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Panic on the Highway 山路历险记

Fear is a fact of life everyone faces from time to time. In most cases fear is a healthy reaction to a dangerous situation. But sometimes fear can be so extreme,so overwhelming,that it interferes with normal living. That is what happened to me driving cross-country last summer.

[2] I'd agreed to help my brother,Mac,move from the East Coast to California. He would drive a rental truck loaded with his belongings and I would follow him in his sedan,then fly back. We figured it would be a simple trip,with four or five motel stops along the way.

[3] Living and working in coastal Georgia for most of my life,I did not have a great deal of long-distance driving experience. Looking back on it today,I can see that I'd always felt a twinge of fear when driving over small bridges and along hilly highways. And as I was getting ready for the trip I had a vague concern about the steep mountain roads that lay ahead. But I thought I would get used to them.

[4] As we crossed some high bridges near the Blue Ridge Mountains on the first leg of our trip,a kind of breathlessness gripped me,a sinking,rolling sensation in the pit of my stomach. I tended to veer slightly away from the edge of the roadway and the drop-off beyond. My knuckles whitened from my tense grip on the steering wheel. At the end of each bridge,a great rush of relief would come over me,only to be replaced in short order by fear of the next obstacle.

[5] When we stopped in Nashville the first night,I mentioned my feelings to Mac,who is the practical sort. “Oh,that's nothing,” he said cheerfully . “Lots of people hate driving on mountain roads and high bridges. Just turn up the music on your radio and focus on that. Keep your mind occupied.”

心惊胆颤的事情人人在生活中都偶尔会碰到。惊恐大都是对危险倩况的一种积极反应。不过,有时惊恐会达到极端、不堪承受的程度,以至干扰正常的生活。这正是我去年夏天在驾车横穿北美大陆途中所经历的情况。

[2]我答应帮弟弟麦克从东海岸把家搬到加利福尼亚州。到时他将开租来的卡车拉上全部家什,我跟在后面帮他把小车开过去,然后乘飞机返回。我们估计这趟旅行很简单,中途在四五家汽车旅馆落落脚就行了。

[3]我长这么大,大多生活和工作在沿海的佐治亚州,没有多少长途驾驶的经验。今天回想起来,其实我每逢开车过小桥、走山路时都提心吊胆。在为此行作准备时,我心里就开始为即将面对的山路忐忑不安。不过当时我以为自己能够适应。

[4]上路后的第一程,我们就碰上了蓝脊山脉附近高悬的大桥。我简直紧张得透不过气来,心头发紧,有种人仰马翻的感觉。我极力想把车开向里侧一些,躲开那可能滑下陡坡的边沿。我紧紧地握着方向盘,手指关节绷得没有了血色。每穿过一座高桥我就会大大地舒一口气,可等在前面的是又一个令人畏惧的关口。

[5]旅程的第一天晚上,我们停在了纳什维尔。我对麦克谈了自己的感受。他是那种务实的人。“哦,没关系,”他兴致勃勃地说,“许多人害怕走山路、过高桥。只要打开收音机专心听音乐就行。不要胡思乱想。”

[6] I gave him a weak smile and said good night. But later as I tossed and turned in bed,I couldn't chase away the apprehension I had about the high driving ahead. The more I tried not to think about it,the more my mind kept going back to that helpless feeling of panic I had on the first leg of the journey. My fear seemed to possess a life of its own. You're being childish ,I chided myself. This is ridiculous ! If I could just close my eyes and relax,I thought,the renewal of a good night's sleep would drive the fear away.

[7] But it didn't go away. All through the flatlands of Arkansas,Oklahoma ,north Texas and New Mexico it lay like a coiled snake inside of me. When we approached the high plateau of northern Arizona it began to stir. As the grades grew steeper and the curves sharper,my sense of control faltered,“It's all in your head,” I kept repeating desperately. “There is no danger. It's all in your head.”

[8] Yet I couldn't defeat the terror. Mile after mile it was like an invisible force drawing my attention toward the edge of the road where the soft shoulder gave way to thin air. I tried everything I could think of. I cranked up the radio. Sang songs. Recited poetry. All to no avail. The palms of my hands were so sweaty that I had to squeeze the steering wheel to keep my grip.

[9] I kept closing the gap between my car and my brother's truck,inching toward the reassuring glow of the taillights like a frightened sheep following a shepherd. I could see Mac watching me in his rearview mirror ,and that night at supper in Kingman,Arizona,he said,“Leigh,you're tailgating . You're much too close for these mountain roads.” He studied my face for a moment,then added,“Tomorrow will be the last day of high country. Just try to hang in there. We've got this far okay. You know there's nothing to be afraid of.”

10] I understood that. I had to go on. But the prospect of hairpin turns and sheer drop-offs made it impossible for me to eat any supper. Mac tried to keep the conversation breezy,but it didn't help. I excused myself early and went to bed,exhausted.

[6]我冲着他勉强笑笑,道了一声晚安。但后来,我躺在床上辗转反侧,一想到要走的山路,心中的焦虑就怎么也挥之不去。越是尽力于去想它,反倒越是回味上路、第一程就出现的那种揪心无助的感觉。这种恐惧似乎根深蒂固,永久存在。太幼稚了,我责备自己。真可笑!想,如果我能闭上眼放松下来,重新美美地睡一觉,恐惧就会被驱散。

[7]但是恐惧并没消逝。在经过阿肯色州、俄克拉何马州、得克萨斯州北部和新墨西哥州的那些大平原时,恐怖像蛇一样盘踞在我心中。快要到达亚利桑那州北部的高原地带时,它又开始蠢蠢欲动。随着坡越来越陡,弯越转越急,我渐渐有了控制不住之感。“全是胡思乱想,”我拼命反复地提醒自己。“没有危险。完全是胡思乱想。”

[8]然而我就是不能战胜恐惧。一英里接着一英里,像是被一种无形的魔力拽着一样,我一路上怎么也不能让注意力离开那令人窒息的崖边,那里没有平缓的山肩,有的只是稀薄的空气。凡属能想到的办法我都试了——打开收音机,唱歌,背诗——一切都无济于事。我的掌心里满是汗水,只有用力压挤方向盘才能把它抓牢。

[9]我尽量缩小与弟弟的卡车的距离,缓缓地移动,盯住他的尾灯,心中才赂有一丝安慰,就像一只吓坏了的小羊紧跟在羊馆的屁股后面一样。我能看见麦克正从后视镜里望着我。那天晚上在亚利桑那州的金曼吃饭时,他说:“莉,你是在尾追。在这样的山路上那距离太近了!”他注意了一下我的表倩,接着说:“明天是最后一天的山路了。务必再坚持一阵子,我们走了这么远,不是好好的嘛。你知道没有什么可怕的。”

[10]我知道。我必须坚持下去。可是一想到那些U字型的急转弯和直上直下的大陡坡我就没了胃口。麦克尽量想让谈话轻松些,但不管用。我找借口早早抽身,去上床睡觉,这时倍感精疲力竭。

[11] Sleep wouldn't come. I lay staring into the dark,listening to the sounds of trucks and cars rushing along the nearby interstate. I tried to summon up reassuring images of home,now so many hundreds of miles away. I thought of Betsy and Tabitha,the two lovable cats that belonged to my husband and me;of Ben,the playful mutt who loved to catch Frisbees. I thought about friends and neighbors. I pictured the faces of my husband and children.

[12] I also thought about Lillian,our parents' part-time maid. I could almost touch calmness when I thought about Lillian,with her gentle voice and radiant smile. I knew Lillian was praying for me; she always prays for our family,especially when one of us is away. I found myself clutching for a verse from Deuteronomy. How did it go? “Don't be afraid,for the Lord will go before you and will be with you; He will neither fail nor forsake you.”

[13] But nothing could dispel the sense of helplessness that overwhelmed me whenever I contemplated the frowning mountains that lay ahead. The next morning I had to force myself to slide behind the wheel. Just one more day,I kept telling myself. Surely I can find the courage to make it through one day. If I just kept my eyes locked on the back of my brother's truck,if I just made my wheels follow his wheels,I'd be all right. If I would just take slow,deep breaths instead of shallow,terrified gasps,I would be all right.

[14] If I could just visualize my heart as a place where courage dwelt,instead of panic,I would be all right. I kept telling myself that the fear of crashing through the guardrail and plunging over the edge existed only in my imagination,pot in fact. Control,that was the key. I would cling with all my might to control. I would clutch it tight and take charge.

[15] But as the day wore on and the road mounted higher,that little core of self-control grew smaller and smaller,and finally,on a heart-stop-ping grade southwest of Barstow,California,it vanished altogether.

[11]怎么也唾不着。我两眼瞅着一片黑暗,耳听附近州际公路上过往的卡车和轿车呼啸不停。我迫使自己向数百英里之外家中那些温馨的形象寻求慰藉。我想到了贝特西和塔比莎,那是我和丈夫养的两只可爱的小猫;还有贝思,那只喜欢逮飞碟的顽皮小狗。我想到了朋友们和邻居们。丈夫和孩子们的面容浮现在我眼前。

[12]我还想到了莉莲,我父母雇的钟点工。想着她那柔美的声音和灿烂的笑容,我心中几乎顿感一丝宁静。我知道莉莲一定在为我祈祷;她总是为我们一家人祈祷,尤其是有人出门在外时。不知不觉中我发现自己琢磨起了《圣经》中的句于。那是怎么说的?“不要胆怯,上帝为你开路,与你同在;他不会辜负你的期待,也不会抛弃你。”

[13]尽管如此,一想到还要走下去的崎呕山路,笼罩在心头的那种强烈的无助感便无法排遣。第二天一早,我强迫自己坐进了驾驶室。只剩一天了,我不断地告诉自己。我一定能找到勇气对付这最后的一天。只要盯住弟弟的卡车,跟在他后边,让我的车轮沿他的车轮而行,准不会出事。只要慢慢地深呼吸,而不是气急败坏地喘个不停,就不会出事。

[14]只要想象勇气长驻心中,恐惧就没有立足之地。就不会出事的。我一温遍地提醒自己:冲出护栏坠入深渊只是幻觉,不是事实。控制住自己是关键。我要全力以赴地控制住,要牢牢地掌握住。

[15]越往前走路越陡,我那点可怜的控制力越发微弱,终于,在加州巴斯陀西南一个令人心惊肉跳的陡坡上,它彻底消失了。

[16] My brother's truck,moving downhill fast,got far ahead of me. With it went the last vestiges of my courage. On one side of my little car the mountain rose like a gigantic wall of sheer rock. On the other side was thin air. I struggled desperately not to look over the edge.

[17] Traffic was streaming down the grade,mostly big trucks in the righthand lane. I wanted to join them there but I could not bring myself to steer to the right,toward the edge. Instead I kept inching to the left,going slower and slower in the passing lane,trying to hug the mountain wall.

Drivers behind me honked their horns angrily. Panic paralyzed me. I wanted to stop but there was no place to pull over. I tried to say the Lord's Prayer. My throat was too tight for words to come.

[18] Ahead of me I could see that the road made a sweeping turn to the left. A river of steel was rushing around that curve,moving fast under the pull of gravity. I knew that all I had to do was inch the steering wheel to the left and keep pace with traffic,but my arms were rigid. The fear that filled the car was stronger,much stronger,than I was.

[19] Behind me the impatient horns blared their angry chorus. I was absolutely certain that I was going to plunge straight ahead,through the flimsy barrier,then down,down,down through an endless drop. I moaned through clenched teeth. Again I tried to pray,this time silently. I begged God not to fail me,to take full control of the situation. Lord,save me from my fear.

[20] Then,abruptly,something unbelievable happened. The traffic roared on. The curve was coming closer. But suddenly,in a flash,the fear vanished. I experienced a presence,virtually a palpable sensation,of overwhelming love filling my car,washing over me,blotting our the stark panic. Another phrase from the Bible flashed into my mind; “Perfect love casteth out fear.” I felt that perfect love,the Lord's love,reaching out to touch my shoulder. A voice,soundless yet perfectly real,said,You are safe now. I am here.

[16]弟弟的卡车飞速下山,我落后了好远。随之而去的还有我最后的那一丝胆量。我这渺小的汽车的一侧是直插云天的岩石峭壁,另一侧是悬崖上稀薄的空气。我竭尽全力不让自己往崖边上看。

[17]下坡的路上车流如潮,大卡车大都行驶在右车道上。我想加入到他们中间,可自己就是不听使唤,不但不能开向靠崖一侧的右边,反而不停地向左边峭壁上挤。车在通道上越走越慢,车身快要贴住峭壁了。我身后的司机们愤怒地按起了喇叭。惊恐完全慑服了我,使我几乎麻痹。我想要停车又没有地方靠边。我试图背诵主祷文,但喉咙发紧,说不出话来。

[18]我看见前方有个角度很小的左转弯,在地心引力的作用下,车流急速绕过弯处。我心里明白,我必须尽力行驶在左侧并与其他车辆保持同速,可我双臂僵硬。车里恐惧气氛迷漫,使我倍感自己弱小不堪。

[19]我身后不耐烦的喇叭声响成了一片。我绝望地感到自己就要向前直冲出那不堪一击的护栏,然后下坠,再下坠,坠入万丈深渊。悲鸣从咬紧的牙缝中挤出。我又一次试图祈祷,这次是默默的。我恳求上帝不要令我失望,千万控制住局面。上帝,救我于惊恐之中吧!

[20]蓦地,令人难以置信的情形出现了。车辆仍旧叫着。转弯处越来越近。然而惊慌失措的情绪瞬间全然不见了。我分明感到神灵的降临,一种清晰而巨大的爱的力量直扑车里,朝我涌来,顿时将惧伯一扫而光。另一句《圣经》中的名言闪过我心头:“伟大的爱使人无畏。”我感觉到了这种伟大的爱,来自上帝的爱,它从天而降。一个无声而又十分真切的声音说到:现在你安全了。我就在你身边。

[21] I moved into the slow lane,next to the dreaded edge,and swept around the terrifying curve. I kept my eyes riveted on the road directly ahead. Down and down I went. The curve seemed like it would never end. But all the way down the mountain I felt love encircling me,keeping me safe from my fear and guiding me.

[22] Finally I came to a rest area and pulled in. I sagged back in the seat. I unclenched my hands and looked at my fingers,white and bent. The presence I felt so strongly inside the car began to fade,and with it went the last residue of the fear that had gripped me these past several days. It drained from me like a poison. I closed my eyes and said a prayer of thanks before putting the car in gear and returning to the highway.

[23] I awoke early the next morning in Los Angeles and glanced at the clock: 6:30,which meant 9:30 back home in Georgia. I lay there for a time,thinking about the day before and what I'd discovered that God's perfect love can conquer any situation. He can control things that are beyond our control,even the most crippling fear.

[24] I picked up the phone and dialed my parents' home in Savannah. A soft,familiar voice answered. “Hi,Lillian,” I said. “We made it to California all right.”

[25] There was a pause and a little sigh from the other end. Then Lil-lian murmured,“Thank You,Jesus.

[26] A little electric tingle seemed to run up my spine. “Why do you say that,Lillian?'

[27] “I have to thank Him. I prayed all day for you yesterday. I asked Him to ride with you and keep you safe,to put His hand on your shoulder. He did,didn't He?”

[28] “Oh,yes,Lillian,” I answered,“yes,He did.”

[21]我开进了慢车道,紧挨着崖边转过了令人心惊的急弯。我两眼直视前方,一路下坡又下坡。弯道似乎没有尽头,但下山的路上始终有一股浓浓的爱意包围着我,保护着我,指引着我。

[22]总算来到一处落脚休息的地方,我把车停靠了下来。我靠在椅背上,松开双手,看到手指煞白且无法伸直。刚才强烈意识到的那股神力开始隐退,折磨了我几天的恐惧也随之远去,一丝不剩,仿佛我体内的毒液完全排干了。我合上双目,感谢上苍,然后挂挡上路。

[23]第二天早上在洛杉矶,我一觉早早醒来,看钟:早晨六点半,这意味着再有三个小时,即九点半时,我就可以回到佐治亚州的家中了。我在床上躺了一会儿,回顾着头天的情景和自己的发现:上帝伟大的爱可以征服一切。他能主宰我们应付不了的局面,甚至能驱跑令人魂飞魄散的恐惧。

[24]我拿起电话,拨通了萨凡纳市我父母的家。那边是我熟悉而温和的声音。“喂,莉莲。”我告诉她,“我们一路平安到达了加州。”

[25]稍许停了一下,我听到她轻轻舒了口气。接着莉莲低声说道:“感谢上苍!”

[26]一股电流似乎穿过了我的脊柱。“为什么说这个,莉莲?”

[27]“我一定要感谢上帝。昨天我为你祈祷了一整天。我求他与你同行,保佑你安全,把他的手放在你的肩上。他真的做到了,不是吗?”

[28]“是的,莉莲,”我说,“他确实做到了。”

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网友们经常提及的问题
《英语单词拼读规则》
字符概念的引入
单词注音方法推荐
对英语单词可拼读性的认识
辅音字母双写的含义
字符的不可分割性
记忆英语单词的三种境界
26个字母出现频率排顺序
字符的“名称”与“读音”
判断单词读音的三个步骤
关于ia io iu 及三元音
拼读与音析
长音与短音
字符 元字符 单元字符
复元字符
辅字符 单辅字符
复辅字符
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