中英双语:展翅高飞 ON WINGS OF FLIGHT

2014年底安娜申请大学时,有一个论文选题是:写一篇简短的个人陈述,描述一个你觉得完全满意的地方或环境,你在那里的经历,为什么它对你有特殊意义。

一转眼又过了两年多,现在女儿马上要满二十岁,进入人生的第三个十年!这是一件多么不可思议的事情。

我一边翻译这篇文章,一边感动这成长的过程,心里的感触似滔滔江水,也似潺潺小溪,载满了爱和留恋。

2014年3月 · 墨西哥克利马火山上空

展翅高飞

- 安娜 · 格罗,2014年12月,上海

哦! 我滑脱了地球那粗暴的捆绑

在笑声洒银的双翼上我飞舞着苍穹;

且,带着一颗沉默而高昂的内心

我踏上了这无人涉足之神圣高空,

- 伸出我的手,抚到了上帝的面容。

- 来自 “高飞” - 约翰·吉列斯比  (翻译:湘伟)

(后记:诗歌 High Flight 来自于在上海出生,19岁时死于飞行事故的飞行员诗人(小)约翰·吉列斯比 ;其父,美国神父约翰·吉列斯比,曾在南京大屠杀时拯救无数生命,并摄下许多南京大屠杀珍贵历史资料 。- 湘伟)

我慢慢地跟着队伍在客舱的走廊前行,我的身体蠕动着越过我的邻座,到了37B位;一听到自己安全带卡嚓扣上时那令人欣慰的声音,我的大脑一下子又回到了第一次单飞的情形。

那是一次飞到苏黎世的漫长的旅行。我八岁...... 盼望着去与我瑞士的家人一起度过圣诞假期。我抱着我那毛绒绒的小兔子姜儿,衬衫上别着一枚带着美国大陆航空公司标记的金色的别针。穿过巨大、且令人生畏的纽瓦克机场,我被一路护送到那架即将越洋的飞机。

有生以来第一次,我独自一人,远行...... 坐在31A位,我可以把自己从外部的世界中抽身而出,让思想完全沉浸在对另一端的门口的想象,在那儿,等待着我的将是无比激动的相见时的狂热。坐在飞机上,我自由地吃着,自由地看着电影,自由地玩着随意想玩的东西。那像洞穴一样的波音747号将是我未来七个小时的家。等到飞行结束,我再次卡嚓一声解开安全带时,我居然完全爱恋上了飞行!

现在我是在去往另一次冒险的途中,这次我是去云南为当地村民的供水挖渠。我从飞机上那小小圆圆的窗户往外看,目光扫过那凌驾气流的长长的机翼,直视茫茫天空。我感到浑身自由,完全超越那些平日把我牢牢捆住的生活琐事。

一如那在我眼前无尽伸展的天涯,我感到未来也向我昭示着无限可能。在这时间里,我为所欲为,弹着想象中的钢琴,听着喜欢的音乐,写些随意的想法,读着早就该读的书,看一部电影,甚至观察着我周围的人们。在这短暂的时间里,满足感油然而生 - 一种难得的平和,区域间的,文化间的,家庭的,和各种争端之间的 - 在这平和里,我思考着我的未来,那机舱门外我将要走进的世界。

飞机,它们是通往世界的门径,真实的和虚构的世界,已经发现的和即将被发现的世界。它们提供我机会,带我发现新的文化,他们把我运送到我的祖先梦里也没有见过的地方。但最重要的是,它们激发我的反思。飞行带着对立的两面。一方面,它连接着地方、连接着人;另一方面,它是一个让人感觉独立和孤独的场所。飞行让我和我身处三个大洲的家庭相连。但是独自飞行在空中,我已经找到自由,探索我的好奇心,思量人生方向的自由。不顾平日的挫折和烦恼,我让我的心智展翅凌云。

而不知何故,那天空总能把我紧紧拴在地上。我最感到脚踏实地之际,莫过于翱翔蓝天之时。

哦,对了,如果你想知道我那大陆航空公司的飞行别针去了哪里,你会发现它挂在我卧室的墙上,就在成叠的登机牌之上,它们充满怀念地提醒着我,那些已经过去的,和将要到来的,我的旅程。

翻译:湘伟

2017年4月21日,上海

如果喜欢,欢迎点击阅读《娘儿仨》文集。


College essay / write a personal statement  with the following prompt:

Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

ON WINGS OF FLIGHT

- Anna Gloor, December, 2014

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

- from “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

As I file down the cabin aisle, squirm past my neighbor to 37B, and hear the comforting sound of the seat belt buckle click, I am taken back to the first time I flew alone.

It was a long journey to Zurich. I was eight... looking forward to spending Christmas vacation with my Swiss family. Clutching my stuffed bunny Ginger and with a gold colored Continental pin on my shirt, I was escorted through the gigantic, intimidating Newark Airport to the aircraft for my overseas flight.

For the first time, I was on my own…sitting in seat 31A, able to unplug from the rest of the world and immerse myself in thoughts of the frenzy of excitement awaiting me on the other side of the gate. Free to eat, watch, and play with whatever I pleased. The cavernous Boeing 747 was to be my home for the next seven hours. By the time I unbuckled my seat belt click at the end of the flight, I was completely smitten with flying!

Now on my way to another adventure, this time to Yunnan to dig trenches for the local villagers' water supply, I look out the small, rounded window—past the long wings that harness the air underneath—into the vast sky. I feel liberated…free of the externalities of life that sometimes tie me down on the ground.

Like the endless horizon that spreads before my eyes, I feel the infinite possibilities that the future holds for me. I do what I want with my time, whether practicing air piano, listening to music, writing down random thoughts, reading a long-neglected book, watching a movie, or even observing the people around me. Contentment comes in these brief hours—peace in between worlds, in between cultures, families, and disputes—in which I am able to reflect on the future as I step off of that plane into the world ahead.

Planes, they are the gateway to worlds, real and imaginary, discovered and yet to be discovered. They provide opportunity, they facilitate discovery of new cultures. They transport me to new places my forebears never dreamed of seeing. But most importantly, they inspire reflection. Flying is a dichotomy of sorts. On one hand, it's a connector between places and persons, on the other, a place for independence and solitude. Flying connects me to family on three continents. But alone and airborne, I have found the freedom to contemplate my curiosities and ponder life's directions. Untethered from day-to-day frustrations and distractions, my mind takes wing.

And the air somehow keeps me grounded. Never do I feel more down-to-earth than when I'm up in the air.

Oh, in case you wonder what became of my Continental flight pin, you can find it hanging on my bedroom wall, atop the collage of boarding passes—nostalgic reminders of journeys past and those yet to come.

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