بخش 08کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 8
- زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
- سطح سخت
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
NORTHAMPTON, MAY 19, 2008
Before the sun had set and the children had come back home, Ella placed a bookmark in the manuscript and put Sweet Blasphemy aside. Curious about the man who had written the novel, she went online and Googled “A. Z. Zahara,” wondering what would pop up but not expecting much.
To her surprise, a personal blog appeared. The colors on the page were predominantly amethyst and turquoise, and on top of the page a male figure with a long white skirt whirled slowly. Having never seen a whirling dervish before, Ella took a careful look at the picture. The blog was titled An Eggshell Named Life, and beneath it there was a poem with the same title: Let us choose one another as companions!
Let us sit at each other’s feet!
Inwardly we have many harmonies—think not
That we are only what we see.
The page was full of postcards from cities and sites all around the world. Underneath each postcard there were comments about that particular place. It was while reading these that Ella came across three pieces of information that immediately drew her attention: First, that the A in A. Z. Zahara stood for Aziz. Second, that Aziz regarded himself as a Sufi. Third, that at the moment he was traveling somewhere in Guatemala.
In another section there were samples of the photos he had taken. Most were portraits of people of all colors and stripes. Despite their stark differences, they resembled one another in one curious respect: All the people in all the portraits had something visibly missing. For some the missing element was a simple thing, like an earring, a shoe, or a button, while for others it was much more substantial, like a tooth, a finger, or sometimes a leg. Underneath the photos it read: No matter who we are or where we live, deep inside we all feel incomplete. It’s like we have lost something and need to get it back. Just what that something is, most of us never find out. And of those who do, even fewer manage to go out and look for it.
Ella scrolled up and down the Web page, clicked on every postcard to enlarge it, and read every comment Aziz had made. At the bottom of the page, there was an e-mail address, azizZzahara@gmail.com, which she wrote down on a piece of paper. Next to that she found a poem by Rumi: Choose Love, Love! Without the sweet life of
Love, living is a burden—as you have seen.
It was while reading this poem that a most peculiar thought flashed across her mind. For a fleeting moment, it felt as if everything Aziz Z. Zahara included in his personal blog—the pictures, the comments, the quotations, and the poems—were written for her eyes only. It was a strange and slightly supercilious thought, but one that made perfect sense to her.
Later in the afternoon, Ella sat by the window, feeling tired and slightly down, the sun heavy on her back and the air in the kitchen filled with the smells of the brownies she was baking. She had Sweet Blasphemy open in front of her, but her mind was so preoccupied she couldn’t concentrate on the manuscript. It occurred to her that perhaps she, too, should write her own set of ground rules. She could name it The Forty Rules of the Deeply Settled, Earthy Housewife.
“Rule Number One,” she murmured. “Stop looking for love! Stop running after impossible dreams! There are surely more important things in life for a married woman about to be forty.” But her own joke produced an obscure discomfort in Ella, reminding her of bigger worries. Unable to hold herself back anymore, she gave her elder daughter a call. She got her answering machine.
“Jeannette, dear, I know it was wrong of me to call Scott. But my intentions weren’t bad. I just wanted to make sure …”
She paused, deeply regretting not planning this message in advance. She could hear the soft rustle of the answering machine recording in the background. It made her nervous to think that the tape was rolling and time was running short.
“Jeannette, I’m sorry for the things I do. I know I shouldn’t complain when I’m so blessed. But it’s just that I’m so … unhappy—”
Click. The answering machine came to a stop. Ella’s heart constricted with the shock of what she’d just said. What had come over her? She hadn’t known she was unhappy. Was it possible to be depressed and not know it? Oddly enough, she didn’t feel unhappy about confessing her unhappiness. She hadn’t been feeling much of anything lately.
Her gaze slid to the piece of paper on which she’d written Aziz Z. Zahara’s e-mail address. The address looked simple, unpretentious, and somehow inviting. Without giving it much thought, she went to her computer and started composing an e-mail: Dear Aziz Z. Zahara,
My name is Ella. I am reading your novel Sweet Blasphemy in my capacity as a reader for the literary agency. I have only just begun, and I am enjoying it immensely. This, however, is my personal opinion and is not reflective of the views of my boss. Whether I like your novel or not, I have barely any influence on the final decision as to whether we will take you on as a client.
It seems like you believe that love is the essence of life and that nothing else matters. It’s not my intention to get into a fruitless debate with you on this matter. Suffice it to say that I do not completely agree. But this is not why I am writing to you.
I am writing because the “timing” of my reading Sweet Blasphemy couldn’t have been more bizarre. Currently I am trying to persuade my elder daughter not to marry so young. The day before, I asked her boyfriend to call off their marriage plans. Now my daughter hates me and refuses to talk to me. I have a feeling you two would get along well, as you seem to have very similar views on love.
I am sorry to pour my personal problems out to you. That wasn’t my intention. Your personal blog (that is where I found your e-mail address) says you are in Guatemala. Traveling around the world must be quite a thrill. If you happen to come to Boston, perhaps we could meet in person and talk over a cup of coffee.
Her first e-mail to Aziz was not a letter so much as an invitation, a cry for help. But Ella had no way of knowing this as she sat in the silence of her kitchen and composed a note to an unknown writer she didn’t expect to meet now or at any time in the future.
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