Translation of Yang Jiang’s Cadre School Diaries – Notes on Leave Taking – P5

shuangyashan_maj_lampa

经受折磨,就叫锻炼:除了准备锻炼还有什么可准备的呢。准备的衣服如果太旧,怕不经穿:如果太结实,怕洗来费劲。我久不缝纫,胡乱把耐脏的料子用缝衣机做了个毛毡的套子,准备经年不洗。我补了一条裤子,坐处象个布满经线纬线的地球仪,而且厚如龟壳。默存倒很欣赏,说好极了,穿上好比随身带着个座儿,随处都可以坐下。他说,不用筹备得太周全,只需等我也下去,就可以照看他。至于家人团聚,等几时阿圆和得一乡间落户,待他们迎养吧。

转眼到了十一号先遣队动身的日子。我和阿圆、得一送行。默存随身行李不多,我们找个旮旯儿歇着等待上车。待车室里,闹嚷嚷、乱哄哄人来人往,先遣队的领队人忙乱得只恨分身无术,而随身行李太多的,只恨少生了几双手。得一忙放下自己拿得东西,去帮助随身行李多得无法摆布的人。默存和我看他热心为旁人效力,不禁赞许新社会的好风尚,同时又互相安慰说:得一和善忠厚,阿圆有他在一起,我们可以放心。

To experience suffering, is to temper oneself: apart from preparing for this ordeal, is there anything else one can do? If the clothes you prepare are too old they may wear out, but if they are too tough they may be difficult to clean. I hadn’t sewn in many years, but on a whim I used my sewing machine to fashion a felt covering from some dirt resistant materials- it would last a long time before needing to be washed. I used it to patch a pair of trousers, the seat ended up like a globe, with lines of latitude and longitude going this way and that, it was thick as a turtle shell to boot. Mocun really liked it! He said it was brilliant, better than carrying a seat around with him and he could sit down wherever he pleased. He told me not to work so hard on my preparations, I could wait till I had followed him down to look after him properly. As far as reuniting our family, we would have to wait some time for Ayuan and Deyi to settle in the country and look after us in our retirement, as is customary.

In the blink of an eye it was the 11th, the day the advance party would be setting out. Myself, Ayuan, and Deyi went along to see him off. Mocun didn’t have much luggage, and found a little corner to rest in while he waited to board the train. In the waiting room there was a great hustle and bustle, people were coming and going this way and that. The leader of the advance party was so busy he was being run off his feet, not to mention the fact that he had too much luggage and was regretting being born with too few pairs of hands. Deyi put down his load and hastened to assist those who were overburdened. Seeing him ardently exerting himself on behalf of others, Mocun and I could not help but praise the customs of the new society, and we simultaneously comforted each other, saying: “Deyi is gentle and honest, as long as Ayuan has him by her side, we can rest easy.”

 

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