出了這個問題。我讀這首詩十年了,讀了又忘,忘了又讀,沒辦法旅行的時候讀,旅行之後要回到地面上也讀,總是有不能領會的地方,可是隨著每次旅行,漸漸地越來越能夠投射個人經驗,因而對這首詩作我自己的詮釋。

Elizabeth Bishop came up with this question at the end of her poem—Questions of Travel. I’ve read the poem for ten years. I read and forget, forget and read. I read it when I can’t afford to travel. I also read it after coming back from a trip. I don’t always understand what Bishop was trying to say, but with every journey, I seem to be able to project my personal experiences onto the lines and bring forth my unique interpretation.

去了北京之後,我對其中的一段突然很有感觸:

After returning from Beijing, I found myself nodding my head like crazy when reading the following stanza:

想想回家的漫漫長路。
我們當初是不是應該待在家而不是想著這裡?
我們今天應該在哪裡呢?
我們在這最陌生的劇院裡看著台上表演的陌生人,
這樣對嗎?
當我們還有一口氣,我們卻堅決地趕到地球的另一端迎接太陽,
這算是幼稚嗎?
或著只為了看一眼世界上最迷你的蜂鳥?
或著只為了盯著某個我們無法了解的老舊石刻,
怎麼看都超過我們的理解力,
但是一看到總是,總是會讓我們心情美好?
我們可以作著夢,並且一邊實現它們嗎?
我們還有空間容納另一個折起來的暖暖的日落嗎?

Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room,
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

在公車上讀這一段時,後面的小姐正好對她的同事描述某年夏天為了追逐雷鳥去到黑部立山的經驗,我一面讀著詩,一面想像載著她的巴士在山間蜿蜒,穿過黑暗的隧道,只為了親眼見識某種鳥類。

It was an amazing coincidence that while I was reading these charming words on the bus, the lady sitting behind me was recounting to her colleague how she traveled all the way to Kuroyon, Japan one summer just for a glimpse at a kind of bird. I read and envisioned a bus taking her on the meandering roads in the mountains, racing through dark tunnels, going higher and higher.

但如果我們沒有看到這條路旁的樹木,
被過度誇大的美,
沒看到他們像高貴的啞劇演員穿著粉紅色的戲服比手畫腳,
我們肯定會感到遺憾。

But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.

這幾句話立刻讓我想到下雪過後的北京街頭,巧克力色的樹枝上覆蓋著一層白色雪糕,當下看只是覺得很可口,旅行結束之後,回憶果然過度誇大它們的美麗,但我心甘情願地活在充滿光環的幻覺中。

These lines reminded me of the streets in Beijing after one snowy night. The dark brown trunks and branches were evenly covered with a layer of cream-colored snow. At first sight they looked like yummy chocolate and vanilla ice cream to me. Now when I think back, my memories do over-romanticize their looks. But you know what? I am more than willing to live in their exaggerated beauty.

經過了這麼多年的旅行,我覺得自己可以回答畢夏普的問題了,我不是因為缺乏想像力才出走。儘管我有想像力,我不能只住在一個人的世界裡,旅行提供各種思維的角度,讓我們知道,我們只是一小粒沙,但是我們可以選擇不同於旅行前的觀點,當一小粒快樂的沙。想像力可以帶人飛翔,卻也可能困住我們,可是旅行中我們不得不和各種人有交集,這是現實的挑戰,但每一步都真實地發生,所以如果出發前我的心浮浮躁躁的,旅途中我會沉澱下來;還有,旅行前的我太過高估我自己,把自己想得太了不起,可我不就是個凡人,離開一趟,我可以坦然地面對我的極限,心無芥蒂地放手。這些都不是想像力能替我解決的。

After having traveled for so many years, I think I am qualified to answer Bishop’s question: No, I do not travel because of lack of imagination. I am not totally without it, but I can’t live in my small abode. Traveling offers all perspectives, and it constantly gives us a reminder that we are just tiny specks of sands. However, if we choose a viewpoint different from the previous one, we can be happy specks of sands. Imagination equips us with wings, but it might trap us if we fail to find a way out of the twists and turns. In comparison, we are forced to interact more or less with real people on a journey, which is a very realistic challenge. But the good thing is that every step is a true story. Therefore, if I leave in an impetuous mood, I’ll get to cool down along the way. Most important of all, I tend to overestimate myself before departing, believing I am capable of changing others’ life. Staying away for a while humbles me so that I can face my limits with an understanding attitude and eventually let go. Imagination cannot do these for me.

下次若聽到我對你說:去旅行吧!不是我在敷衍,而是人和人之間有時需要點距離,我們和生活也是如此。

Next time if I say to you, “Go on a trip!”, I am not being perfunctory. It’s just that sometimes distance is necessary not only between people but also between us and our lives.

6 comments:

Caredvil said...

I want to follow you
but i dont know how!!

miragee said...

Do you mean follow my lifestyle or my blog?

Anonymous said...

I feel like the distance between people is really important.if people get too close ,they can't even see each other clearly.That's what i've learned recently,and i am not regretted of anything i did.It's somehow an improvement.




by calm prince

miragee said...

But I hope distance won't lead to estrangement!

Anonymous said...

i found out some signs that i also have some problems dealing with friends myself...i guess i want to be quiet for a while miss you =( so please dont ask me what happened in class.i feel like being invicible these days...but thanks for your trying to help,i'll fix the problem by myself.

miragee said...

OK, I have faith in you. I hope a break will lead to something better, say, a new balance!