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Coyote Goes Round the Bend试译2

(2010-05-31 00:12:10)


分类: 翻译

The ritual reading of the Sunday newspaper, now two of them, can take all morning, still beginning with the funnies. I am also the chef for the family’s traditional Sunday breakfast. For twenty years I have prepared a steady supply of Dad’s special Sunday pancakes topped with melted butter and yogurt and fruit and pure grade A amber maple syrup, not ersatz. Plus thick-sliced, home-smoked bacon. Plus freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh ground coffee. The family’s mouths water every Sunday morning like Pavolv’s dogs. So does mine. How can I stop now?

I can. These days the little Coyotes are now quire big, and love to sleep late. For them, Saturday night has eclipsed Sunday morning in ritual importance. Breakfast is now brunch. Great. I can sneak out.

I almost made it two weeks ago. Having read the paper and brewed the coffee while the family slept, I tiptoed out the back door toward the 10:30 a.m. service. In the garage, the sight of my daughter’s bicycle reminded me that today was the annual neighborhood festival, started by my wife years before. The parade begins at noon! Aiee!! I dashed back inside and woke up everybody up. Quick, we need to decorate bicycles and prepare for the parade!

Last Sunday looked free for sure. Then the phone rang. My friend bill. What? You mean you have two extra tickets to the Packers-Vikings game on Sunday? My home town team against my adopted Vikings? My son, a Viking zealot who normally can’t get out of bed till noon, will leap for this one! My sons and I have a powerful bounding experience through the rich ritual of fall football, despite our divided football loyalties.

So my attempted forays past the existing obligatory rings are mostly unsuccessful. Something always seems to come up. These are the facts of this stage of my life.

But as I contemplate the long slow fall of a stone through deep water, I am gaining some perspective. Clearly a life, however complicated and joyful, I sonly a ripple in a pool.

And I want to reach deeper into it. At least drag my fingers in the water. Feel the coolness. Taste the quiet. Do so without giving my yearning a name that will kill it, yet giving it enough of a vocabulary to recognize where in the quiet I am, where we all may be.

Where should I reach? I am fascinated by the Hopi of the American Southwest with their carefully balanced ceremonial cycles and the Cheyenne of the Northern Plains with their medicine wheel understanding and enlightened vision quests. I think those who dance round the moon to Wiccan goddesses have tapped a profound and liberating tradition. Judaism, with its passage of the Torah from generation to generation in an unbroken line across two millennia, fills me with awe and admiration. Zen Buddhism, with its discipline of meditation and its perplexing koan riddles, seems powerfully enlightening. On and on go the alternatives, certainly as good as the old Congregationalist one, maybe better. But I am not envious of any of them. One has to learn it in the bones. Which means the quietness I find in my old childhood church.

I badly want my children to join me there, even if they have to sulk up off the floor to discover the stillness. I do force them to attend, over their increasingly less bitter complaints, three times a year: Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. I know they will thank me for that at least when they are older.

As for the weekly ritual, my renewed commitment is too late for them, or too early. They will have to find their own still place. Perhaps they can do so without the Sunday morning bouncing ball memories I have. Perhaps they will find a fulfilling way to dance by the light of the moon. Or perhaps the Sunday morning rustle of newspapers and smell of maple syrup and frying bacon and family and neighborhood festivities will be enough. But I don’t think so.

When I sensed that these textures and tastes weren’t enough for me, when I wanted to find that still place inside me, I knew where to look. I went to the one place where I knew in my bones when to sit quietly, and when to stand and sing.














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