小布什总统悼文

和菜头 槽边往事 2018-12-07

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昨天,我在《写作课:真实并不是素材》一文里谈到了关于死亡的写作。在相关的段落中,我写道:


死亡只是一个休止符,一个触发器,镜头下真正的主角永远都是人,那个已经死去的人。具体地说起来,就是这个人生前的样子,什么长相,什么性格,什么脾气,什么嗜好,什么毛病。你需要极力向读者证明,在这个世间曾经有那么一个血肉之躯真实存在过,带着Ta的欲望与尊严,带着Ta的毛病与缺陷,活生生地生活过。因此,你通过文字赋予这个人以真实的质地,于是读者会明白这个人在你生命中的分量。这时候,你再提及死亡,讲述死亡把这个人带走,让读者长久地凝视着你生命中由此造成的那块空白上,世界由此造成的那块空白上,那么读者会感受到和你一样的感受。


如果说这只是一种理论上的论述,那么,日前小布什总统在自己父亲葬礼上发表的悼词,则是这种理论的实证。以下,我会提供悼词英文全文,以及我的翻译。


Distinguished guests, including our presidents and first ladies, government officials, foreign dignitaries, and friends: Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I, and our families, thank you all for being here.

尊敬的各位来宾,以及各位美国总统和总统夫人们,政府官员,外国政要和朋友们;杰布、尼尔、马文、多萝西,我和我们的家人们感谢各位的到来。


I once heard it said of man that “the idea is to die young as late as possible.”

我曾听人说过,一个人应该趁着年轻就死去,但是要越晚越好。


At age 85, a favorite pastime of George H.W. Bush was firing up his boat, the Fidelity, and opening up the three-300 horsepower engines to fly — joyfully fly — across the Atlantic, with Secret Service boats straining to keep up.

在85岁高龄时,乔治·H·W·布什最喜欢的消遣方式,就是发动他的忠诚号,打开3个300马力的引擎,快乐地飞驰在大西洋上,一任特勤局的船只在后面苦苦尾随。


At 90, George H.W. Bush parachuted out of an aircraft and landed on the grounds of St. Ann’s by the Sea in Kennebunkport, Maine — the church where his mom was married and where he’d worshiped often. Mother liked to say he chose the location just in case the chute didn’t open.

到了90岁时,乔治·H·W·布什从一架飞机上跳伞降落到缅因州肯纳邦克波特的海边圣安妮教堂,那儿曾是他母亲结婚的地方,他经常去那里礼拜。母亲喜欢说,他之所以选择那个地方,是为了以防降落伞没有及时打开。


In his 90’s, he took great delight when his closest pal, James A. Baker, smuggled a bottle of Grey Goose vodka into his hospital room. Apparently, it paired well with the steak Baker had delivered from Morton’s.

在他90岁之后的时日里,让他最愉悦的事情是他的密友杰姆斯·A·贝克,偷偷带了一瓶灰雁牌伏特加去到他的病房。很明显,它和贝克从莫尔顿扒坊带来的牛扒相得益彰。


To his very last days, Dad’s life was instructive. As he aged, he taught us how to grow old with dignity, humor, and kindness — and, when the good Lord finally called, how to meet him with courage and with joy in the promise of what lies ahead.

在他最后的日子里,爸爸的人生也让人从中能够获益。随着年事增长,他教会我们如何带着尊严、幽默感和善良的心慢慢变老。他也教会我们当仁慈的上帝召唤我们时,应该如何鼓足勇气,带着对即将到来的应许的喜悦之情去见他。


One reason Dad knew how to die young is that he almost did it — twice. When he was a teenager, a staph infection nearly took his life. A few years later he was alone in the Pacific on a life raft, praying that his rescuers would find him before the enemy did.

爸爸知道如何才能死得年轻,是因为他几乎做到了这一点,而且是两次。在他十几岁时,葡萄球菌感染几乎夺走他的生命。几年之后,他独自一人在在太平洋上的救生筏里漂流,祈祷救援队能赶在敌人之前找到自己。


God answered those prayers. It turned out he had other plans for George H.W. Bush. For Dad’s part, I think those brushes with death made him cherish the gift of life. And he vowed to live every day to the fullest.

上帝回应了他的祈祷。原来他对乔治·H·W·布什还有别的安排。对于爸爸而言,我想他和死亡的那些擦身而过让他珍惜生命的馈赠,发誓把一天都活到极致。


Dad was always busy — a man in constant motion — but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. He taught us to love the outdoors. He loved watching dogs flush a covey. He loved landing the elusive striper. And once confined to a wheelchair, he seemed happiest sitting in his favorite perch on the back porch at Walker’s Point contemplating the majesty of the Atlantic. The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. He was a genuinely optimistic man. And that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible.

爸爸一直都很忙,是个停不下来的男人。但他绝对不会因为忙碌而不去分享他对周围人的爱。他教我们热爱户外活动,他喜欢看着自己的猎犬惊起一群鹧鸪,他喜欢钓起神出鬼没的鲈鱼。即使他后来不得不坐着轮椅,在沃克角别墅后廊他最喜欢的位置上凝视着神秘的大西洋陷入沉思,依然是他最快乐的时光。他看见了明亮和充满希望的地平线,是个真正乐观的人。这种乐观精神同样引导着他的孩子们,我们每一个孩子都相信一切皆有可能。


He continually broadened his horizons with daring decisions. He was a patriot. After high school, he put college on hold and became a Navy fighter pilot as World War II broke out. Like many of his generation, he never talked about his service until his time as a public figure forced his hand. We learned of the attack on Chichi Jima, the mission completed, the shoot-down. We learned of the death of his crewmates, whom he thought about throughout his entire life. And we learned of his rescue.

他不断用果敢的决定拓宽他的人生边界。他是个爱国者。高中毕业之后,二战爆发,他搁置了自己的大学学业,报名成为一名海军飞行员。和许多他的同辈人一样,他从不谈及自己服务国家的往事,直到他参加公职不得不对对外披露。我们因此知道了对父岛的袭击,知道任务完成,知道被击落。我们知道了其他机组成员的牺牲,父亲在他的余生中都在追念他们。我们也知道了父亲的获救。


And then, another audacious decision; he moved his young family from the comforts of the East Coast to Odessa, Texas. He and Mom adjusted to their arid surroundings quickly. He was a tolerant man. After all, he was kind and neighborly to the women with whom he, Mom and I shared a bathroom in our small duplex — even after he learned their profession — ladies of the night.

Dad could relate to people from all walks of life. He was an empathetic man. He valued character over pedigree. And he was no cynic. He looked for the good in each person — and usually found it.

然后是另外一个大胆的决定:他把自己组建不久的小家从舒适的东海岸搬到了德州敖德萨。他和妈妈很快适应了周围的荒凉。他是个宽容大度的人。他始终善待那些和我们一家三口共享公寓浴室的女士们,即便他后来知道了她们的职业是流莺。爸爸善于和人打交道,无论龙蛇。他是个有同情心的人。他看重品格而非出身。他绝不愤世嫉俗。他总在人身上找到好的一面,而且他通常也能找到。


Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary; that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values, like faith and family. He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one lived. He recognized that serving others enriched the giver’s soul. To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light.

In victory, he shared credit. When he lost, he shouldered the blame. He accepted that failure is part of living a full life, but taught us never to be defined by failure. He showed us how setbacks can strengthen.

爸爸教导我们出仕是高尚而必要的事情;一个人可以做个正直的官员,服务大众的时候也能坚持那些重要的价值观,诸如坚持信仰和家庭至上。他坚信回报社区和回报国家是个人要务。他认为服务他人能丰富给予者自身的灵魂。对于我们而言,他是闪耀群星慈善计划里最明亮的一颗星。在胜利时,他推功他人;在失败时,他独肩责难。他把失败作为完整人生的一部分接受下来,但教导我们绝不要用失败来定义自己。他以身教告诉我们如何把挫折转化为力量。


None of his disappointments could compare with one of life’s greatest tragedies, the loss of a young child. Jeb and I were too young to remember the pain and agony he and Mom felt when our 3-year-old sister died. We only learned later that Dad, a man of quiet faith, prayed for her daily. He was sustained by the love of the almighty and the real and enduring love of our mom. Dad always believed that one day he would hug his precious Robin again.

在他一生之中,没有任何伤痛能够和痛失幼女这种最大的人生悲剧相比。当我们3岁的妹妹去世时,我和杰布都太过年幼,无法记得他和妈妈所感受到的痛苦和绝望。我们很后来才得知,爸爸作为一名隐忍的信徒,每天都在为妹妹祈祷。凭借着全能的上帝之爱,和对母亲的真正持久的爱,使得他能够撑下去。爸爸始终相信,终有一天他能再次环抱他珍爱小女儿的罗宾。


He loved to laugh, especially at himself. He could tease and needle, but never out of malice. He placed great value on a good joke. That’s why he chose Simpson to speak. On email, he had a circle of friends with whom he shared or received the latest jokes. His grading system for the quality of the joke was classic George Bush. The rare 7s and 8s were considered huge winners — most of them off-color.

他喜欢大笑,尤其是自嘲。他会戏弄和嘲讽,但绝无恶意。他热衷于好笑话,这就是他选择辛普森致悼词的原因。通过电子邮件,他和一圈朋友分享最新的笑话。他有一套典型的乔治·布什式的笑话评分系统,其中罕有能得到7、8分的笑话,它们已经是难得的精品,不过它们大多都带点颜色。


George Bush knew how to be a true and loyal friend. He honored and nurtured his many friendships with his generous and giving soul. There exist thousands of handwritten notes encouraging, or sympathizing, or thanking his friends and acquaintances.

乔治·布什知道如何成为一个真正和忠实的朋友。他用他的慷慨和给与,升华和滋养了许多友情。为了表达鼓励、同情或者感激之情,他手写了上以千计的信件。


He had an enormous capacity to give of himself. Many a person would tell you that Dad became a mentor and a father figure in their life. He listened and he consoled. He was their friend. I think of Don Rhodes, Taylor Blanton, Jim Nantz, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and perhaps the unlikeliest of all, the man who defeated him, Bill Clinton. My siblings and I refer to the guys in this group as “brothers from other mothers.”

他胸怀宽广,总能给予。许多人会告诉你,爸爸是他们生活中的导师和父亲的形象。他善于倾听,给与安慰,他是他们的朋友。其中,我能想起唐·罗德斯,泰勒·布兰顿,吉姆·南茨,阿诺德·施瓦辛格,在他们中最不可能却成为父亲朋友的,是一个曾经在竞选中击败过他的人---比尔·克林顿。对于我们这些兄弟姐妹而言,这些人都是我们同父异母的兄弟。


He taught us that a day was not meant to be wasted. He played golf at a legendary pace. I always wondered why he insisted on speed golf. He was a good golfer.

他教导我们不要虚度光阴。他风风火火地打高尔夫,我总怀疑为什么他如此坚持打快攻高尔夫。他是个优秀的高球手。


Well, here’s my conclusion: He played fast so that he could move on to the next event, to enjoy the rest of the day, to expend his enormous energy, to live it all. He was born with just two settings: full throttle, then sleep.

好吧,那我的结论是:他打得飞快是因为这样他就可以赶去下一件事,去享受一天中余下的时光,去消耗他旺盛的精力,去活到尽兴。从他降生起大概就只有两种设置:全力以赴,倒头就睡。


He taught us what it means to be a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was firm in his principles and supportive as we began to seek our own ways. He encouraged and comforted, but never steered. We tested his patience — I know I did — but he always responded with the great gift of unconditional love.

他教过我们如何做才是一个好父亲、好祖父、好曾祖父。但是,当我们开始找寻自己的方式时,他能在坚守自己原则的同时支持我们。他鼓励、安抚我们,但从不操控。我们试探过他的耐心,我知道我自己那么做过,但他总是以无条件的爱作为回应。


Last Friday, when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The guy who answered the phone said, “I think he can hear you, but hasn’t said anything most of the day. I said, “Dad, I love you, and you’ve been a wonderful father.” And the last words he would ever say on earth were, “I love you, too.”

上周五,当我得知他即将不久于人世,我打了个电话给他。那边接电话的人回答说:“我想他能听到你说话,但是他已经一整天没有说任何话了。”我在电话里说:“爸爸,我爱你,你一直都是个很棒的父亲。”他在这个世上最后的一句话是:“我也爱你。”


To us, he was close to perfect. But, not totally perfect. His short game was lousy. He wasn’t exactly Fred Astaire on the dance floor. The man couldn’t stomach vegetables, especially broccoli. And by the way, he passed these genetic defects along to us.

对于我们而言,他几近完美。但是,也不是全然完美。比如他的短杆就打得很糟糕,在舞池里也不是弗雷德·阿斯泰尔。他不喜欢吃蔬菜,尤其是西蓝花。顺带说一句,他把这些缺陷也一并遗传给了我们。


Finally, every day of his 73 years of marriage, Dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. He married his sweetheart. He adored her. He laughed and cried with her. He was dedicated to her totally.

最后,在他73年婚姻里的每一天,爸爸都在教导我们什么才是一个好丈夫。他娶了自己的心上人,他崇拜她,他陪着她笑,陪着她哭。他为她奉献自己的一切。


In his old age, Dad enjoyed watching police show reruns, volume on high, all the while holding Mom’s hand. After Mom died, Dad was strong, but all he really wanted to do was to hold Mom’s hand, again.

当他上了年纪,爸爸很享受大开着音量收看警察追捕节目,全程都握着妈妈的手。在妈妈去世之后,父亲表现得很坚强,但他真正想做的事情就是再次握着妈妈的手。


Of course, Dad taught me another special lesson. He showed me what it means to be a president who serves with integrity, leads with courage, and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country. When the history books are written, they will say that George H.W. Bush was a great president of the United States — a diplomat of unmatched skill, a commander in chief of formidable accomplishment, and a gentleman who executed the duties of his office with dignity and honor.

当然,爸爸也教过我另外一堂特别的课。他向我展示了如何做一名总统,以正直服务,以勇气统帅,在心中怀着对国民的爱去行动。历史书写下这样的句子:乔治·H·W·布什是一名伟大的美国总统,一名手腕高超的外交官,一名战功赫赫的总司令,和一名以尊严和荣誉履行其职责的绅士。


In his Inaugural Address, the 41st president of the United States said this: “We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us? Or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better, and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?”

在他担任美国第41任总统的就职演讲中曾经说到:“我们不能仅仅希望留给我们的孩子一台更大的汽车,一个更多数额的银行账号。我们必须自己能够让他们知道如何成为一名忠实的朋友,一名慈爱的家长,一个当他离开自己家的时候,他的邻居和他的城市比他刚来时变得更好的公民。当我们离开之后,我们希望曾经和我们共事过的男男女女说点什么?是说我们比周围的人更加成功,还是说我们曾经停下来问一声生病的孩子有没有好转,并在那里停留片刻送上友情的片言只语?”


Well, Dad — we’re going remember you for exactly that and so much more.

好吧,爸爸---我们会如此记住你,而且不止于此。


And we’re going to miss you. Your decency, sincerity, and kind soul will stay with us forever. So, through our tears, let us see the blessings of knowing and loving you — a great and noble man, and the best father a son or daughter could have.

我们会想念你。你的正派,你的真诚,以及你善良的灵魂将和我们永远在一起。透过我们的泪水,让我们看到能够认识和爱戴你是怎样的赐福,你是一个伟大而高贵的人,儿女们所能拥有的最好的父亲。


And in our grief, let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again.

在悲恸之中,让我们微笑着看着爸爸再次牵起妈妈的手,拥罗宾入怀。


题图版权属于:AP

未经授权引用,仅供分享讨论。


往期回顾:

写作课:真实并不是素材

救猫咪

分享图片

1月4日,我们春天见

男人难为,男人为难

分享图片

一次私人票补

转载:不看这期,你可能连最基础的大红唇都画不对

《无名之辈》观后

双11和脚气

周末扯淡:假如上古人类能活1000岁

我是这样治好幽门螺旋杆菌的

生日快乐,和菜头先生



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