Endless: the Sherman Lin Collection – an Extract

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Today is International Translation Day. Translation is about more than just knowing two languages. It’s about knowing two cultures. Translators allow treasures hidden within one culture to be experienced by another. However, with that ability, also comes a lot of responsibility, not just to represent the meaning, nuance and voice of the original text, but also to express things in terms that the target culture’s readers will understand. Some of my readers who have found this website through my translation work, may be interested to see an original text side by side with my translation. Both the English and Chinese text were edited before publication. This is one of the more challenging pieces I have worked on.

I often return to childhood dreams,

Return to that free and boundless starry sky,

Where the vast emptiness was often full of darkness,

But sometimes, burning silver lights the sky,

Sometimes, streams of galloping, dazzling, kaleidoscopic rainbows,

Other times, the whole sky glitters, glorious beyond compare.

A world of multifarious stars, giddying and chaotic……

Such is the memory of childhood reverie,

Stored in the dimension that belongs to the self.

 

I freely traverse the boundaries of light and dark,

Floating at leisure, completely unconscious

Yet a thousand “sensibilities” within the unconscious

Each “sensibility” concealed, waiting to explode:

Loneliness, despondency, anguish, solitude, anxiety,

Misery, oppression, despair, calm, emptiness, arrogance

Jealousy, anger, excitement, enthusiasm, passion, romance, tenderness……..

The expression of emotion, being intuitive, is more interestingly explained,

And recorded with abstract images,

For everyone to interpret on their own.

 

Ever since life began in the human world,

Intuitively,although the eyes have not yet opened,

It has found the spirit’s image,

And understood the expression of feeling,

Twitching limbs, resonating with the depths of the heart,

Hands dancing and feet tripping,

Heart rending cries resound in the air,

Pure and innocent music describe reckless, sweet and modulating eulogies of life, filled with emotion.

__________________________________________________________

To cows, grass is beautiful,

Bending their heads down to eat it, is an aesthetic process,

Like babies who,

When being held, naturally know where beauty lies,

Little hands caressing mother’s breasts, keenly sucking on them,

Enjoying the most primitive beauty,

Ten months of gestation, passes aestheticism to the baby,

Thus beauty and life are propagated, never to die out.

__________________________________________________________

“Men at their birth, are naturally good”.

Perception and existence are contradictory,

Perception has repelled existence from time immemorial,

The outside world relentlessly hounds fragile life,

Real life alters the memory of existence,

The doctrines of civilization lead infants towards the future,

The inspiration of perception, alters their purest images of beauty,

Outpourings deep from the heart are slowly vanquished.

 

Inspiration from capture and resonance,

Releases the power of freedom,

Freely expressing those feelings of freedom,

Freedom already exists.

Because it is treasure buried deep in the ground,

Because it is the ever flowing spring from the plateaus

It is pure, beautiful, and does not suffer from the blasphemies of the human world

It is the most precious wealth from our lives,

It needs our understanding, excavating and interpreting.

 

The moment before man leaves the human world is pure and beautiful,

It leads man back to nature, back to the incomparable feeling of first coming into the world,

Galloping wildly like a horse free from its reins,

Traversing day and night, towards freedom,

Back to the origins of beauty; to the origins of the spirit;

Here is peace, here is beauty’s home,

Lay down the body that has fully suffered the tribulations of human life,

The spirit rising to the sublime, the soul responding to the call of beauty.

 

Escape from clamours and ugly civilzation,

Leave the society that skewers human nature and return to Nature.

Return to the fields to feel the childhood’s starry sky,

To wade in the streams,

Naked on the boundless earth, gazing towards the end of the sky,

With the starry sky for company, peace,

Experience truth within silence, and sense the value of the spirit’s existence,

Perceive in the moments of dawn and dusk,

 

The light of human nature from deep within the heart,

When the sun is about to rise from the edge of the sky,

The earth is at it’s darkest,

Before all sleeping souls are awake, night has already passed in a moment,

The setting sun, reflected in the starry sky, revives,

Bright sunshine beneath the end of the earth,

Only on the borders of night and day,

Can darkness and light be felt,

Past and future.

___________________________________________________________

Composed in Guangzhou, 28 January 2009

From  Endless: The Sherman Lin Collection (無垠 :林學明畫集), Culture and Art Publishing House (Beijing), 2010

 

我常常回到儿时的梦里,

回到漫无边际的浩瀚的星空,

巨大的空洞常常是漆黑一片,

有时,空中是灼眼的光亮银花;

有时,则是一道道五彩斑斓奔腾的彩虹;

有时,是满天闪烁,无比的艳丽。

世界是五光十色的星斗,眼花缭乱……,

这就是儿时的梦幻记忆,

储存在属于个人的独立空间里。

————

我自由自在地在黑白之间的边缘中穿越,

毫无意识地在空中飘悠,

无意识里却有千万个“意识”,

每一个“意识”都蕴藏着等待爆发。

寂寞,沮丧,苦闷,孤独,忧郁,焦虑,

悲哀, 压抑,绝望,冷静,空虚,傲慢,

嫉妒,愤怒,激动,亢奋,激情,浪漫,柔情……。

情绪的表述与生俱来,用图形去解析比其他更加有趣,

用抽象的图形去记录它,

相信每个人都有自己独特的传释。

————

生命自从来到人间,

与生俱来,眼睛尽管没有还没有睁开,

就已经有了属于自己心灵的形象符号。

已经懂得情感的表达,

抽动的肢体,随心灵深处的感应而变化,

上下比划,手舞足蹈。

撕裂肺腑的叫声,在空中回荡,

纯真无邪的音频描画出一幅幅无拘无束的,

情感丰富的,抑扬美妙的,图谱和生命的赞歌。

————

青草对于牛来说是美的,

牛在低头吃草的时候,是审美的过程,

婴儿也一样。

婴儿被抱在怀里,自然就知道美在那里:

小手爱抚着母亲的乳房,小嘴使劲吮吸着,

享受着最原始的美。

十月怀胎,审美的经验已经传授给了婴儿,

美与生命因而得以繁衍生生不息。

———

“人之初,性本善”。

认知和存在是冲突的,

认知从来就排斥存在。

外界无休止地骚扰弱小的生命,

现实生活修改了存在的记忆,

文明的教条带领幼儿走向未来,

启示认知,涂改了婴儿心灵中最纯美的图形,

心底中的倾诉慢慢被泯灭了。

———-

捕捉和感应存在的启示,

释放自由的能量,

尽情抒发自由的情怀,

自由它本来就存在。

不是别的;

因为它是地下深埋的宝藏,

因为它是高原上的川流不息的清泉,

它纯美,它空灵,它不曾遭受人世间的亵渎

它是我们生命中最有宝贵的财富,

它需要我们感悟,挖掘和解读。

————-

人在即将离开人间的瞬间是纯美的,

领路回归自然,回归初到人间时的感觉无与伦比;

像脱僵的骏马狂奔,

穿越黑白,奔向自由。

回到美的起源;回到心灵存在的本源;

那里是平安的,那里是美的归宿。

放下那饱经了人间历程煎熬的躯体,

心灵即将升华,灵魂依然有美在召唤。

—————–

逃离喧嚣和丑陋的文明,

离开扭曲人性自由的社会,回到自然中去,

在原野中才能感受那孩儿时候的星空,

在溪流中荡涤,

裸露在无尽的大地,遥望天际,

有星空在做伴,心安。

宁静中体会存在的真实,领略心灵存在的价值,

感悟黎明和黄昏的时光,

这里能寻找内心深处人性的光芒。

当太阳从天边快要升起来的时候,

大地特别的漆黑,

所有黚睡中的生灵还没醒来,黑夜瞬间已经过去。

残阳西下,星空回光返照,

大地尽头的下面却是光阳璀璨。

只有在黑白交界的边缘里,

才能感知存在,感知光明与黑暗,

感知过去与未来。

——————

完  2009-1-28于广州

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