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通往老年的仪式

发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2022-7-31 06:00| 查看数: 77| 评论数: 0|



I grew up white, secular and middle class in 1950s America. That meant watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, trick-or-treating on Halloween and putting presents under a tree at Christmas. But by the time those traditions got to me, they were hollow, commercial enterprises, which just left me feeling empty.

我出生于五十年代美国的一个传统的白人中产阶级家庭里。这意味着,七月四号(独立日)要看烟花,在万圣节不给糖就捣乱,以及圣诞节时会把礼物放在树下。到了我生活的年代时,这些传统变成了空洞的商业之事,让我感到空虚。

So from a relatively young age, I found myself looking to fill an existential hole, to connect with something bigger than myself. There hadn't been a bar mitzvah in my family in over a century.

所以,从年轻的时候,我就开始寻找方法填补这个存在了的空洞,以期与更伟大的事物相连。一个多世纪以来,我家没有举办过一场(犹太)成人礼。

So I thought I'd take a shot at that --only to be devastated when my one encounter with the rabbi, a really tall, godlike figure with flowing white hair, consisted of him asking me for my middle name so we could fill out a form.

所以我想我应该试一试。但和拉比(犹太教教义者)的相遇仍带来了毁灭性的打击,他很高,像神灵一样,有一头飘逸的白发,相遇时他询问我的中间名是什么,以填在表格上。

Yep, that was it. So I got the fountain pen. But I didn't get the sense of belonging and confidence I was searching for. Many years later, I couldn't bear the thought of my son turning 13 without some kind of rite of passage.

是的,就是这样。我拿起了那只笔。但并未获得我一直在寻找的归属感和信心。多年后,我无法容忍我的孩子将满13岁,却没有举行任何仪式。

So I came up with the idea of a 13th birthday trip. And I offered to take Murphy anywhere in the world that had meaning for him. A budding young naturalist who loved turtles, he immediately settled on the Galapagos.

所以我想出了这个主意——十三岁生日之旅。我提出带墨菲去这个世界上任何一个对他有意义的地方。作为一个崭露头角喜欢乌龟的年轻博物学家,他毫不犹豫地选择了加拉帕戈斯群岛。

And when my daughter, Katie, turned 13, she and I spent two weeks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where Katie learned for the first time that she was powerful and brave.

当我的女儿凯蒂13岁时,我们一起在大峡谷底部度过了两周。在那里,凯蒂第一次意识到了自己的强大与勇敢。

Since then, my partner, Ashton, and lots of our friends and relatives have taken their kids on 13th birthday trips, with everyone finding it transformative for both the child and the parent.

在这之后,我的另一半阿什顿还有很多亲朋都带着他们的小孩儿开启了十三岁生日之旅。无论是大人还是小孩每个人都能看到它带来的改变。

I wasn't brought up saying grace. But for the last 20 years, we've been holding hands before every meal. It's a beautiful bit of shared silence that brings us all together in the moment.

我家并没有饭前祷告的传统。但在过去的20年里,每次用餐前我们都会牵住彼此的手。那是寂静又美好的时刻,我们在那时紧密相依。

Ashton tells everyone to "pass the squeeze," while she assures them it's not religious. So recently, when my family asked me if I could please do something with the more than 250 boxes of stuff that I've collected over a lifetime, my ritual-making impulse kicked in.

阿什顿告诉大家,要紧握彼此,但她保证这并不带有宗教性质。最近,当我的家人问我,我是否能用我一生收集的250多箱东西做点什么时,“举行仪式”的冲动再次涌上心头。

I started wondering if I could go further than simple death cleaning. "Death cleaning" is the Swedish term for clearing out your closets, your basement and your attic before you die, so your kids don't have to do it later.

我开始想,除去死亡清理,我还能再做些什么?“死亡清理”是瑞典的习俗,在你去世前你会清理你的壁橱、地下室和阁楼,这样你的孩子以后就不用做这些了。

I pictured my children opening up box after box and wondering why I'd kept any of that stuff. And then I imagined them looking at a specific picture of me with a beautiful young woman, and asking, "Who on earth is that with Dad?"

我开始想象我的孩子们打开一个又一个箱子,猜想我为什么要留着这些物件。我能想象到当他们看着我和一位妙龄女子的合影时,满腹疑惑地问“和爸爸在一起的到底是谁?”

And that was the aha moment. It wasn't the things I'd saved that were important; it was the stories that went with them that gave them meaning. Could using the objects to tell the stories be the seed of a new ritual, a rite of passage -- not for a 13-year-old, but for someone much further down the road?

这就是“顿悟时刻”。并非是我留下的东西很重要,它背后的故事才是意义所在。是否可以通过讲述它们的故事,开启一项新仪式,不再是给13岁准备的成人礼,而是为了更年长的人们?

So I started experimenting. I got a few dozen things out of the boxes, I put them about in a room, and I invited people to come in and ask me about anything that they found interesting. The results were terrific.

我开始尝试。我从箱子里挑选了几十样东西,将它们摆放在一个房间内,邀请人们前来,并询问他们感兴趣的事物。结果令人惊叹。

A good story became a launching pad for a much deeper discussion, in which my visitors made meaningful connections to their own lives. Derrius (Quarles) asked me about a Leonard Peltier T-shirt that I'd worn a lot in the '80s, that, sadly, is still relevant today.

一段好的故事会激发出更深入的讨论,让我的访客建立起和他们自身息息相关的联系。德里乌斯曾问过我关于伦纳德·佩尔蒂埃T恤的故事,我在80年代经常穿它,令人感伤的是,它与现在仍紧密相连。

Our conversation moved quickly, from a large number of political prisoners in American jails, to Derrius wondering about the legacy of the Black Liberation Movement of the '60s, and how his life might be different if he'd come of age then, instead of 30-odd years later.

我们的对话进展很快,从美国监狱中关押的大量政治犯,到德里乌斯想要了解60年代黑人解放运动的遗留问题,还有如果他不是在30年后,而是当时就成年了,他的生活可能会有怎样的不同。

At the end of our conversation, Derrius asked me if he could have the T-shirt. And giving it to him felt just about perfect. As these conversations established common ground, especially across generations, I realized I was opening a space for people to talk about things that really mattered to them.

在我们谈话的最后,德里乌斯问我是否可以把这件T恤给他。我想这可能是最完美的做法。当这些对话建立起共同点,特别是跨世纪的共同点,我意识到我开拓了一片新天地,人们可以谈论他们真正关心的事情。

And I started seeing myself with a renewed sense of purpose -- not as the old guy on the way out, but as someone with a role to play going forward. When I was growing up, life ended for most people in their 70s.

我的人生也有了全新的使命感——我不再是将要离世的老人,而是有角色要扮演的人,在向前迈进。在我小时候,大多数人会在70岁逝世。

People are living far longer now, and for the first time in human history, it's common for four generations to be living side by side. I'm 71, and with a bit of luck, I've got 20 or 30 more years ahead of me.

但是人们的寿命在延长,人类史上第一次发现,四世同堂是一件很平常的事情。我已经71岁了,如果幸运的话,我还可以活20年或30年。

Giving away my stuff now and sharing it with friends, family, and I hope strangers, too, seems like the perfect way to enter this next stage of my life.

现在就拿出我的收藏,把它们的故事讲述给我的朋友、家人,我也希望是陌生人,似乎是进入我人生下一个阶段的完美方式。

Turns out to be just what I was looking for: a ritual that's less about dying and more about opening the door to whatever comes next. Thank you. Onward!

这正是我所找寻的:一个与死亡无关的仪式,敞开大门,迎接未来。谢谢。前进!


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