Erenlai - 按日期過濾項目: 週四, 05 十月 2006
週五, 06 十月 2006 02:13

Europe and the US: allies or competitors

Conference at Fordham University, November 2003

EU-US relations are a very hot topic, especially with the Iraq conflict. These relations are made of a wide range of issues which have evolved enormously since World War II. The international political environment has also considerably changed from a fierce and dangerous cold war to a still very dangerous unipolar world.
But we should not only see these relations from a diplomatic and theoretical point of view. They also bear a lot of feelings; frustrated proximity and friendship, enormous ignorance, and a lot of stereotypes and images. Perceptions are changing. While the English Channel used to be an enormous separation between the British and the continent, bigger than the Atlantic, it seems that now this same Channel is just a big river, while the Atlantic has become as large as the Pacific.

In this presentation, for the purpose of clarification, I think we may justly observe how the year 1989 was the key moment in a complete revolution in the world scene. There is a time before 1989 and a time after, a time of allies working together, and then a time of progressive separation and autonomy of Europe. This has its consequences on EU-US relations.
But the period after 1989 ought to be also divided into two periods, one before 9/11 and another after 9/11, when allies are throwing at each other all sorts of funny names, and divisions become very apparent. So I will have three parts in this presentation, EU-US relations before 1989, which I call “alliance and domination”, then between 1989 and 9/11, called “competition and counterweight”, and after 9/11, called “consensus, divergence and confrontation”. And if you are still alive and awake after that, you will hear my conclusions.
I am sure you are enough awake to download the entire text of the conference (pdf)!

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Conference at Fordham University, 2004

As you know, Europe is made of many countries with a long history going back many centuries, history of monarchies and empires. Still to-day we can notice some relics of that past in the fact that 7 out of the 15 member states of EU have crowned heads of states, Kings, Queens and Grand Duke. And sometimes, even Republican President tend to act like the Sun King, Louis the XIV.

Nevertheless, everyone recognize that these European countries are real democracies. Separately, the countries of Europe have a real commitment to democratic governance. May be because they know the price of the mistakes of the past.
However, it seems that when you put 15 and very soon 25 democracies together, it does not look like the whole system is so democratic. Arithmetic does not always apply to politics.
The problem comes from the fact that the European Union has a very complicated institutional system, which does not look like any national government. Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission, said at one point that the EU was an “unidentified political object”. Imagine how you can drive an unidentified vehicle. You better make the difference between a Hummer and a small car before you start your trip.
So, if we want to know what governance can be envisaged for this European system, it might be good to know more about the system itself.

1. Between Federation and confederation: what kind of system

We should remind us first that the nation states remain the basis of the legitimacy of the EU system, with a strong sense of identity based on different histories, different cultures, different languages.
Those states have not lost their nationalistic tendencies, as we can see in Spain, in France, in Britain, in Greece and in Poland. National pride still exists. Then Constant tensions have to be managed and discussed between them in the framework of the European institutions.
Thus, the EU is a new structure complementing the nation states in many areas. It has no autonomy, and no vocation to become a superstate.
So this EU political system lies between a federation with a super state, and a confederation where the power relies only on the nation states. The EU is more than a confederation, and less than a federation. That is why J Delors and J Fischer have talked about a Federation of Nation States which is a contradiction in terms, but represents the European reality quite well.
Now what about citizenship. Legitimacy in the EU does not come only from the states, and that’s the problem, but also from the citizens, the individual. The future Constitution of EU starts with the following words: “Reflecting the will of the citizens and the States of Europe to build a common future….”. Clearly we have here the elements of a double legitimacy from the Nation states and the Citizen.
And to ass to that complexity, since the treaty of Maastricht in 1992, the EU recognizes two coexisting citizenships, the national and the European.
So, this system is then quite complicated, as you can imagine.
It is criticized by many for its “democratic deficit”, which mainly means a lack of accountability for the decisions taken by the EU institutions.
Now there are two sides of this criticism: a constructive one and a negative one:
The constructive aspect of that criticism comes from those who want a supranational EU. They want the EU to become more like a State, and to be accountable like a state. So they criticize its lack of accountability. They call for more power for the EU parliament.
But there is also the other side of this criticism on the democratic deficit, which wants to get rid of the principle of integration: they use the democratic deficit as an argument to “reinforce their fundamental objections to the integration process ”. Those critics do not want more integration in the name of democracy.
I must say that the argument is not right in both cases: the critics use the democratic argument either to favor the process or to stop it. But they do not help to understand where the problem is. It is a good question with two bad answers.
We can conclude this first part saying that the expression “democratic deficit” is at the best inappropriate, and at the worst unfair. Because its use implies that Europe would already be like a nation, which it’s not going to be.
It is best to speak about the “democratic dilemma” in the EU system or, in order to avoid those theological debates, we would use the expression of “an enigmatic governance” of the EU. This term of governance is defined by the EU commission itself as “rules, process and behavior that affect the way in which powers are exercised at the European level” . Beyond democracy, we certainly have a specific governance in the EU, which is enigmatic enough to be discussed.
This democratic dilemma is a sort of original sin for Europe. It is due to the division of Europe in national states and national cultures, which have difficulties in communicating with each other since they are divided into different cultural spheres according to countries and languages. It is a structural sin where the necessary social and cultural preconditions of a political system are missing, a minimum of unity and common culture. In that sense, the recent debate over the Constitution is quite different from the debate in Philadelphia in 1776.
Nevertheless the classical question on governance should be asked to that type of system, that is: how authorized by the people is this government? How representative is it? How responsible is it to the people? We might not have the same answer at the European level than at the national level, but we are entitled to ask the same questions.
We must ask ourselves now how this type of European system has been managed so far? And how it came to be as bad as it is described sometimes?


2. Bureaucrats and efficiency first

In order to understand the problem it is good to go back to the beginning. When Jean Monnet proposed the new Coal and Steel Community in 1950, he clearly had in mind a French model, an institution made of good and able civil servants, totally dedicated to their work, with a great sense of public service. This would be an administration made of the best competences of Europe, able to decide for the best interest of the members.
This building of institutions would gradually create a common spirit, the conditions for a political system. This has always been the European method. You did not have a cultural and political community at the beginning. So, the EU starts from the differences, organizes institutions, and then fills that up with common policies, hoping that this will create more unity in the end. In other words, institution building precedes the identity building.
This method has allowed to build a common market, a common currency, a Charter of fundamental rights and the writing of a common Constitution, all elements which give a new identity for the European Union and its members. Identity building has succeeded.
But these initiatives have been taken by an elite of bureaucrats. This is a very limited sense of participation which is typically French, and was presented by Jean Monnet as “an essentially democratic method”
This way of governance is a great temptation. The temptation of efficacy over legitimitacy. But it worked very well for some time, and very few people had anything to say against it, because public opinion just did not realize what was going on.
An enormous work of integration has taken place in more than 50 years, and this in two phases, one positive, the other negative.
From 1950 to 1992 (the Treaty of Maastricht), the European Commission was the main actor and could advance an incredible work of integration of what was then the European Community. This was an intense and positive integration.
But in 1992, the nation states came back on the front line. The national governments thought that the federal institutions like the European Commission were getting too strong. It was time to come back to the wheel of power. A time of negative integration followed, with the power devolved back to the European Council and the Council of ministers, which are intergovernmental institutions.
During all this time, new problems were coming up, because public opinion was not following the development of EU institutions and politics.
Surveys give us some ideas about the situation. On one hand, the opinion supports in general the principle of EU integration. It is even more explicit as far as the Constitution is concerned, since 77% of the population of the EU wants this new Constitution. 62% want their country to make concessions in order to reach that Constitution. 63% are in favor of a European Minister of Foreign affairs.
Preceding studies have found the same thing : there is an overall popular support for the EU. The positive answers to the question “Is EU membership good” grew from 54 to 70% from 1982 to 1992. In this study, 80% are for, or very much for this effort to unify Europe, while 8 to 17% would be happy to see the end of the EU.
On the other hand, the level of participation in European elections is constantly decreasing. In 20 years the participation in election to the EP, from 1979 to 1999 went down in Germany from 65% to 45%, in UK, from 31% to 24%, in Italy from 85% to 75%, in Netherlands from 58% to 36%.
Several referendums have barely passed. In 1992, the Treaty of Maastricht was ratified in France by a majority of 51%, which is not much. In Denmark it was lost and they had to vote again. The best case being the Irish ratification of the Nice Treaty, which was refused on a first referendum and finally accepted on a second.
That means that the answer to EU development is far from being simple. Euroscepticism is growing, protesting what they call the “dictatorship of Brussels». The feeling is that Brussels is intervening into too many details of daily life, the size of bananas, the color of lights in your car, the quality of chocolate, and so on.
Other objections to the EU: there is no way for EU citizens to appoint or dismiss the EU government. Europeans are governed by non-elected civil servants. Citizens are under the control of a bureaucracy. The Kafkaïan image of Brussels is confirmed by the tons of paperwork needed for any activities linked to Brussels.
A bigger and bigger gap between the institutions and the sense of European identity was perceived by many European citizens. If the dynamic of integration has been very strong, the feeling of identity has not followed.
What’s too bad is that the population approves of the principle of EU integration. We see that again now with the approval of the work of the Constitution in the surveys. But people do not understand the method, and they are sensitive to the eurosceptic criticism of the absence of democracy.
People are pulled in complete opposite directions. One cannot go on like that anymore. Europe should change its method of governance.


3. The White paper on Governance

The European Commission, which is far from being dumb, realized that. After just arriving in power in 1999, a new President, Romano Prodi, decided in the year 2000 to promote a study of governance in the EU, with the idea to improve the way the institutions work and to bridge the gap between the citizens and EU power. The target was the famous “democratic deficit”.
The task was not too easy to fulfill, because the changes in democracy were not only coming from the European system, but they existed in all participatory democracies at the national level. So, the question is to know if the EU democratic deficit is coming from the EU system or from the growing skepticism around modern democracy?
To these concerns were added several other more precise ones : the lack of progress with the “Europe of regions” which does not seem to work. A real concern about the influence of corporate interests over EU regulation policy. This is a problem since EU policies are much more regulatory than distributive.
So, in February 2000, the European Commission asked a French civil servant who knew the European Institutions very well, Jerôme Vignon, who had been counselor to Jacques Delors for many years, to write a report on that subject. Mr Vignon went to work, consulting with every possible interested person on the subject, governments, the EU Commission, the EU Parliament, representatives of Regions, lobby groups of all kinds, academic figures, internet consultation, public debates, and so on. This was a very open process. He gave his report a year and a half later in July 2001.
It is interesting to evaluate this report. It has been written by people inside the system, former members of the European Commission, very much convinced of what they call the “Community method”, and by a French civil servant, which is not without importance because of the tradition of French public service. This might explain why the report states that “there is much that can be done to change the way the Union works under the existing treaty” . The report only invites improvement in the Community method. This would be done in two ways: first, take greater account of the local and regional. Second, enhance involvement in the policy process by citizen’s organizations, giving a bigger and better role to lobbies and advocacy groups with the idea to improve the dialogue with civil society.
This is OK, but it cannot be the panacea for a very fragmented governance, even if it is a good start. This is not democracy in the sense that it gives power to another elite, the elite of NGO’s and European civil society. We saw that very bluntly during the Convention which prepared the Constitution. The European associations which intervened in the process, and among them, our Jesuit association, were not democratic. They were made of a European elite, very competent and already convinced of the value of European integration, while the bulk of the European citizens are not. So, participation, which is one of the great means of action of this text, remains a very closed concept.

Unfortunately, this report has never really been put into practice, since it was published in July 2001 when the reflections on a new Convention for the writing of a Constitution were already on the way. The future Constitution was supposed to answer all the questions raised before the White paper on governance The report was forgotten with the beginning of the work of the Convention in February 2002.


4. The proposals of the Constitution

The agenda of the Convention was enormous since it had to proceed to a real new foundation of the Union by writing a Constitution.
This Constitution wants to fulfill the normal role of a Constitution, which is rule making (to create news rules and regulations), measure taking (to force in the application of the law), and dispute setting (to regulate the oppositions and disputes).
But it also has the ambition to fulfill a second role of all Constitutions, which is to create a political community, a political unity rooted in a cultural entity. This is stated in the preamble: “While remaining proud of their own national identities and history, the peoples of Europe are determined to transcend their ancient divisions, and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny”. The expression “united ever more closely” has a strong, symbolic significance. Although it is not very precise, it is full of meaning which did not escape the people who wrote the Constitution, since debate was very strong on those words.
The same desire of forming a cultural entity in a common destiny is clearly the reason why the Constitution includes the Charter of fundamental rights, gives a juridical personality for the Union, and promotes the symbols of the Union like a flag, an hymn, a currency, a day of celebration (May, 9th).
Beyond that, one of the main debates was over the democratic deficit. Several responses have been completed in the project of the Constitution. I give you 3 points:
1. An increase of representative democracy, at two levels. The European Parliament has increased its area of intervention of common decision with the Council of ministers to 35 new sectors. But the National Parliaments have also increased their role in the European process. They will be informed of all projects of legislation, and will have 6 weeks to give a green light or red light to the European Commission before a decision is made. This is a good way to practice subsidiarity, such an important principle in the European construction since Maastricht in 1992.
2. An opening to majority democracy. The EU system is very much based on consensus. It’s a good principle in order to respect the diversity of the various nation states of the EU, but this limits the practice of democracy. The Constitution introduces the idea that the President of the Commission should be chosen in the political majority of the European Parliament and he would be elected by this Parliament the day after the Parliament elections. This opens a choice for the people.
3. Last but not least, the introduction of participatory democracy in the EU process. Civil society, Trade Unions, associations and churches are accepted as natural partners of political institutions. But there is something more: the Constitution also offers the possibility for a million people to ask the EU Commission to introduce a project of law.
I must say here a special word about the churches. They have been very active as part of European civil society, well present through various organizations which certainly had an impact on the redaction of the Constitution. Europe is more open to religion than several of the European countries themselves.

These three points are really essential. They show the attempt of the Constitution to answer that call for democracy. But they do not answer all the problems of the democratic dilemma in Europe. One of them is the absence of representative government for the European citizen. No one knows who governs in Brussels.
To answer that, the Constitution proposes the idea of a permanent President of the European Council for 5 years and the abolition of the six months rotation system of the Presidency. You hardly know the name of the President and then you have to learn the name of the next one. So a permanent president would allow some identification at the European level. At least we would know who leads Europe.
Another issue raised by the constitutional project is the problem of a European Commission of 15 members, leaving many countries without a Commissioner. If it is juridically a good proposal because it aims at efficiency, it is politically a great mistake because it keeps states out of the essential place of decision. All countries of the EU want to be part of it, and for good reasons. If someone is part of the decision, the country has a feeling that it participates in the development of Europe. This also is an expression of democracy. It allows to go beyond the fragmentation of Europe in different cultural spheres.

Can we say that these proposals of the Constitution are enough to help overcome the democratic dilemma?
I think it is not enough. They are real improvements, but they do not create the European political space which is needed for all citizens of Europe. The citizen remains too far from the European political debate, which is fragmented into national debate in each national space. This European political debate is not brought close to him. The original sin of the double nature of the EU, national and federal, is just partly overcome by these reforms.
One of the most democratic proposals of the Constitution is the idea that the debates in the Council of minister would be public, when they discuss a legislative proposal. It is a very good idea but I don’t think many people would watch that on their TV set (and we have not C-Span around), but certainly it would break the fortress of secrecy built by the Council of ministers. It would allow journalists or specialists to get informed about the political discussion on European issues, and to know which country is in favor of this or that. This is an idea that should probably be developed.
But it remains very confidential. It would be one of these great ideas for Europeans already very much informed. This is one of the dangers of Brussels. The specialists get everything they want, all the information (on internet for instance), real transparency etc.. but there is no real open debate where the general public can be involved.


5. The necessary opening of the political debate

At this point, we can appreciate the proposals of the Constitution, but it is not enough. There is a need to “parliamentarize” and politicize the EU. This is something that the EU civil servants do not really want and do not really like because it might make the process slower and more difficult.
But we enter now a new phase in the development of Europe. With 25 countries in and with 80 000 pages of common regulations, with a common market and a common currency, very soon common immigration laws, and the beginning of a common foreign policy, we are no longer in the growing phase of Europe, in a phase of development. Europe is not a growing child anymore, but an adult, with its regular size, its own autonomy, its own identity. The time for building the foundation is finished .
After many years of debate on the type of institutional system, and with an approval of the Constitution in June, the EU is entering the phase of policy decisions. There should be debates in the public opinion now on what to decide, where to go, how to relate to the US, how to continue integration and so on. The people should be able to say what they want and how to organize Europe. European politics cannot remain with this system of consensus decided behind closed doors, keeping the public totally ignorant, and then waking up all surprised that the public says no. The dilemma is now how you can politicize the democracy of consensus . Three proposals could be made:

The first proposal is to make the government dependent upon a parliamentary process. This means that the European Commission should be appointed according to the majority of the Parliament, which is the project of the Constitution.
This is a very good step. Every political party of the EU parliament should have a candidate for President of the Commission, each of them with their own program. And the citizens could choose in the EU Parliament elections between programs and candidates. The project of the Constitution should go further. The President of the European Commission could create a majority model of the EU Commission instead of a consensus model. This is not easy since the Commissioners are appointed by the nation States and not by the Parliament. But the nation States are not all of the same political group, so differences will remain to allow political options.
The second proposal is to get the EU Commission to introduce options in their political projects, and not only one proposal as it is now. The proposal is supposed to be the only good proposal, accepted by all without debate. The EP and the Council of minister have no other choices but to say yes or no to the EU proposal. This use of the “technicality” of a proposal can be ambiguous. You cannot always dissolve “political issues” into technical solutions.
The third proposal is to get the national parliaments involved in the European debate . I have said that already in connection to the Constitutional project, but it is still very limited there. It should be systematic and there should be some constraint of the EU Commission if an important number of the National Parliaments disagree with a project. The debate in the national parliaments should take place before the decision at the Council level, so that the delegate of each government knows what to do when he meets with the other ministers. This is already in place in Denmark; it should be so in all countries.

Conclusion

Those reforms are necessary. Others are impossible, particularly the direct election of the President of the EU Commission by all European citizens. It is not a good idea, since nobody could really meet this candidate because of the problem of diversity of languages. I can’t see a candidate going to 25 different countries with 20 different languages. In that sense, the European structure, its fragmentation in different cultural and political zones, does not allow a presidential system as it is known here, although I know that some people are in favor of such an initiative.

These are some proposals to change the governance in Europe, to make it more political, to allow the expression of local entities, and citizens. It will remain for a long time enigmatic for many people. But Europe has proved in the past to be able to be creative in political terms. That’s why I hope the ratification of the Constitution will be a new step in a permanent way of political creativity.
Link to the "Etudes" website

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週四, 05 十月 2006 19:45

最初的心跳

【陈太乙 译】

男人在一片大平原上前行,长草满布。他在草原上留下一行足迹,深沈且散发著草地芬芳。来到一丛松树林边缘,他似乎感到惊奇,于是停下脚步,微微抬起头,仰望头顶上方。他迟疑著,不知是否该深入林荫。他回转过身,原先披在肩头用一支手指勾住的天鹅绒外套滑落在地。

喧哗的合奏

他坐了下来,背对松树林木。好一阵子,他凝视草原,彷佛想探寻自己孤独的足迹。接著,他躺了下来,稍稍侧卧,解放徒步走来的疲惫身躯。他睡著了。几乎没有任何声息。仅听得见他的心跳,听见蕴藏在茎叶中的春天活力汨汨流向花朵;在潮湿幽暗的角落里,野蕨卷曲的枝芽正冲破青苔舒展开来。还有他吐气纳息的声音,缓慢,平和,彷佛波涛起伏。偶尔一阵热风轻拂,轻得几乎难以察觉,只惊动几株小草微颤。
就在此刻,一头牝鹿,受到这个男人与植物的生命力吸引,从一座矮林中探出头来。带著一点点惶恐,静静地,全身笼罩著一股强烈的刺柏气味。它慢慢朝沈睡中的男人走近,几乎要摩触到他。然后,在他身旁伏下,毛皮抵著他的天鹅绒外衣,鼻息混合著他的呼吸,但并未将他惊醒。牝鹿圆圆的耳朵异常地扯动,现在终于平静下来。它微微阖上了大而湿润的眼睛,专心一意地,宁静祥和地,进入男人的梦乡安憩。
于是,除了心跳声、春天活跃之声和呼吸声,又加入了另一种声响,有点类似音乐:一种森林、树皮、树根、树叶、泥巴和腐植土合奏出的音乐。神似低音管的音质,几乎有如人声,没有只言片语,转变成一种友谊之歌唱,是友情之献礼,同时也是请求;温柔地,深深地,带著自信,敞开胸怀,只是静静的邀请。虽在睡梦之中,男人仍应该听到了,因为牝鹿看见他的手稍稍向它伸来,但并未触及,彷佛兴起抚摸的意念。而低音管的音乐似乎从林间倒流回溯。
蓦地,和牝鹿一般悄然,一只蓝色斑尾林鸽从树梢上滑落。一切皆保持原样不动,唯有已弥漫著树脂松香的空气散发出更浓郁的芬芳。一开始,小鸽停在距离男人头部很近的地方。之后,那一跃是不可思议的轻盈,它栖上他的肩头,彷佛那就是它最理所当然的驻留处。它一会儿注视男人浑圆的肩头,一会儿看著自己斜斜的翅膀。在它静止的双爪附近,那金黄色的颈背与耳朵复杂的结构,它觉得那似乎是男人头部的开口。
现在,是谁听见了这段由羽毛、云朵、微风和春风组成的新音乐?是小鸽自己?还是沈睡中的男人?听来像是长笛的音响,在低音管的鸣声上回荡。再一次,始终无言,仍是那奉献友谊的邀请,仍是相同的请求:愉悦、灵敏、清澈、就是如此缭绕不散,宛转轻快。斑尾林鸽整个小小的鸟儿身躯都感觉到了,男人心跳的节奏微微加快了些。它看见他试著开启嘴唇,彷佛兴起言语的意念却又没成功。这时,它完全睡著,而长笛的乐声即将消失于松林针叶之间。
过了一会儿,一只蜻蜓飞来。它离开了附近的池塘水畔、塘中的浮萍及含苞待放的睡莲。有一段时间,它散发虹光的鞘壳与细薄的翅膀似乎不再遵循对尾双飞的奇怪法则。无声无息地,它落在沈睡男人的乱发丛中,骤然打断之字型的飞行路线。它的大眼睛黑溜溜地闪著金光,仔细观察男人阖上的眼皮:一点点透明,并微微泛著珍珠光芒。

无言的分身

而现在,这里响起了音乐,飘扬在其他两种声响之上,如竖琴一般的乐声,稍微胜过低语呢喃,依然为那温柔及友谊的意图伴奏?那是一种湿润的音响,水漾、流畅、轻盈、倒影、照映、细雨与雾气。男人的脸孔彷佛因此得到洗涤,愈发平静祥和,直到现出微笑。就像所有蜻蜓那样,半夜睡时总是睁大著眼,蜻蜓睡前捕捉到的,恰巧就只是那一个初露的微笑。而竖琴的低语也逐渐黯淡终止。
在男人及与他沈醉在同一个梦乡中的三只动物上方,一道彩虹缓缓成形。起初苍淡,而后更加鲜明,彷佛想显示弧形延展的中心点。渐渐地,一切事物皆起了变化:由芦苇围起的池塘变成地平线上辽阔的大海;松树林与刺柏林不断生长,最后长成两棵巨大的树木,占据整个空间。而男人,他现在完全赤裸。
在睡梦中,他发现自己既在一座花园之中,又身处海边,立于沙与水之间,天与地之间,如同连结高处与低地的接榫。他的躯体越来越放松,双手张开,彷佛要迎接某样从未期待过之事物。他的掌心朝天,置放在青草丛中,微微上弯成钵盆状,就像介于松林与橄榄林之间那些规划完善的小田地,人们在那里种植葡萄与麦子,这样的地方彷佛浑然天成,用来储存自然活力,迎接上天赐予的生命。而彩虹中的红色突然变得更加鲜艳,因为在他敞开的双手掌心,鲜血有如断线珍珠般淌出。他的双脚交叠,此刻亦染成鲜红;而他平滑白晰的胸膛上也出现同样的血渍,逐渐晕开到心脏的部位。痛楚静默无声,却强烈得惊醒了牝鹿,斑尾林鸽和蜻蜓睁眼凝望。
动物们讶异地看见,这受伤的躯体上并无任何裂痕伤口。而在他上方,如空中一道反光轻颤,另一具身躯缓缓地分离出来,变成与他相似的形体。

第一句话

那是一个女人的躯体。在她完全脱离他的身体之时,已无法弄清楚谁是谁的分身,她仅一拂拭,便消抹去手脚上的伤痕。在涌出鲜血与水心脏之处,她青春的双乳逐渐成形。藉著双唇一吻,她从沈睡男人的呼吸中取得自己之气息,而他直到此刻才清醒过来。他的眼里尽是微笑,双手捧著满满的柔情,嘴唇开启,轻声低语:
「这便是我骨中之骨,肉中之肉:是我的挚友,挚爱,是我灵魂的灵魂!」
突然间,寂静彷佛凝结成晶,既精纯又透明。一切事物悬置静止,因为无论牝鹿、斑尾林鸽、蜻蜓或彩虹下的任何造物皆未曾听闻:就在刚才,大地上诞生了第一句话语。然后,动物们重新奏起属于他们的音籁:森林、春风与水波的乐曲,与回应柔情与友谊之邀的这句话相互唱和。男人与女人一起陶醉在一种歌声之中,那歌唱占据了他们,来自于他们,借由他们的喉咙发出,但他们并不清楚发自于何处。而就这样,有史以来第一首赞美歌开始传唱。

期待

不久之后,出现另一个声音,更清新,且十分微弱,让人慌张失措,听起来似乎从他们自己的歌声中传出:应该是一个即将诞生的孩子的声音。于是,彩虹中所有的色彩皆散播在大地上。草原上,每一株草都将小小的托萼伸向天空,以迎向虹彩光线之变幻。男人及等待的女人,太阳为他们戴上一轮光环。

【人籁论辨月刊第4期,2004年4月】

附加的多媒体:
{rokbox}media/articles/Matrix_Rimaud_04_ct.jpg{/rokbox}
週四, 05 十月 2006 19:39

捕捉自我的渔人

【尉迟秀 译】

在海边捕鱼有很多种不同的方式:有人捕鱼虾,有人捕话语,
有人捕到大海最珍贵的宝藏……

太阳快要下山的时候,他走出家门。他要去摆放捕鱼用的柳条笼子。他总是让笼子沈到非常深的地方,沈到只有他一个人知道的水底断层,或者放在峭壁底下的水底岩台。每一次,他都把他的话放在那里当饵。这句话还是活跳跳的,他每次从自己心底深处掏出来,他和这句话分开,望著这句话在手心抽动著,然后把它勾在这些柳条编成的陷阱里。这句话,他放在身体里摇了一整天,就像别人在整理房间的窗帘,耙平花园里的小径,扎一束白棉草或欧石南花,磨光一块木头,或是一块石头,或者修饰一段音乐、一段文字 为了某一个人。

捕捉言语如珍珠

然后,慢慢地,他轻摇著桨,在暮色之中划回岸边。
第二天,一大清早,在破晓前,在晨曦之中,他出门去收他的柳条笼子。他希望里头会有一些别的话语回应他那句话:一段友好的讯息、一封信、一个回音、一个问题。但他捕到的永远都是一些海葵、一些海星,而且一只比一只还要安静。有几次他还捕到一些奇形怪状的贝壳。这时,他会把贝壳放在耳边,渴望听到这些贝壳和他说话。他只听到似乎是大海在那儿隐隐作响。可是他从心底深处掏出来做饵的话语,却在每个早上被海盐腐蚀(是谁靠近过它呢?)、冲淡(是谁读了这句话呢?)、扯碎(是谁拿它来当食物呢?)。有时候柳条笼子甚至是空的:那句话不见了(是谁把它拿走了?拿到哪儿去了呢?)。
于是,他从心底更私密的地方拿出另一句话来做饵。他想,这个饵应该有更强的吸引力,有更强的友好能力吧。他把饵放得越来越远,越来越深,他放饵的地方总是越来越神秘。那是一些过渡的地方,他觉得水底的这些地方应该会有一些思想的流水,一些孤独的流水,一些在寻找去处的流水,一些在寻找水道、想要和其他流水混合的流水,他觉得他可以捕捉到吧。他选来做饵的,有时是一句喊叫的话,一句抱怨的话,一句提问的话。或者是一句歌唱的话,一句吟诗的话,一句音乐的话。而他把这些话沈入水底之前,总是有一点犹豫,好像怕他的诗歌会被大海的诗歌淹没,好像害怕他的吼叫会被大海的大嗓门给盖过。有几次他则是用一句脆弱的话语做饵,或是一句细语呢喃,一声叹息,这要挂在陷阱里就比较难了,这种饵在水里变得像一颗沈静的泡泡。他担心地望著泡泡往阴暗无比的水底下沈,久久地,那颗泡泡却还是看得见,闪闪发亮,像颗珍珠似的。他只得把几颗重一点的石头装进柳条笼子里。
可是一如往昔,在灰扑扑的清晨,他的柳条笼子还是没有任何回应的动静。

以心捕心

一天晚上,他心想,他不该只是把话放进去就算了。于是他冒险把他的心放了进去。这一次,他在港边待了三天三夜,才下水去把柳条笼子收起来,他非常害怕他的心会不会一无所获。他终于来到他的捕鱼地,他在那儿找到他的心,跟他当初放下去的时候一个样,一直是那么光裸裸,那么孤伶伶,待在一只柳条笼子的底部。可他的心却从来没被水、盐、海草,或是任何海底的动物破坏过。他轻巧地用手指端起他的心,把它重新放回胸口。他感到他的心跳是一种新的节奏,渐渐化为他的节奏。彷佛这颗心学著大海的节奏在跳动,随著大海的潮来与潮往,辽阔无边;随著大海潮浪的律动,始终如一;随著大海汹涌澎湃的长浪,宁静而强大;带著大海的碎浪,比雷声更低沈。他彷佛终于找到了解答,可以回应那延宕如此长久的问题,回应他沈下每一个柳条笼子的时候提出的问题。
捕捉自我的渔人,他最后给自己捕到了另一颗心,即便在最令人晕眩的静默里,这颗心也能够体会世间的一切。

【人籁论辨月刊第3期,2004年3月】

附加的多媒体:
{rokbox}media/articles/Matrix_Rimaud_03_cs.jpg{/rokbox}
週四, 05 十月 2006 19:18

最初的心跳

【陳太乙 譯】

男人在一片大平原上前行,長草滿布。他在草原上留下一行足跡,深沈且散發著草地芬芳。來到一叢松樹林邊緣,他似乎感到驚奇,於是停下腳步,微微抬起頭,仰望頭頂上方。他遲疑著,不知是否該深入林蔭。他回轉過身,原先披在肩頭用一支手指勾住的天鵝絨外套滑落在地。

喧嘩的合奏

他坐了下來,背對松樹林木。好一陣子,他凝視草原,彷彿想探尋自己孤獨的足跡。接著,他躺了下來,稍稍側臥,解放徒步走來的疲憊身軀。他睡著了。幾乎沒有任何聲息。僅聽得見他的心跳,聽見蘊藏在莖葉中的春天活力汨汨流向花朵;在潮濕幽暗的角落裡,野蕨捲曲的枝芽正衝破青苔舒展開來。還有他吐氣納息的聲音,緩慢,平和,彷彿波濤起伏。偶爾一陣熱風輕拂,輕得幾乎難以察覺,只驚動幾株小草微顫。
就在此刻,一頭牝鹿,受到這個男人與植物的生命力吸引,從一座矮林中探出頭來。帶著一點點惶恐,靜靜地,全身籠罩著一股強烈的刺柏氣味。牠慢慢朝沈睡中的男人走近,幾乎要摩觸到他。然後,在他身旁伏下,毛皮抵著他的天鵝絨外衣,鼻息混合著他的呼吸,但並未將他驚醒。牝鹿圓圓的耳朵異常地扯動,現在終於平靜下來。牠微微闔上了大而濕潤的眼睛,專心一意地,寧靜祥和地,進入男人的夢鄉安憩。
於是,除了心跳聲、春天活躍之聲和呼吸聲,又加入了另一種聲響,有點類似音樂:一種森林、樹皮、樹根、樹葉、泥巴和腐植土合奏出的音樂。神似低音管的音質,幾乎有如人聲,沒有隻言片語,轉變成一種友誼之歌唱,是友情之獻禮,同時也是請求;溫柔地,深深地,帶著自信,敞開胸懷,只是靜靜的邀請。雖在睡夢之中,男人仍應該聽到了,因為牝鹿看見他的手稍稍向牠伸來,但並未觸及,彷彿興起撫摸的意念。而低音管的音樂似乎從林間倒流回溯。
驀地,和牝鹿一般悄然,一隻藍色斑尾林鴿從樹梢上滑落。一切皆保持原樣不動,唯有已瀰漫著樹脂松香的空氣散發出更濃郁的芬芳。一開始,小鴿停在距離男人頭部很近的地方。之後,那一躍是不可思議的輕盈,牠棲上他的肩頭,彷彿那就是牠最理所當然的駐留處。牠一會兒注視男人渾圓的肩頭,一會兒看著自己斜斜的翅膀。在牠靜止的雙爪附近,那金黃色的頸背與耳朵複雜的結構,牠覺得那似乎是男人頭部的開口。
現在,是誰聽見了這段由羽毛、雲朵、微風和春風組成的新音樂?是小鴿自己?還是沈睡中的男人?聽來像是長笛的音響,在低音管的鳴聲上迴盪。再一次,始終無言,仍是那奉獻友誼的邀請,仍是相同的請求:愉悅、靈敏、清澈、就是如此繚繞不散,宛轉輕快。斑尾林鴿整個小小的鳥兒身軀都感覺到了,男人心跳的節奏微微加快了些。牠看見他試著開啟嘴唇,彷彿興起言語的意念卻又沒成功。這時,牠完全睡著,而長笛的樂聲即將消失於松林針葉之間。
過了一會兒,一隻蜻蜓飛來。牠離開了附近的池塘水畔、塘中的浮萍及含苞待放的睡蓮。有一段時間,牠散發虹光的鞘殼與細薄的翅膀似乎不再遵循對尾雙飛的奇怪法則。無聲無息地,牠落在沈睡男人的亂髮叢中,驟然打斷之字型的飛行路線。牠的大眼睛黑溜溜地閃著金光,仔細觀察男人闔上的眼皮:一點點透明,並微微泛著珍珠光芒。

無言的分身

而現在,這裡響起了音樂,飄揚在其他兩種聲響之上,如豎琴一般的樂聲,稍微勝過低語呢喃,依然為那溫柔及友誼的意圖伴奏?那是一種濕潤的音響,水漾、流暢、輕盈、倒影、照映、細雨與霧氣。男人的臉孔彷彿因此得到洗滌,愈發平靜祥和,直到現出微笑。就像所有蜻蜓那樣,半夜睡時總是睜大著眼,蜻蜓睡前捕捉到的,恰巧就只是那一個初露的微笑。而豎琴的低語也逐漸黯淡終止。
在男人及與他沈醉在同一個夢鄉中的三隻動物上方,一道彩虹緩緩成形。起初蒼淡,而後更加鮮明,彷彿想顯示弧形延展的中心點。漸漸地,一切事物皆起了變化:由蘆葦圍起的池塘變成地平線上遼闊的大海;松樹林與刺柏林不斷生長,最後長成兩棵巨大的樹木,占據整個空間。而男人,他現在完全赤裸。

在睡夢中,他發現自己既在一座花園之中,又身處海邊,立於沙與水之間,天與地之間,如同連結高處與低地的接榫。他的軀體越來越放鬆,雙手張開,彷彿要迎接某樣從未期待過之事物。他的掌心朝天,置放在青草叢中,微微上彎成缽盆狀,就像介於松林與橄欖林之間那些規劃完善的小田地,人們在那裡種植葡萄與麥子,這樣的地方彷彿渾然天成,用來儲存自然活力,迎接上天賜予的生命。而彩虹中的紅色突然變得更加鮮豔,因為在他敞開的雙手掌心,鮮血有如斷線珍珠般淌出。他的雙腳交疊,此刻亦染成鮮紅;而他平滑白晰的胸膛上也出現同樣的血漬,逐漸暈開到心臟的部位。痛楚靜默無聲,卻強烈得驚醒了牝鹿,斑尾林鴿和蜻蜓睜眼凝望。
動物們訝異地看見,這受傷的軀體上並無任何裂痕傷口。而在他上方,如空中一道反光輕顫,另一具身軀緩緩地分離出來,變成與他相似的形體。

第一句話

那是一個女人的軀體。在她完全脫離他的身體之時,已無法弄清楚誰是誰的分身,她僅一拂拭,便消抹去手腳上的傷痕。在湧出鮮血與水心臟之處,她青春的雙乳逐漸成形。藉著雙唇一吻,她從沈睡男人的呼吸中取得自己之氣息,而他直到此刻才清醒過來。他的眼裡盡是微笑,雙手捧著滿滿的柔情,嘴唇開啟,輕聲低語:
「這便是我骨中之骨,肉中之肉:是我的摯友,摯愛,是我靈魂的靈魂!」
突然間,寂靜彷彿凝結成晶,既精純又透明。一切事物懸置靜止,因為無論牝鹿、斑尾林鴿、蜻蜓或彩虹下的任何造物皆未曾聽聞:就在剛才,大地上誕生了第一句話語。然後,動物們重新奏起屬於他們的音籟:森林、春風與水波的樂曲,與回應柔情與友誼之邀的這句話相互唱和。男人與女人一起陶醉在一種歌聲之中,那歌唱占據了他們,來自於他們,借由他們的喉嚨發出,但他們並不清楚發自於何處。而就這樣,有史以來第一首讚美歌開始傳唱。

期待

不久之後,出現另一個聲音,更清新,且十分微弱,讓人慌張失措,聽起來似乎從他們自己的歌聲中傳出:應該是一個即將誕生的孩子的聲音。於是,彩虹中所有的色彩皆散播在大地上。草原上,每一株草都將小小的托萼伸向天空,以迎向虹彩光線之變幻。男人及等待的女人,太陽為他們戴上一輪光環。

【人籟論辨月刊第4期,2004年4月】

週四, 05 十月 2006 18:47

捕捉自我的漁人

【尉遲秀 譯】

在海邊捕魚有很多種不同的方式:有人捕魚蝦,有人捕話語,
有人捕到大海最珍貴的寶藏……

太陽快要下山的時候,他走出家門。他要去擺放捕魚用的柳條籠子。他總是讓籠子沈到非常深的地方,沈到只有他一個人知道的水底斷層,或者放在峭壁底下的水底岩台。每一次,他都把他的話放在那裡當餌。這句話還是活跳跳的,他每次從自己心底深處掏出來,他和這句話分開,望著這句話在手心抽動著,然後把它勾在這些柳條編成的陷阱裡。這句話,他放在身體裡搖了一整天,就像別人在整理房間的窗簾,耙平花園裡的小徑,紮一束白棉草或歐石南花,磨光一塊木頭,或是一塊石頭,或者修飾一段音樂、一段文字 為了某一個人。

捕捉言語如珍珠

然後,慢慢地,他輕搖著槳,在暮色之中划回岸邊。
第二天,一大清早,在破曉前,在晨曦之中,他出門去收他的柳條籠子。他希望裡頭會有一些別的話語回應他那句話:一段友好的訊息、一封信、一個回音、一個問題。但他捕到的永遠都是一些海葵、一些海星,而且一隻比一隻還要安靜。有幾次他還捕到一些奇形怪狀的貝殼。這時,他會把貝殼放在耳邊,渴望聽到這些貝殼和他說話。他只聽到似乎是大海在那兒隱隱作響。可是他從心底深處掏出來做餌的話語,卻在每個早上被海鹽腐蝕(是誰靠近過它呢?)、沖淡(是誰讀了這句話呢?)、扯碎(是誰拿它來當食物呢?)。有時候柳條籠子甚至是空的:那句話不見了(是誰把它拿走了?拿到哪兒去了呢?)。
於是,他從心底更私密的地方拿出另一句話來做餌。他想,這個餌應該有更強的吸引力,有更強的友好能力吧。他把餌放得越來越遠,越來越深,他放餌的地方總是越來越神祕。那是一些過渡的地方,他覺得水底的這些地方應該會有一些思想的流水,一些孤獨的流水,一些在尋找去處的流水,一些在尋找水道、想要和其他流水混合的流水,他覺得他可以捕捉到吧。他選來做餌的,有時是一句喊叫的話,一句抱怨的話,一句提問的話。或者是一句歌唱的話,一句吟詩的話,一句音樂的話。而他把這些話沈入水底之前,總是有一點猶豫,好像怕他的詩歌會被大海的詩歌淹沒,好像害怕他的吼叫會被大海的大嗓門給蓋過。有幾次他則是用一句脆弱的話語做餌,或是一句細語呢喃,一聲歎息,這要掛在陷阱裡就比較難了,這種餌在水裡變得像一顆沈靜的泡泡。他擔心地望著泡泡往陰暗無比的水底下沈,久久地,那顆泡泡卻還是看得見,閃閃發亮,像顆珍珠似的。他只得把幾顆重一點的石頭裝進柳條籠子裡。
可是一如往昔,在灰撲撲的清晨,他的柳條籠子還是沒有任何回應的動靜。

以心捕心


一天晚上,他心想,他不該只是把話放進去就算了。於是他冒險把他的心放了進去。這一次,他在港邊待了三天三夜,才下水去把柳條籠子收起來,他非常害怕他的心會不會一無所獲。他終於來到他的捕魚地,他在那兒找到他的心,跟他當初放下去的時候一個樣,一直是那麼光裸裸,那麼孤伶伶,待在一只柳條籠子的底部。可他的心卻從來沒被水、鹽、海草,或是任何海底的動物破壞過。他輕巧地用手指端起他的心,把它重新放回胸口。他感到他的心跳是一種新的節奏,漸漸化為他的節奏。彷彿這顆心學著大海的節奏在跳動,隨著大海的潮來與潮往,遼闊無邊;隨著大海潮浪的律動,始終如一;隨著大海洶湧澎湃的長浪,寧靜而強大;帶著大海的碎浪,比雷聲更低沈。他彷彿終於找到了解答,可以回應那延宕如此長久的問題,回應他沈下每一個柳條籠子的時候提出的問題。
捕捉自我的漁人,他最後給自己捕到了另一顆心,即便在最令人暈眩的靜默裡,這顆心也能夠體會世間的一切。

【人籟論辨月刊第3期,2004年3月】

週四, 05 十月 2006 18:14

驚奇樹

【李美圜 譯】

這真是一棵令人驚奇的樹。人們總是無法預知它會開出什麼樣的花或結出什麼樣的果實。如同人要換服裝一般,它的樹皮也經常有變化。某個晚上,它顯得粗糙,就像橡樹的表皮一樣;第二天,它卻如同無花果樹皮般的光滑;兩天後,它變成粉紅及白色,人們因此說它是樺樹,或有時一層生銅綠的地衣爬滿它的身,這時它又像是深山裡的落葉松。

調皮的樹

有一年,它開出鵝掌楸的花,卻結出了松果。又有一年,它開花的樣子看起來像含羞草,但整夜散發出橙樹開花時節縈繞不去的香氣,然後突然間整棵樹長滿數以千計的檸檬。那些檸檬就像樹一樣不尋常,成熟時並沒有從綠色轉為黃色,卻變成紫色、靛藍、寶藍色……又有一次,它讓所有的人都感到十分地驚訝:在大雪裡,它竟開出純白的花朵,彷彿變成一棵杏樹。到了五月,它果真被纍纍杏仁壓得低頭了。因此,人們紛紛談論著:一定是的!這棵樹一定是瘋了!它一定是錯亂了……
這樣一棵充滿驚奇的樹,總是讓人期待著發生更多不尋常的故事。
有時候,不知道什麼原因,它不長葉子、不開花、不結果,什麼都沒有,就像給自己放假一樣。但此時枝頭卻棲息了許多的鳥兒,也有人說那是從它的枝芽上冒出來的。春天時,它的顏色如同山雀般有黃有藍;夏天時,它綠得如同啄木鳥,紅得像紅喉雀;到了十月,它收容了一大群鶇鳥和椋鳥;到了十二月,它變成黑色和白色,就像喜鵲和烏鴉的顏色。
某個十一月的早晨,這種事只發生過一次,它著火了。它在火花中燃燒著,像火山一樣噴出濃煙。它那象牙般光滑、銀燭臺般的小枝椏都陷入一片紅銅色的火海中。大家都覺得它這次肯定要完蛋、消失,化為灰燼了。可是卻不是這樣!它這樣持續燒了一整天又一整夜;第二天,當太陽再度在清晨的薄霧中露出笑容時,一切顯得那麼寧靜,才赫然發現它頭頂上天空中出現一道壯麗的彩虹。真是太奇妙了!
又有時候,它不結果實,不長葉子,卻也決定不要讓鳥兒棲息。這時圍繞它的或是風,或是雲,或是千顆珍珠般的雨滴,或只是簡單的藍天。很難去分辨這樣的藍是天空的藍或是海洋的藍。這個時候,它彷彿傾聽著自己所譜出的樂章,就像交響樂團的指揮一樣,該由誰演奏,由誰吹哨,由誰唱歌,由誰沉默,它都指揮若定。
最令人難忘的是四月某個清晨破曉時分,這時整顆樹掛滿了各種音符:八分音符、四分音符、二分音符、全音符、四分休止符、八分休止符、延長號,它像穿上了整套交響樂的樂譜。隔天夜晚,所有的星星都來到它的身邊,掛滿了它的樹枝,而銀河為它編織出一條美麗潔白的圍巾。

逃避的樹

有一個星期五的下午,它好像死去了一般,一點聲音都沒有。人們猜測它可能受到什麼傷害:樹其實也有心,人們可以看到它身上的樹幹,從靠近樹枝的地方到心臟部位,出現了一道深深的裂縫,而且樹的汁液順著樹幹往下流。到了晚上,它不見了,離家出走了。沒有人覺得特別驚訝,因為它已經出走過很多次了。有一次,它出走了一整個晚上,人們很難知道它到哪裡去了,那次出走的原因是一些地方上有名望的人物突發奇想給它加了個「森林之王」的封號。它很害怕看到自己戴上皇冠的怪模樣,它根本無心於這類耀眼的東西。又有一次,有一些商人來到它面前,近距離仔細打量著它。它聽到他們談論著木箱和火柴,因此害怕得躲到森林裡去了。又有一次,一群身著黑色和灰色服裝的人,談論著棺材及盛大的葬禮:它因此跑到村裡公墓內站了好幾個小時。每次離家出走,它總是會在一段時間後回來。
可是這一次,它卻沒有回來,星期五的晚上沒有回來,星期六也沒回來。只見地上留下的大窟窿及連根拔起的痕跡。四下如此安靜,連巢穴、灌木叢、房子、甚至連鐘聲都寂靜無聲。沒有人瞭解為什麼,人們只是遠遠地觀望。
到了星期天,它又重新出現了。一大清早所有的人哭了起來,只有孩子們知道它一定會回來,所以沒有哭。哭泣與淚水的回音,聽起來像是清泉迴盪的音樂聲。人們紛紛聚集在一起,發現樹回來了:這時它的身上掛滿了大大小小的鈴和鐘,有排鐘、鈴鐺、鈸、響板、巨型鐘。只見它獨自聳立於土地上,顯得特別地挺拔,全身顫抖著。太美了!真是太美了!原本樹幹上有裂縫的地方,流出一道泉水。在鈴聲與鐘聲交錯當中,仍能清楚地聽到潺潺泉水的聲音,這聲音有點像鐘聲,卻比鐘聲來得乾淨、清澈。後來,直到很久很久以後,人們仍常常來到這裡品嚐泉水,這泉水帶有音樂聲的甜美,比酒還醉人,足以治癒悲傷,撫慰心靈的創傷,但從不求任何回報。

給禮物的樹

在這個難忘的星期天晚上後,它似乎對這樣的冒險有點感到倦怠。之後,它變回一棵簡單的樹,簡單到一棵只是木頭的樹,但它從此好像就什麼都不怕了。它沒有再離家出走,甚至連離開幾個小時都沒有,它一直站立在自己的位置上。它喜歡有人靠近它,問:「我可以從你身上拿些東西嗎?」它不一定都會答應,這要看對方拿走的目的是什麼。它喜歡老公公或老太太告訴它:「要用來生火。」當它知道自己可以讓受凍的人得到溫暖,它總是割捨自己最健壯的樹枝,即使它知道自己的生命將會因此一點一點流失。有一天,它讓一個男孩帶走它最好的樹枝,因為男孩哭著告訴它:
這要用來做棺木,
給我可憐的松鼠,
我那可憐的松鼠,
我為它辦喪入土。

它甚至陪著男孩一起哭,還送給他一個禮物安慰他:
忍冬一大束,
當作裹屍布,
清香陪伴你松鼠。

如果有人告訴它要用它來做柵欄、路障、學校的黑板、槍托、鞭子的柄或監獄的門,它會用盡全力說不。但是,如果有人告訴它:「要用來造船。」,它就會非常高興自己將變成一棵漂洋過海的樹,為此它願意被大卸八塊。如果有人告訴它:「要用來做小提琴、笛子、巴松管、音樂盒。」,它就會覺得特別驕傲,連小樹枝的末梢都高興得顫抖了起來,全身也開始隨著音樂擺動。如果有人告訴它:「要用來做木馬。」,它就會自言自語的說:「我終於從植物變成動物,能夠馳騁在廣闊的草原上了。」
它特別喜歡十二月底來臨,這時每個孩子準備過聖誕節(大人也像是回到孩提時代一樣準備過節)。為了採水果,孩子爬到樹端最高的地方。當孩子的手、腳、膝蓋爬過它身上時,它覺得像是被搔癢,卻覺得特別舒服而有趣。它笑得很開心,連根部都笑了起來,而樹幹上的皺紋好像也變淡了。它總是會結出不同的果實給每個孩子:覆盆子是給叫做弗朗斯娃的小女孩,檸檬則是給加斯東的,櫻桃給丹尼斯,杏子給小彼得,蘋果給克洛岱爾,葡萄給朱斯坦,梨子是為格雷準備的。
三月的某一天它告訴我,我才知道它最喜歡的,其實是一個俊少年和一個少女(他們應該不是很富有,牽著一頭小驢子)手牽手來到它面前的時候,他們眼中充滿幸福,微笑地對它說:「我們想要從你這裡取走一點樹枝,要夠堅固而且容易彎曲的,而且樹皮溫和不會刺傷手指。我們要用來編一個搖籃。」
有一件事是它會害怕的,也是令它感到驕傲的:它伸展雙手擁抱天空,看起來像一個十字。

【人籟論辨月刊第2期,2004年2月】

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