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We Need to Be Reminded of Happiness

我们从小就习惯了在提醒中过日子。天气刚有一丝风吹草动【2】,妈妈就说,别忘了多穿衣服。才相识了一个朋友,爸爸就说,小心他是个骗子。你取得了一点成功,还没容得乐出声来【3】,所有关切着你的人一起说,别骄傲!你沉浸在欢快中的时候,自己不停地对自己说:“千万不可太高兴,苦难也许马上就要降临……”我们已经习惯了在提醒中过日子【4】。看得见的恐惧和看不见的恐惧始终像乌鸦盘旋在头顶。

We have been used to being reminded of one thing or another since our childhood. When the weather showed the slightest sign of turning cold, Mother would say, “Don't forget to put more clothes on”. Upon learning that we have just made a new friend, our fathers would say, “Becareful, he might be a swindler.” Whenever we made a small achievement and were just about to celebrate it, all those concerned about us would lose no time in admonishing us against conceitedness. And sometimes you were the very one doing the same thing to yourself. For instance, even in the midst of happiness you would repeatedly tell yourself, “Don't get caught up in it, misfortune might strike at any moment.” Being reminded of something is already the order of the day. All kinds of fear, either visible or invisible, are ever hovering overhead like crows.

在皓月当空的良宵,提醒会走出来对你说:注意风暴。于是我们忽略了皎洁的月光,急急忙忙做好风暴来临前的一切准备。当我们大睁着眼睛枕戈待旦【5】之时,风暴却像迟归的羊群,不知在哪里徘徊。当我们实在忍受不了等待灾难的煎熬时,我们甚至会恶意地祈盼风暴早些到来。

When a full moon is hanging high in the clear sky, a voice comes from nowhere and says, “Be prepared for the storm!” At once we throw ourselves into preparations for the impending disaster and consequently miss the chance of enjoying the bright moon. We spend a hectic night on full alert, yet the storm, like a flock of lost sheep, is still wandering somewhere unknown. When the waiting hits the limit of our patience, we even viciously wish for it to come sooner.

风暴终于姗姗地来了。我们怅然发现,所做的准备多半是没有用的。事先能够抵御的风险毕竟有限,世上无法预计的灾难却是无限的。战胜灾难靠的更多的是临门一脚【6】,先前的惴惴不安帮不上忙。

Finally, the storm does arrive, but to our great dismay most of our preparations turn out to be useless. After all, there are only a few disasters we can fend off or alleviate in advance, and most of them are unpredictable and we never know how many are still in store for mankind. To survive a disastrous event, we depend, to a large extent, on “the final shot at the goal”, that is, the critical move we make in the last minute, while all the earlier worries and anxiety are of little help.

当风暴的尾巴终于远去,我们守住零乱的家园。气还没有喘匀【7】,新的提醒又智慧地响起来,我们又开始对未来充满恐惧的期待。

The tail of the storm finally sweeps past, and we are left with our home in mess and disorder. Before we have the chance to even take a breath and relax, a new warning wisely sounds itself. So, we again begin to live in anticipation of a future laden down with new fears.

注释:
1. 标题的英译参照了英国作家、文学评论家和诗人Samuel Johnson(1709–1784)的名言:People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.
2. 此处只须译出其意,即“稍有变冷的迹象”。
3. 此处译作“还没来得及庆祝”之意。
4. 此句和段首一句结构、意义雷同,译文做了灵活处理。
5. 此处译文舍弃形象,只译出其意。
6. 译文采用了直译加释义的方法。
7. 译作“还来不及喘口气,放松一下”。

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