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人生之钥  之一 出生

(2011-08-09 11:28:55)
标签:

杂谈

分类: 文摘
Birth/出生

你听说过出生的神话吗?它所讲的并不是关于“你是谁”,它更像是一把帮助你解开“你认为自己是谁”的钥匙。
如果换一种出生状况,你都不会是现在的你。
哪怕,你是那个折磨了母亲三天三夜才出生的小家伙,以至于她发誓再也不生产,甚至后悔经历这一切……
或者,你是家族中期待已久的、上天赐予的宝贝,全家人都用欢呼庆祝你的降生;再或者,你是私通后的产物,是原本要被终止却未能成功的“错误”,是母亲耻辱的记号。
或者,你是家里10个孩子中的第7个,甚至没人注意到你的降临?你太不起眼,以至于家人都回忆不起来你儿时的样子了。
或者,是母亲经过了痛苦和煎熬后生下的、代表着胜利的产物?
它仅仅是一个寓言/神话;没有什么道理可循,但仍旧揭示出了很多关于你自己的感触。
现在,你知道出生的神话是什么意思了。问题是,你的故事又是怎样的呢?
1948年8月,在瑞典哥德堡(Gothenburg)的一家医院里,一个承受病痛的年轻医生躺在一间空空如也的屋子里,正在与白血病做着无望的、最后的斗争。
在他旁边守候的,是他的妻子,一个年轻、看起来像个学生一样的女子,但此时她已经怀孕9个月了。他们一直在等待——如同已经挨过的这最后7个月一样——等待着生和死。究竟谁会先来一步呢?是他们第三个孩子的到来,还是年轻医生的离开?
第二天,她没有照常来看他。他接到的是一个妇产科同事的电话:“恭喜你,你有了个女儿!”
没人知道他是从哪儿来的力气,他居然从床上爬了起来。当他走进房间时,妻子正在呵护刚来到世间的小生命,所有人看到他时,都惊住了。
他把孩子抱在怀中,就在那短暂的一刻,他们三个完全融为了一体,享受着稍纵即逝的欢喜。
“你会叫她安吗?”他摩挲着她的背说道,“安·玛格丽特·玛丽亚”。他知道自己再也见不到女儿第二眼了,此刻便是永久。
洗礼安排在他死后的第二天,唯一留下的,便是他给女儿起的那个名字。
这就是我来到世间的故事,这个故事是我从父亲那儿得到的遗产。我是他最后一个孩子。
我的邻居含泪靠在牛棚边。她看起来很疲惫,头发散乱,衣服上沾满了泥巴和血渍。
“我们的小牛死了,”她哭泣着对我说,“一个漂亮的小公牛,小蹄子、尾巴、耳朵和牙齿,一样也不少。”
小牛犊出生时有牙齿吗?我默问自己。我能体会她的痛苦,我也曾有一次在自己的牛棚边为一头夏罗莱小牛犊哭过,要不是兽医没来,它说不定还活着。我至今还记得它那金黄色的、健壮的身体;还记得当它的妈妈舔着小牛犊、期盼着它活过来时的那种眼神。
我的邻居哭得直不起身来,“多么美好的小生命啊,就这么埋了。”
我想起了她的先辈们——在爱尔兰的乡下生活的女人们,她们中的一些人现在还健在,由于没有必要的医疗措施,她们生下了许多死婴。这些孩子被男人们在寂静的黑夜里偷偷拿走埋了起来,埋在了一个个很快便杂草丛生或被遗忘的小小的坟墓里。
我想象着那些母亲的悲恸,那种灼人的痛苦和她们所承受的无人可以分担的无名之痛。“多么美好的小生命啊,就这么埋了。”
我在想,那些女人,是否也曾为小牛犊哭泣过呢?
我的生命中最痛苦的一次经历,是在一个早产婴儿房里度过的。看着那个小小的生命身上插着管子,挣扎在每一次艰难的呼吸中。
甚至有两次,他好像都已经放弃了,不得不接受抢救。医护人员都说,他们已经尽力,剩下的只能看他自己了。
而12个小时以前,他还好好的,舒适、安全地待在母亲的子宫里。现在却变成了这个样子,那么孤独。旁边的牌子上写着“勿碰”。他身体的各个部分不是插着针头就是跟仪器连着。只是,这都无法缓解他所经历的痛苦。
“他为什么还想活着呢?”我问护士,“是怎样的生命吸引力在让他这样苦苦支撑呢?”她笑了,说,“他拥有的是一个最好的开始,从他的角度看,事情只能越来越好。”
就在那时,太阳升起了:橘色的太阳升起在冬季的地平线上。一缕希望的光照在我刚刚出世的儿子身上,突然,他的呼吸似乎没那么艰难了。
天黑时,他已经脱离了危险,第一次平静地睡着了,似乎是在做梦,那会是一个怎样的梦呢,他居然笑出了声。
不久后,他就离开抢救室跟我们在一起了。除了痛苦,他还未曾经历任何其他感觉。这种隐秘的记忆让他一直都很开心,给了他面对生活的勇气,因为他明白痛苦的滋味。
生命是一段旅程,一段充满危险的发现之旅;我们必须无畏地度过每一次风浪和险阻,就如同那被岩石激起的浪花,越过障碍后依旧归于平静的大海。
但是,人们总是很轻易地就失去了信心,尤其是陷于新旧交替的当口时更是如此。
这时,我们必须想想凤凰——在逝去的灰烬中一次次地重生。要知道,你已经度过生命中最艰难的那一刻,这一想法会带给你安慰和勇气。
古人将每一次的危机都视作神赐:一种解放、重生。只要是能够帮助他们从黑暗走向光明的事物,就都是有益的。
甚至还有人认为,异常的苦难并不是对那些犯下滔天大罪的人的惩罚,而是上天给他所宠爱的少数人的一种恩赐,是对他们的考验。
回首过去,你应该也会发现,过去那些最痛苦的经历的确为你以后的生活撒下了美好的种子。
仔细品味一下过去岁月中的那些阴影吧,它们增加了生命的深度和意义;而同时,你也要向前方展望,展望那令人炫目的未知的世界。
你将会发现生命没有结局,只有开始。

Have you heard about the birth myth? It is supposed to hold the key, not so much to who you are, as to who you think you are.
The birth myth is the story you’ve been told about circumstances surrounding your birth.
It stands to reason that it makes a difference if you were born after three days of protracted labour, so agonising that your mother vowed never to bear another child, and never did…
Or if you were the long-awaited heir hailed as a gift from heaven, whose birth was celebrated in floods of champagne;or the unwanted fruit of a shameful illicit liaison, born after a failed termination, to your mother’s bitter grief.
Or perhaps you were the seventh out of  ten, who slipped into the world almost unnoticed? So insignificant, even your family can’t recall much about it.
Or a weakling saved against the odds amidst much tears and anguish: a triumph of life over affliction?
Often it is nothing but a myth; sometimes quite unfounded. But it still reveals a lot about your own perceptions.
Now you know what the birth myth is. The question is – what is yours?
August, 1948.  A hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. A young doctor, himself a patient, in a bare room, nearing the end of a losing battle against leukaemia.
Next to him, his wife: younger still, looking like a school-girl, except for the fact that she is nine months pregnant. They are waiting, as they have been waiting these last seven months, for life, for death. Which will arrive first? Will he ever see this child, their third?
The following day, she doesn’t arrive as usual. Instead there is a telephone call from his colleague in the maternity unit. “Congr-atulations! You have a daughter.”
Nobody knew where he found the strength to get up from his death-bed. He surprised them all as he entered the room, where his wife was nursing the new-born.
He took the baby in his arms, and for a short while they were together, the three of them, united by a sheer, ephemeral joy.
“Will you call her Ann?” he said, handing her back. “Ann Margareta Maria.” He knew he would never see his daughter again. This was the moment he’d been holding on for.
The baptism took place the day after his funeral. They gave her the names he had requested.
Such was my entry to life, the heritage I carry. He was my father. And I was his last-born child.
I found my neighbour in tears by her cattle-shed. She looked tired and dishevelled, her clothes were stained with mud and blood.
“We lost the calf,” she wept in answer to my question. “A fine bull calf. Everything was perfect. The little hooves, tail, ears; teeth and all.”
Are calves born with teeth? I asked myself but I didn’t say so. I sympathised with her sadness, having once shed a few tears myself over a Charolais calf still-born for no better reason than the vet being out of reach. I remember the sight of the strong muscular body in its golden hide. The uncomprehending look of the mother as she licked him, expecting life.
My neighbour was convulsed by a sob. “Such a beautiful creature – and only fit to be buried.”
I thought of her forebears: generations of women in rural Ireland, some of them still living, who gave birth to still-born children because they didn’t have access to the medical services they required. Their babies were taken away in the dead of night to be buried by the men in unconsecrated ground: secret little graves, soon overgrown and forgotten.
I imagined the depth of those mothers’ grief, the searing pain of loss; a nameless tragedy shared by no one. “Such beautiful creatures – and only fit to be buried.”
And I wondered, would those women have wept over a calf?
The closest I have ever come to the mystery of life: a Premature Baby Unit. Watching a tiny scrap of life in intensive care struggling in agony for each breath.
Twice already he has given up and had to be resuscitated. The staff say they can do no more. The rest is up to him.
Twelve hours ago he was safe from harm. Comfortable, secure, in the warm embrace of his mother’s womb. This is what he got instead. He is alone. A sign says ‘No Touching’. Each part of him is either punctured by a needle or attached to an instrument. Only his suffering cannot be treated.
“Why would he want to live?” I say to the nurse. “What attraction could life hold out to him?”  She smiles. “He’s getting the best possible start. From his point of view, things can only get better.”
At that moment, the sun rises: a big orange on the winter horizon. A ray of hope falls on my newborn son, and suddenly, his breathing seems less laboured.
By the end of the day, he is out of danger, sleeping for the first time peacefully. Dreaming, it appears – of what? Laughing out loud – why?
In the short time he’s been with us, he’s known nothing but pain. Yet some secret memory is keeping him amused; giving him the courage to take on this life, knowing the suffering it contains.
So – life is a journey, a hazardous voyage of discovery; and we must negotiate our passage past adversity and trauma, undaunted like a stream rippled by jagged rocks on its steady descent to the sea.
But it’s easy to lose heart; especially when you are caught in the bewildering limbo between the death of the old and the birth of the new.
That’s when we have to remember Phoenix, who rose, time and again, from the ashes of the past. Take comfort from the knowledge that we have bypassed the greatest peril of all: that of stagnation.
The ancients looked on each crisis as a blessing: a liberation, the enforced breaking of new ground. Favourable to them was anything that helped our progress from darkness to light.
There are even those who claim that extraordinary afflictions are not the punishment for extraordinary sins but the trial of extraordinary graces bestowed on a favoured few.
Looking back, you may  well agree that some of your worst experiences did in fact carry within them the seed of something good.
Relish the shadows you leave behind. They add depth and definition. For expansion, though, look forward: into the dazzling new dimension of the unknown.
You’ll see that there are no endings in life. Only beginnings.

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