Blackberry Jam 黑莓酱的故事

  By Donna Teller  堂娜 特勒

  “……and the weekend promises sunshine and southerly breezes. Make the most of it!”

  “……周末预计会阳光明媚,并刮起徐徐的南风。尽情享受吧。”

  The weatherman's cheery voice came from the TV,precariously perched on a pile of books,the only way she’d yet found for its cable to reach the socket. Piles of books,papers,magazines had always been a feature of Maggie's lived-in kitchen and they had grown in the dark days since January. But recent weeks had found her more able to cope with her situation and a measure of organization had returned to her life.

  气象员愉悦的播报声从电视机中传来,只见这台电视放在一堆书上,摇摇欲坠,这样放是因为唯有如此她才能将电视插销接到插座上。玛吉的厨房就没有闲置过,它有一个特色,那就是永远堆满了成叠的书、报纸和杂志,而从一月开始,这些东西在那些暗无天光的日子里越积越多。可最近几个礼拜,她可以更好地适应自己的处境了,生活又恢复了一些条理。

  But,like the TV,it was a delicate balance. To the outside world,she seemed cool and collected;inside she felt deeply vulnerable. Strategies had been adopted for coping,new routines found,places that would stir painful memories strictly avoided.

  不过,就像放电视机一样,这是一种微妙的平衡。在别人看来,她似乎是淡漠而又镇静的;可内心当中,她却感到极其脆弱。她想方设法来适应,培养了一些新习惯,对那些引发伤感回忆的地方是坚决避而不去的。

  However,this was a small town and some places could not be ignored. Like the moor which looked down on her every time she opened her front door. Over the years,she and Mike had spent many hours walking on it,marking the changing seasons,content in each other's company.

  可是,这是一个小镇,有些地方是回避不了的。就好比她每次打开前门都会看到高耸的高沼地。很多年来,她和迈克一年四季都会在高沼地上花上很多时间来散步,两个人相互陪伴很是惬意。

  Late summer had always been a busy time as they followed in the footsteps of countless couples before them and gathered in the harvest for jam.

  昔日的晚夏时节总是一个忙碌的季节,他们会跟随着无数夫妇的脚步,在丰收来临之时前去采摘,为制作果酱做准备。

  The forecast helped Maggie to make up her mind. Despite misgivings,the attraction of the moor in the late summer sun was too strong. It had to be faced one day on her own;it was too beautiful to stay away forever. The time had come to lay this ghost to rest and picking a few berries would keep her mind occupied. Decision made,Maggie turned off the TV and went to help with homework.

  天气预报帮玛吉下定了决心。尽管有顾虑,但在晚夏阳光的照耀下,高沼地的诱惑太大了。早晚有一天她需要独自面对;那儿太美了,不可能永远将其置于身外。是时候来做个了断了,而且采摘浆果可以使她忘却一切。下定了决心的玛吉关上电视,辅导孩子做功课去了。

  Saturday dawned bright and clear. Resisting the desire to turn back,Maggie drove along the familiar lanes that lead to the parking bay at the foot of the hill. The walk to the top seemed longer,steeper. She was out of breath,her legs ached and her heart pounded.

  星期六的黎明,天空晴朗而又明亮。抑制住返回去的冲动,玛吉开着车,沿着熟悉的小路一直行驶到山脚的停车场。通向山顶的路似乎变得更长、更陡。她上气不接下气,腿部作痛,心砰砰直跳。

  But at last the path emerged from the trees and stretched away in the sun. On either side,the brambles clambered over heather and gorse,laden with clusters of fruit,ripe for picking;a riot of black and green,purple and yellow.

  但是,路终于从树林中显露出来,笔直向前,直至消失在阳光中。路的两边,树莓攀附在石南花和金雀花之上,挂满了串串果实,果子已经熟透,就待采摘了;黑色和绿色,紫色和黄色,编织成一片缤纷色彩。

  She need not have worried. The moor seemed to welcome her back like a long-lost friend and her spirits rose. Taking a deep breath of the clear air,Maggie deftly took a bag from her pocket and started to pick,stopping every now and then to straighten her back and enjoy the familiar view. With stained fingers and scratched hands to show for her efforts, the bag slowly filled with the dark,plump fruit.

  她本不需要担心的。高沼地似乎就像对待一位久未谋面的老朋友一样欢迎她的归来,而她的情绪也高涨起来。玛吉先是在清新的空气中深深地吸了一口气,然后熟练地从口袋里掏出一个袋子,开始采摘,她时不时地会停一下,挺挺腰,欣赏一番这熟悉的景致。她的努力有了结果-手指变得污迹斑斑、双手出现了划痕,而袋子也渐渐放满了这种色黑肉厚的果子。

  Horse riders and walkers exchanged greetings as they passed. After a while,a solitary figure appeared on the path behind her,pausing and stooping occasionally,yet catching up quickly.

  骑马者和路人在相遇后互致着问候。过了一会儿,一个孤单的身影出现在她身后的小道上,时而驻足,时而弯腰,可是又总能快速地跟上来。

  “Do you want to add these, then ”

  “那你还想要这些吗?”

  The voice startled her,quieter than before but unmistakable. She hardly felt the pain of the brambles tearing into her hand as she jerked upright.

  这个声音吓了她一跳,虽然声音比原来更加轻柔,但肯定是那个声音。当她猛地站起来,她几乎都没感到树莓勒疼了她的手。

  “What on earth are you doing here ”

  “你在这里到底要干什么?”

  “Thought I'd find you here,first weekend in September. Do you want these ” He held out a handful of berries,then tipped them into her bag. “Perfect day - are there any bilberries ”

  “我想,在9月的第一个周末,我能在这里找到你。你想要这些吗?”他拿出一把浆果,然后把它们倒入了她的袋子里。“美好的一天啊……这儿有越桔吗?”

  How could he be so calm,so casual,when anger was welling up inside her  She wanted to rage at him for spoiling her perfect day,but the words in her head wouldn't come out.

  在她怒火中烧的时候,他怎么能如此冷静、如此随意呢?她想冲他发火,因为他破坏了她美好的一天,可是,脑子中想着的那些话却怎么也说不出来。

  “I - I haven't looked.”

  “我……我还没找呢。”

  “Let me have a bag,I'll go see.” Mike made his way across the heather to the dense,low-lying bushes and started to move the leaves aside to seek out the hidden fruit.

  “给我一个袋子吧。我去找找。”迈克跨过石南花,朝浓密低矮的灌木丛走去,开始拨开树叶寻找隐藏的果实。

 

 

  Maggie turned away,her thoughts racing,her peace shattered. She thought about retreating to the safety of her car. But having come so far she was determined not to turn back. She ambled along the path,picking the occasional berry, enthusiasm gone.

  玛吉把身子转了过去,思绪万千,心境烦乱。

  她想逃回车里,找回安全的依托。但是,都走了这么远的路了,所以她决定不回去了。她沿着小路缓慢前行,不时采摘着一些浆果,但兴致已然全无。

  He gathered slowly,moving backwards and forwards through the bushes,but always keeping up with her. After a while,he came back to the path. She answered his questions - the children,her job,her parents - but always skirted round the main issue.

  他慢慢地采摘着,在灌木丛中前后移动着,但是却总能跟上她的脚步。过了一会儿,他回到小路上。她回答了他的问题-孩子、她的工作、她的家人-但总是避而不谈关键问题。

  At last,they reached the point where all the moorland paths crossed. Maggie was glad of an opportunity to rest. Seating herself at one end of the bench,she stretched her legs in front of her. Mike sat down as well a little way along and stared,like her,at the patchwork of fields that lay beneath them. She couldn't recall the number of times they had come to this spot and shared a picnic lunch. Maggie had been looking forward to this moment,but hunger had deserted her. His nearness unsettled her even more;why couldn’t he sit somewhere else.

  最后,他们来到了高沼地中小路的交汇处。玛吉很高兴可以有机会歇一歇了。她在一张长椅的一端坐了下来,向前伸直了双腿。迈克也在相隔不远的地方坐了下来,与她一样,眼睛盯着他们身下那杂乱拼凑在一起的田野。她已记不清他们曾多少次来到这里来共享野外午餐了。玛吉一直期待着这一时刻的到来,可她已经没有了胃口。与他咫尺相近更加使她烦躁不安;他为什么就不能坐到别的地方去呢?

  “Are you on your own?”Stupid question. No sooner was it said than Maggie wished she had phrased it differently or thought about it more. But it was the question that she had been wanting to ask and there seemed little point in dressing it up with more words.

  “你是一个人吗?”愚蠢的问题。话已出口,可玛吉真想能再修饰一下或再深入地想一想啊。不过,这个问题就是她一直想问的,而且似乎在言语上再多加修饰也没什么意义。

  “Yes. In every way.” He kept his eyes on the fields. Maggie didn't speak,waiting for him to go on.“It didn’t last into the Spring. She moved on.”

  “是的。完全是。”他的眼睛一直没有离开田野。玛吉没有说话,等着他说下去。“没坚持到开春。她就离开了。”

  For the first time that day,Maggie turned and really looked at her husband. His eyes were deeper,his hair greyer,his face more lined,and his expression more worn. A sad face. Somewhere deep inside she wanted to pull him close,to tell him that everything was fine,to make those eyes smile again. But the pain that he'd caused could not be erased by a hug,even in this place,and she looked away.

  那天玛吉第一次转了过来,正视着她的丈夫。他的眼睛陷得更深了,他的头发更加灰白了,他脸上的皱纹更多了,而他的表情也更加倦怠了。一张悲怆的面庞。内心深处的某个念头使她想把他拉得更近,告诉他一切都还好,使那双眼眸再次充满喜悦。但是,他造成的伤痛不是一个拥抱就可以消除的,即使在这个地方也不可以,所以她把脸转了过去。

  After a while,she stood up. Despite the sunshine,there was a chill in the air.

  过了一会儿,她站了起来。虽然阳光明媚,但空气中还是划过一丝寒意。

  “I'd better be going now.” She didn’t know what else to do or say,but nothing would be achieved by sitting on a bench. “Here,let me take that.” He took the bag and they made their way in silnce. Maggie wondered what he was thinking,were his thoughts as much of a jumble as hers?

  “我现在该走了。”她不知道还能做点什么或说些什么,但是坐在长椅上是不会有什么进展的。“来,让我提着那个吧。”他拿过袋子,然后他们便默默走了起来。玛吉想知道他正在想些什么,是否他的思绪也跟她的一样是一团糟?

  At last,the cars came into view.

  最后,汽车进入了视野。

  “How did you get here?” she asked as she fumbled in her pocket for her keys.

  “你怎么来的?”她一边在口袋里摸索着钥匙一边问道。

  “Train to Tonechester,then bus to here. There's a bus back to Tonechester this evening.”

  “坐火车到通彻斯特,然后再换公交车到这儿来。今晚有一趟返回通彻斯特的公交车。”

  She resisted the sudden urge to offer a lift to the station. But perhaps there was a middle way.

  她抑制住了突然想要送他到车站的冲动。但是,可能还有一个折中的方法吧。

  “You've time for a cup of tea before you go?” She hoped it sounded more like a question than an order.

  “在你走之前,有时间喝杯茶吗?”她希望这更像是一句问话而不是一个命令。

  “And would there be scones and blackberry jam?”

  “有烤饼和黑莓酱吗?”

  Maggie laughed,relaxing for the first time since hearing his voice.

  玛吉笑了,从听到他的声音开始,这是她第一次放松了下来。

  “You're pushing your luck!Is that all you’ve come back for?” She didn't give him time to reply. “No scones,but I’ve fresh bread which is just as good.”

  “你得寸进尺了吧!你回来就是为了这些吗?”她就没给他答复的时间。“没有烤饼,但我有一些新鲜的面包,也是同样不错的。

  And after tea,she drove him to the bus stop. Getting out of the car,he turned,“Will you be out next week?”

  喝过茶之后,她开车送他到了公交车站。从车中走出来后,他转过身,“你下礼拜出去吗?”

  “Possibly,if the weather holds.”

  “可能吧,如果天气还这样持续下去。”

  A brief nod,and he joined the others waiting for the evening bus.

  他迅速地点了一下头,然后就与其他人一起在等候晚班车的到来了。

  She didn't wait. Making her way home,she chose the longer route that twisted along the foot of the moor. They had a long way to go,but,like the weather,maybe the outlook was promising.

  她没有等下去。在回家的路上,她选择了一条绕远的路线,一条在高沼地底部边缘蜿蜒前行的道路。他们还有一段漫长的路要走,但是,就像天气一样,前景也许是充满希望的。

 

 

  Comments 评论

  Blackberry Jam is a moving story about moors,home cooking and separation. The story centres on a female character,Maggie,and her coming to terms with a failed marriage. The author reveals this gradually to the reader by way of hints. The opening scene of a disarrayed kitchen,the reference to‘dark days’and the moors and eventually the chance meeting with her estranged husband,let the reader become gradually aware of the background to the events of the story.

  《黑莓酱的故事》是一个以旷野、家常菜和分离为内容的感人故事。

  这个故事以一名女性人物-玛吉为主人公,主要讲述了她向其失败婚姻妥协的经历。作者以暗示的方式慢慢地将这一脉络向读者揭示出来。以凌乱厨房的场景来开篇,后又提及“暗无天日的日子”和高沼地,到最后描写她偶然与离她而去的丈夫相遇,这一切使读者对这个故事中的事件背景渐渐清晰起来。

  The story has a strong sense of hope. It seems that the couple will try to start again. This sense of hope is reinforced by the reference to the‘outlook’for the weather,which is used to open and close the story.

  这个故事中弥散着一种强烈的希望感。这对夫妇似乎想试着重新开始。故事以天气来开篇,又以天气来结尾,而天气的“前景”更是加强了这种希望感。