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你到底爱我哪一点?

What Do You Love Me For?

Sometimes, and it often happens in bed,
有时候 通常是同床共枕的时候
we face an acute test at the hands of a lover
我们会面临一场严峻考验
to whom we have pledged our affections.
考验者是我们给予承诺的爱人
We are asked, with little warning, and in a serious tone :
我们会毫无防备地被问及这样严肃的问题
‘What do you love me for?’
“你到底爱我哪一点?”
Few moments in a relationship can be as philosophical as this –
恋爱中少有这样富有哲理性的时刻——
or as dangerous.
或者说是危险的时刻
A good answer has the power to confirm and enhance the union;
好的答案能让恋爱关系更牢固
a bad one could blow it apart.
而坏的回答则会使两人分道扬镳
As we try to make headway, we immediately recognise that
随着关系更进一步 我们很快就会意识到
we can’t simply say ‘everything’.
不能简单回答“都喜欢”
We’re being asked to make choices –
我们得作出选择——
and our love will be deemed sincere to the extent
我们的爱是否真诚
that the choices feel accurate to their recipients.
取决于问话者对我们的选择作出的真诚度判断
The fundamental assumption behind the enquiry is that
这个问题成立的基本假设是
there are better and worse things to be loved for.
你所中意的人并非完美
It isn’t the brute fact that we are liked that can count;
我们被喜欢这一事实并不重要
the liking has to target certain of our best characteristics as we define them.
重要的是他喜欢的得是我们的内在
Which in turn implies that
这说明
there are parts of our minds and our bodies that feel as though they better contain our ‘essential selves’ than others.
大脑和身体的某些部分觉得它们更能代表“本质自我”
We are – if we can put it like this – not equally present in all parts of ourselves.
也就是说 我们的每一部分不是均衡展现出来的
When it comes to the body,
在身体上
there appears to be more of ‘us’ in our hands than in our heels and,
更直观展现出来的是“我”的是手而不是脚
when it comes to the mind, more of ‘us’ in our sense of humour than in our knowledge of the seven times table.
说到头脑 更能表现“我”的是幽默感而非背乘法口诀
If a malevolent demon were to force us to give up a bit of our minds,
如果恶魔强迫我们放弃一部分长处
it might be better – from the point of view of maintaining the continuity of our essential selves –
从保持基本自我连续性的角度来看 这样选择可能更好——
to surrender our ability to speak a foreign language
放弃说外语的能力
than to wipe out our taste in music –
而非抹掉音乐品味
just as it would be more bearable to suffer a change in the shape of our big toe
就像人们更容易接受大脚趾的形状变化
than in the profile of our nose.
而非鼻子的轮廓变化
To be told that we have a ‘loveable mind’
被说有“讨人喜欢的头脑”
may be a good start, but not much more.
或许是好的开端 但也仅仅如此
There are likely to be many things that this mind can do quite well:
这个头脑能做好很多事情:
lay a table,
布置餐桌
drive safely down a motorway,
在高速公路上安全行驶
prepare a household budget,
起草家庭预算
remember geographical facts.
记忆地理知识
But such talents seldom feel gratifying when singled out,
但这些才能单独列出来时很难让人满意
because of their intrinsically generic nature.
因为它们本质上很普通
Someone who loved us for these skills alone would have few reasons
仅仅因为这些技能而爱我们是站不住脚的
why they might not equally well wander away and love someone else at another point,
换个人他们也会爱上
which is the very risk we are trying to ward off
为避免这种风险
and are looking for the right compliment to appease.
我们试图寻找被爱的合理理由来终止这种不安
The skills it’s touching to be praised for are those in which some of our uniqueness can be observed,
令人感动的称赞得指向那些使我们独一无二的技能
for example: in the way we prepare the icing of a birthday cake,
例如:准备生日蛋糕糖衣的方式
pick songs for a drive through the desert,
开车穿越沙漠听哪些歌曲
analyse a historical novel,
分析历史小说的方式
discuss a friend’s love affair
讨论朋友间的情事
or lightly tease a frustrating colleague without ruffling their dignity…
或是对沮丧的同事进行无伤大雅的嘲弄
If someone has started to notice such details,
若一个人开始注意这些细节
then he or she starts to feel like a reliable candidate to whom to get attached.
那么他/她就是一个合格的候选爱人
Their love has become specific rather than generic.
两人之间的爱情也变得更加具体而不是一般化
It is in the end a good deal more gratifying for
说到底 更令人开心的是
a lover to pay us a small compliment about the deft way we are able to dislodge a relative from a sulk
爱人夸我们是因为我们能巧妙化解亲人的怒气
than to be declared a sensational human for knowing the capital of New Zealand
而非因为我们知道新西兰的首都
or the way to calculate the diameter of a circle.
或计算圆的直径
But, to add further complexity to our demands,
然而 我们的需求复杂多了
it isn’t enough just to be admired.
仅仅被崇拜是不够的
We also want a true lover to feel well disposed towards our vulnerabilities.
我们还想要一个懂我脆弱之处的爱人
Whatever our degree of competence,
无论能力有多强
we are never far from moments of fear, ignorance, humiliation, childlikeness and sadness –
我们都有恐惧 无知 屈辱 孩子气 悲伤的时候
and it is these moods too that we long for a lover to have the strength to feel generous towards.
我们渴望爱人能包容这些情绪
It may be pleasant to be found impressive,
人家觉得我了不起我可能会开心
but it is more reassuring
但更让人安心的是
to discover that our vulnerability is ready to be treated with generosity;
我们发现有个人时刻准备慷慨接纳我的脆弱
that we are with someone who will allow us to be sad, discomfited and weepy,
和他在一起 他要允许我伤心沮丧哭泣
who has spotted that we sometimes bite our nails
他会发现我有时焦虑咬指甲
and worry about work late at night.
有时深夜还在担心工作
We don’t bluntly want to awe a lover,
爱人不是用来崇拜的
we want permission to be every now and then, at wits end.
而我们也想能允许自己偶尔不知所措一下
We want them to have sufficient faith in our powers
爱人要充分相信我们
that they can be unfrightened by our periods of fragility.
不会被我们的脆弱吓坏
We need to know that the child in us has been seen
我们需要确定自己内心的小孩被他看到
and won’t appall.
而且他不会被吓跑
‘I love you for being a hero,’ would be an eerie pronouncement.
“我喜欢你当个英雄”是可怕的一句话
‘I love you for being a child,’ would be equally alienating.
“我喜欢你当个小孩”同样也会制造疏离
But ‘I love the sad child I occasionally glimpse in you beneath your resourceful adult day to day self’
但“我喜欢你成熟外表下一闪而过的脆弱”
comes as close as one can imagine to the epicentre of love.
这就走到了人们能想象到的爱情核心区
Our hopes for what role our body will play in eliciting love follow a comparable pattern.
恋爱过程中 我们希望自己能够表现出真实的自我
Here too, sweeping generic praise feels like the work
而笼统的赞扬就像是一场敷衍
of someone who might not notice if our body was replaced by that of another in the night.
这样的他想必也不会注意到我们深夜的脆弱惶恐
It might be true that we have ‘lovely eyes’ or ‘soft hair’
我们可能真的有“可爱的眼睛”或“柔软的头发”
but exactly the same words could be said with accuracy to millions of others,
可是完全相同的话适用于无数人
just as a host would not want to hear thanks for a ‘nice dinner’
就像主人不想听到客人称赞“美味的晚餐”
but rather praise for the hint of dill in the lemon sauce.
更想听到“柠檬酱里的莳萝味很棒”这样具体的赞美
Some of the best kinds of praise about the body are psycho-physical,
最好的身体赞美指向心灵
that is, they praise a physical aspect in order to highlight a psychological quality.
也就是说赞美身体以正衬心灵美
They reassures us
这种表扬让我们确信
that our physical envelopes have been connected up with the most loveable sides of our personalities.
我们的外表和我们可爱的灵魂是联系在一起
A perceptive lover might say:
一个有洞察力的爱人可能会说:
I like the way your smile is slightly different on each side of your mouth.
我喜欢你微笑时两边嘴角上扬不同的弧度
You see, one side is warm and welcoming, and the other is thoughtful and a bit melancholy.
一边是温暖热情 而另一边是沉思忧郁
You are not merely smiling,
你不单单在微笑
it seems like you’re thinking deeply as you smile.
似乎你微笑的时候也在深刻思考
Or, what about this:
或者这样赞美你:
There is a charming thing you do with your eyelids when you are listening,
你在听人说话时眼睑很有魅力
half bringing them down in a quizzical way.
审视般地半耷拉着
It feels like you’re saying: ‘I don’t totally believe you’
好像在说“你说的我不全信”
but it’s really an encouragement;
但这种表情很鼓舞人
there’s an invitation, as if you were adding:
它是一种邀请 似乎在说:
but come on, give me the real truth,
直接点 告诉我事实
I know you’re holding back the best bits because you worry you won’t be understood…
我知道你没说出重点 因为你担心不被人理解……
but you will be. You’re safe with me.
但是 你会被理解的 相信我
Or: I’m slightly in love with the freckle on your upper left arm.
或是:我有点爱上了你左肩的那颗痣
It’s a bit like you, quietly saying
如你般安静自持地张扬
‘here I am, I’m me;
“我在这儿呢 这就是我
nothing special but I’m happy with who I am.’
我就是我不一样的烟火”
It’s poised and unshowy but confident of its power to attract those who get it.
它镇静不显眼 但能吸引对的人
I love that it was there when you were little and that it’s been with you every day since.
我喜欢它从一而终地陪伴你
We can add that, just as with the mind,
话说回来 就像心灵一样
it is frequently vulnerability in these bodily details that charms.
身体细节中的脆弱之处往往也是迷人的
It is the little toe and the little finger that seduce more than the thighs or thorax.
小脚趾和小拇指更有吸引力 而非大腿或胸
It is the hand that curls up as it must have done in childhood.
我喜欢你的手像婴儿一样蜷缩着的时候
It is the thin nape of the neck normally hidden behind a confident mane of hair.
我喜欢你藏在浓密秀发之后的瘦弱脖颈
It is a delicate wrist through which run intricate greenish veins.
我喜欢你流淌着错综复杂绿色静脉的纤细手腕
Within an otherwise mature body,
在一个原本成熟的身体里
we are seeing hints of an endearing and more fragile earlier self,
我们窥见一个可爱的更脆弱的孩子
to whom we offer our sympathy, protection and reassurance.
我们给予他同情 保护和安慰
The question of what we have found to love in someone should not frighten us.
“你爱我哪一点”这个问题不应该让我们感到害怕
We simply need to give ourselves the time to
我们需要时间好好想一下
trace back our enthusiasms to their authentic sources,
追溯爱情的真正来源
while remembering that love is liable to collect with particular intensity
同时记住爱是容易收集的
in the most vulnerable and improbably small nooks of the self.
它就在自我深处脆弱难以置信的小角落

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视频概述

这是一道送命题,你不能说“都喜欢”“都爱”

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

ABC

审核员

审核员MS

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S98BMNoAPc4

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