For the Mountaintop by Zhang Xiaofeng ~ 张晓风 《高处何处有》 with English Translations

作品原文

张晓风 《高处何处有》

很久很久以前,在一个很远很远的地方,一位老酋长正病危。
他找来村中最优秀的三个年轻人,对他们说:“这是我要离开你的时候了,我要你们为我做最后一件事。你们三个都有是身强体壮而又智慧过人的好孩子,现在,请你们尽其可能的去攀登那座我们一向奉为神圣的大山。你们要尽其可能爬到最高的、最凌越一切的地方,然后,折回头来告诉我你们的见闻。”
三天后,第一个年轻人回来了,他笑生双靥,衣履犹鲜:
“酋长,我到达山顶了,我看到繁花夹道,流泉淙淙,鸟鸣嘤嘤,那地方真不坏啊!”老酋长笑笑说:“孩子,那条路我当年也走过,你说的鸟语花香的地方不是山顶,而是山麓。你回去吧!”
一周以后,第二年年轻人也回来了,他神情疲倦,满脸风霜:
“酋长,我到达山顶了。我看到高大肃穆的松树林,我看到秃鹰盘旋,那是一个好地方。”“可惜啊!孩子,地不是山顶,那是山腰。不过,也难为你了,你回去吧!”
一个月过去了,大家都开始为第三位年轻人的安危担心,他却一步一蹭,衣不蔽体地回来了。他发枯唇燥,只剩下清炯的眼神:
“酋长,我终于到达山顶。但是,我该怎么说呢?那里只有高风悲旋,蓝天四垂。”“你难道在那里一无所见吗?难道连蝴蝶也没有一只吗?”“是的,酋长,高处一无所有。你所能看到的,只有你自己,只有‘个人’被放在天地间的渺小感,只有想起千古英雄的悲激心情。”“孩子,你到的是真的山顶。按照我们的传统,天意要立你做新酋长,祝福你。”
真英雄何所遇?他遇到的是全身的伤痕,是孤单的长途,以及越来越真切的渺小感。
我还是想站在高处,站在高处的人曾经是看过美景的,而站在山角下只能仰望山峦,感叹的天的高!

 

 

作品译文

 

 

For the Mountaintop

Long, long ago, in a very, very faraway place, a tribal chief found himself terminally ill.
He summoned three most promising young villager to his bedside and said, “As I’m leaving you soon, I hope you can do one thing more for me. Young men, you three are all unusually strong and resourceful, so I’d like you to strive to climb that high mountain which we’ve always been worshipping as a sacred place. Now do your best to reach the topmost and most forbidding part of it and then turn back to tell me about your findings.”
Three days later, the first young man returned smartly dressed and said with smiling face,
“Lord, I’ve been to the mountaintop where I saw flowers of all sorts lining both sides of a path, babbling spring water and singing birds. That’s a real nice place.”
The old tribal chief replied smilingly,
“Son, I’ve been there before. The place with singing birds and fragrant flowers, as you mentioned, is not the mountaintop. It’s the foot of the mountain. Now you can leave.”
A week later, the second young man also returned. He looked terribly weary and his face was weather-beaten.
“Lord, I’ve been to the mountaintop where I saw groves of tall, solemn pine trees and vultures circling in the air. That’s a real nice place.”
“What a pity!” said the tribal chief. “Son, you’ve been halfway up the mountain rather than to its summit. But you had a real tough time. Now you can leave.”
A month later, everybody began to worry about the safety of the third young man. However, he finally showed up, hobbling along in rags. His hair was off-colored and his lips parched, but his eyes were clear and bright.
“Lord, I succeeded in reaching the summit. Well, what shall I say to you about it? There was nothing there but the wailing highland wind and the blue sky hanging over the land.”
“So you saw nothing at all? Not even a butterfly?”
“No, lord, nothing. All you can see is yourself. You feel how insignificant you are in this infinite universe and how sorrowful and agitated you are at the thought of heroes through the ages.”
“Son, you’ve reached the real mountaintop. According to our tradition, you’ll undoubtedly be made our new tribal chief. My best wishes to you.”
What makes a real hero? A real hero has cuts and bruises all over his body, he is all alone on a long journey and he feels with increasing sincerity how small he is.

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