总统大人的「罄竹难书」

【2006/5/21】

現在學生中文程度到底有多破?很多國文老師說改作文改到哭笑不得。除了錯別字、亂用成語,還有火星文。

 

不過要說學生程度不好,其實國家元首和內閣成員,誤用成語的例子也不少。像陳總統昨天 520 要讚揚志工精神,卻說志工成功的故事,罄竹難書。

 

總統大人,罊竹難書不是這樣用的啦。教育部國語辭典解釋的很清楚,要比喻某人的罪狀多到寫不完,才用罄竹難書,總統用這句成語來讚美志工,用錯地方了。

 

別說總統會用錯,就連教育部長杜正勝也曾經在送輓聯時,把音容宛在變成了音容苑在,讓家屬臉上三條線。

 

大人都會犯錯,何況小孩:畢竟寫成了必盡。層出不窮寫成了曾出不窮。還有還有,煩惱憂愁變成了煩腦憂仇。

 

錯字連篇更別說成語,台北明星高中學生作文裡,一廂情願成了一箱情願,白頭偕老寫成白頭諧老。這些錯至少還同音,但讓老師更頭痛的是火星文入侵。

 

老師在說,同學都沒有在聽,只是連總統和教育部長都會錯,要搶救國文,恐怕是全民運動!

 

 

新聞來源:華視﹝台灣﹞

日本宠物店的十条建言

這是網友看到日本寵物店門口掛著這十條建言,帶回臺灣翻譯的。 這十條都是以狗狗角度來撰寫,提醒有養狗念頭的人,必須具備那些心理準備。
 
你準備好可以照顧另一條生命了嗎? 

1. 在你把我帶回家之前,請記得:我的壽命約有 10 ~ 15 年; 你的離棄,會是我最大的痛苦。

2. 請給我一點時間,讓我了解對我的要求是什麼。

3. 信賴我 — 那對我非常重要。 

4. 請別對我生氣太久,也別把我關起來當作是懲罰。 你有你的工作,你的娛樂,你的朋友。但,你是我的僅有。 

5. 請偶而對我說說話, 縱使我不懂你說的內容,但我聽的懂,那是你的聲音在陪伴我。

6. 你要知道,無論你如何對待我,我將永遠不會忘記。

7. 當你打我時,請記得:我其實擁有可以咬碎你手骨的尖銳牙齒,我只是選擇不咬。 

8. 當你因為責罵我的不合作、固執或懶惰之前,請你想想:是否有什麼正困擾者我?或許我沒獲得我應有的食物?我已經很久沒在溫暖的陽光下奔跑?又或者我的心臟已經太弱太老? 

9. 在我年老時請好好照顧我,因為你也是會變老的。

10. 當我要捱過最辛苦的歷程時,請千萬不要說﹕「我不忍心看他。」或者「讓我不在場時才發生。」只要有你和我在一起,  所有的事都會變得簡單容易接受。


請你永遠不要忘記:我愛你。

从中国的明堂到埃及金字塔

这是一个关于思维方式的例证。

 

列举这个例子的目的,是想说明如下几个问题:一是中华文明的博大精深;二是人类文明的各种文化或文明体系之间是可以相互认证和沟通的;三是解铃还得系铃人,远古的谜还得用远古文明来破解。

 

古埃及的金字塔世界闻名,可中国的明堂却很少有人知晓。其实这两者有着很相似的地方,要是相互比较地研究,也许会给我们新的启示。

 

明堂是中国古代礼制的产物,最早的记载见于西周,或许还要久远些。

 

当人们对于金字塔建筑的一些数字与现代天文地球等知识的巧合感到不解和奇怪的时候,我们看一下通典记载的明堂建筑的象征意义,或许两相比较会比较有启示。

 

堂方百四十四尺,坤之策也。屋圆径二百一十六尺,乾之策也,太庙明堂方三十六丈,通天屋径九丈,阴阳九六之变,圆盖方载,六九之道,八达以象八卦,九室以象九州,十二宫以应十二辰,三十六户七十二牖,以四户八牖乘九户之数也。户外皆设而不闭,示天下不藏也,通天屋高八十一尺,黄钟九九之实也。二十八柱,列于四方,亦七宿之象也。堂高三尺以应三统,四乡五色,各象其行,外博二十四丈,以应节气。

 

我们看了明堂建筑的象征意义,清楚了每一个建筑结构上的数字,都有明确的象征意义,决不是偶然和巧合。

 

待掌握和了解明堂建筑的种种象征意义后,我们再来看金字塔。以埃及胡夫大金字塔为例,该塔底边长为二百三十公尺,误差不到二十公分;塔高一四六五公尺,东北角与西北角误差仅一二七公分。此外,在金字塔的设计方面也特别讲究,其中的数据与我们现代人掌握的知识的种种巧合成为众说纷纭的千古之谜。

 

这些巧合是,金字塔的重心正好位于各大陆引力的中心;塔基座四角,都是丝毫不差的九十度直角,四边正对着东西南北四个方向;塔的周长与一年天数三六五二四相吻合,周长乘以二,正好是赤道的时分度;塔高乘上十亿,等于地球到太阳的距离;用塔高的两倍除以塔底面积等于圆周率三一四一五九;穿过塔子午线,把地球上的陆地海洋分成相等的两半;塔的对角线之和是二五八二六六,这个数字恰巧是每二千二百年在太阳系出现一个新的黄道星座的周期。

 

金字塔这些奇妙的数字,与天文地理的数字的种种巧合,如果我们参照中国古老的明堂建造数据,我们就不应该说是巧合了,这也可能与明堂建造一样,是一个有意识的设计和建造。

 

只是奇怪的是当时人们不可能掌握这么些知识,也正是因为如此,千百年来人们只好认作是种种巧合。

 

 

~ By 雷升,上一次文明

 

“Mother IS a Verb”

THE NIGHT BEFORE MY EIGHTH-GRADE graduation, my mother stayed up sewing me a light blue gown that fit like a glove. She didn’t work until dawn because we were too broke to buy a dress; she did it because I simply hadn’t liked anything in the stores. This is a woman who can cook multicourse meals, grow prizeworthy roses, lead Girl Scout troops through the woods, and create Halloween costumes that made my friends green with envy. Did I mention she had a PhD? And six kids?
 
When I decided I wanted to be a mother, I approached an adoption agency. I was single and had always wanted to adopt. I ached for a child. And after seven months of paperwork and red tape, I was told there was a birth mother out there. The agency sent me her photo and an ultrasound of the baby.
 
But when I held the fuzzy black-and white print in my hand, I started to hyperventilate. Wait a second, I thought. How am I going to be somebody’s mother? How could I lead a Girl Scout troop when nature freaked me out? What if my daughter needed a graduation dress? I couldn’t even thread a needle! I didn’t know how to make macaroni and cheese!
 
In a panic, I called my mother. "i don’t know CPR," I moaned. "I don’t even have a  crib!"
 
My mother was silent. Then she burst out laughing. "Shonda," she said. "A baby can sleep in a drawer. A baby can wear an old T-shirt. You can buy her food at the market. Do you think women in the old South attended CPR classes?"
 
I took some deep breaths.
 
"All a baby needs is your love," she said. "Mother is a verb, not a noun."
 
Suddenly, my definition of the word changed. Mother no longer meant "brilliantly competent jill-of-all-trades"; it no longer meant any one thing. I could be the kind of mother who traveled the world with her daughter, who helped with science projects and painted toenails. If we wanted nature, we could go to the zoo. If we wanted a great meal, we could go to a restaurant. My mother, fabulous as always, had just given me permission to be myself.
 
My baby girl is three and a half now, and she doesn’t mind that I don’t bake her cakes from scratch. She doesn’t care that her Halloween costumes are made by Granny instead of Mom. She’s thrilled to spend her days driving around the Grey’s Anatomy set in her Flintstones mobile and her nights cuddled up with me, reading. It’s true, what my mother said: All a kid needs is love. And diapers. And, as I’ve discovered during my own journey into motherhood, a tiny plastic car and a stack of books helps too.
 
 
~ Shonda Rhimes, [ O – The OPRAH magazine], March 2006

犹太民间故事

有个老者坐在城墙外,每当有过路旅人问他:「城里住的是什么样的人?」老人总是反问:「你住的那个地方都住些什么人?
 
如果旅人说:「那里只有坏人。」老人便答:「继续往前走吧,在这里你只会找到坏人。」
 
如果旅人说:「那里住的都是好人。」老人便答:「进城吧,在这里你也只会找到好人。」
 
 
~ By Noah Benshea,《The Word:Jewish Wisdom Through Time》

Crossword Puzzle Man

He may have asked strangers for help in vain, but he made us look at what we’re really made of.
 
 
I’VE SEEN him a few times on the subway in Toronto. He wanders from passenger to passenger with his crossword puzzle, saying nothing, holding the newspaper out in front of him with a questioning look on his child-like face.
 
He is tall, with smooth skin the colour of dark chocolate, his eyes and hair as black as pitch. He laughs often, a low cackle, for no apparent reason.
 
The first person he approaches usually refuses to look up. She’s probably thinking, Great, why do the morons always pick on me? He stands there, his crossword puzzle extended, waiting for her help. Eventually he gives up and tries someone else. This new person gets up and walks to the other end of the subway car. Crossword Puzzle Man follows him with his eyes, his lips parted in confusion.
 
It’s the same every time I’ve seen him. People shy away. They refuse to meet his gaze. Perhaps they are afraid of his strangeness, perhaps disgusted by his apparent retardation.
 
Here we sit, we Canadians, the people the world have dubbed "nice." We are always ready to help out a fellow traveller — offer advice on the best bus to catch, take time out of our busy day to give directions. And we feel proud at having been asked for our services, and good about out Good Samaritanism.
 
But not one of us helps out Crossword Puzzle Man. He wanders up and down the subway cars, waiting in vain for someone to offer assistance.
 
Who knows how long he has waited? Earlier, I would have said forever, but one recent morning, something happened.
 
It was not yet eight o’clock when I saw him. I examined the other passengers, wondering which one he would stop at: the secondary school girls on their way to class, a businessman looking anxiously at his mobile phone.
 
I was disappointed when he stopped in front of a wealthy-looking middle-aged woman wearing a fur headband, her makeup immaculate. She won’t like this at all, I thought. She’s too proper, too done up. She’s not used to dealing with public-transit-system wackos.
 
But there he stopped, his newspaper outstretched towards her, his eyebrows raised in question. I waited for the inevitable brush-off.
 
"Oh, hello!" she said cheerily, to my amazement.
 
He laughed his deep guffaw.
 
"How are you?" she asked, a smile forming on her lips.
 
Again, the laugh. I waited for her to look at me, to ask with her eyes what the heck was going on with this weirdo.
 
"I see you are doing the crossword puzzle," she said, smiling all the time.
 
He laughed in response and thrust the newspaper closer to her face.
 
She nodded and examined it for a few seconds. "One across. ‘Cosmetics brand, Mary blank.’ Do you know a makeup brand that starts with mary?"
 
He cackled low.
 
She smiled at him. "No? Do you know Mary Kay?"
 
He looked at her with lips parted.
 
"Kay. K-A-Y. You write that in. K-A-Y. Right there."
 
He laughed again and pushed the newspaper and pencil at her.
 
"You want me to do it?"
 
She wrote it in and handed back the paper and pencil. Again, he waited, lips parted, questions all over his face.
 
"Let’s see what two across is," she said.
 
They continued until it was time for her to get off. I looked around at the faces of the other passengers. They were filled with smiles. It was partly amusement, but there was something else, perhaps compassion.
 
Just as the well-dressed lady was preparing to disembark, it occurred to me what it was: It was admiration for the lady in the fur headband.
 
She taught us a lesson that morning. She taught us that Good Samaritans do not pick and choose whom they help. They offer assistance to anyone, even those who look different and act in ways we don’t understand. That means confronting out fears about those who live on the fringes of our society, in places we never visit or think about. She taught us that being a Good Samaritan means helping anyone in need.
 
Even Crossword Puzzle Man.
 
 
~ By Hayley Linfield, 《The Globe and Mail》 (11 Feb., 2004) Toronto

马友友领军 传播中东与亚洲文化种子到芝加哥

【法新社 鄭詩韻】

 
 

(法新社芝加哥二日電) 知名華裔大提琴家馬友友今天與七十多個文化團體合作,未來一年內,他將透過其籌辦的「絲路計劃」,把亞洲與中東的音樂、藝術與歷史介紹給芝加哥民眾。

馬友友在記者會上表示,這項活動的目的在頌揚芝加哥居民的多樣性,協助民眾加深對其他文化的了解。

馬友友說:「當我們擴大對世界的視野時,我們也在加深對自己生活的了解。絲路計劃希望深植新文化成長的種子,頌揚各地的傳統與音樂之聲。」

「絲路不僅僅是連接亞歐人民與傳統的歷史性貿易之路,這裡也是陌生人邂逅,透過意見、音樂與傳統交流,讓文化轉型之地。」

「我們說到絲路經驗時,指的不只是沙漠中熙來攘往的商隊,而是更多更多的東西,更多更多讓人們有夢、重新想像已知事物,或重新發現一些新東西的經驗。」

六月二十六日起,馬友友與絲路演奏家將以一場免費演出為活動揭開序幕﹔九月份,芝加哥藝術學院推出相關展覽後,芝加哥交響樂團將以大型演出,引出陸續登場的五十場音樂會。

完整的節目表與其他相關細節,可上 http://silkroadchicago.org 查詢。

政治让文化退步 ~ 李安感叹:我们对不起下一代!

【東森新聞報 記者吳明珊/台北報導】

2006 / 05 / 03 (星期三)

 

拿下奧斯卡金像獎後,華人大導演李安也榮登時人百大,李安 3 日回到母校台藝大發表演說,受到學弟妹們的熱烈歡迎。

台藝大校長黃光男更是當眾宣布,台藝大第一位榮譽博士學位將頒發給李安,希望 10 月份時,李安能夠親自回台領取這份榮譽。

一走進母校台藝大校門,李安就受到學弟妹們的熱烈歡迎。

演講前,校長還當眾宣布,台藝大第一位榮譽博士學位,將頒發給大導演李安,而李安也帶來金像獎小金人,與全體台藝大師生分享。

學長李安的榮耀,台藝大學弟妹們與有榮焉。

除了爭相摸摸這難得一見的小金人外,李安在座談會上也談到,對國片越來越退步的憂心。

對台下這些年輕一代,即將成為華人電影工業的未來主人翁們,李安也以鮮見的批判詞彙,表達對文化退步的擔心。

李安說,「受到政治和社會等因素的影響,我們的文化在退步,我們把在華人世界中的強項給丟掉了,我們對不起下一代。」

談到兩岸當前的文化發展,李安則指出,「文化是一種鬥爭,我們那一代的大陸對手遭遇文革,他們被摧殘,我們被教育,但如今的兩岸情況卻完全調了過來,年輕一輩電影人要面對的戰役,將會非常辛苦。」

台下學生聽的認真,李安在台上也講的口沫橫飛。

不過,學生最關心的是,拿到金像獎後,成名的壓力越來越大,李安如何調適?李安說,由於父親和老師的嚴厲督促,所以自己的抗壓性超強,也很能受氣,對於外界所給予的批評和指教,他有一套自己的想法和作法,那就是:「君子報仇,三年不晚」,李安說,自己有信心拍出的下一部作品,可以讓批評的人閉嘴!繼上回李安回母校,已經有七年的時間。

李安笑說,自己是近校情怯,他希望學弟妹們能保有一顆純真的心,相信就能夠拍出好電影。

纯●净●李英爱

《大长今》之后,李英爱与完美的词语画上等号。
 
她是 — 聪颖的、大方的、漂亮的、坚强的、善良的。
 
似乎,所有美好的事物都与她有关。
 
频频捐钱建小学、帮助爱滋病童、赞助贫困儿童求学、将获得的奖金捐作韩国
电影发展用途等等等。
 
长今形象根深蒂固,戏里戏外,她对生活纯真的热忱,也如纯净的水般,缓缓流过人们的心中。
 
 
熟悉的女人
 
前阵子去韩国,走到机场商区,放眼四处皆是李英爱的魅力身影。
 
电器广告、化妆品广告、手机广告,都是她。
 
问一位当地的韩国女人:「李英爱在韩国很红吗?」
 
韩国女人带着笑,频频点头,一脸恳切:「宋惠乔和崔智友也很红,可是李英爱的红是不一样的。在韩国从小孩子、到年轻人、到大人、到老人都喜欢她。」
 
李英爱是真正「一网打尽」型的艺人。
 
她不单是一个演员,也是韩国人引以为傲的传统韩国女性 icon。尽管属于顶级大派演员,亲切态度多年来始终如一,花边绯闻少,私生活规律低调,基本上找不到任何瑕疵。
 
拍摄《大长今》时,一次出外景,在摄氏零下的气温里,为了早点习惯场地进入表演状况,她提早两个小时到场。披着大围巾,在一边发抖一边读台词,观察别人演出。专业精神令导演李存勋印象深刻。
 
大家为长今着迷,在李英爱眼中,最喜爱的是人物坚忍不拔的特质。「我想诠释的长今只是个平凡的人。她没有得天独厚的天赋,但是她是一个持续不断,永不放弃的人。」
 
李英爱大学时修读德文系,当过模特儿、校园记者,也主持过电视公益节目。毕业后发现自己最有兴趣的是当演员,她一边工作,一边又去念了电影戏剧硕士。
 
25 岁时,她主演第一部电视剧《你家的老公如何?》,至今已拍了 30 多部电视剧。不过《大长今》之后,她不止一次透露自己想专注在电影事业上的意愿,将暫时告别小荧幕。
 
30 岁时,她顺利拿到电影戏剧系硕士学位。她爱写书,作品《非常特别的爱》出版一星期就卖断市。
 
2001 年她处于事业高峰,凭电影《春逝》拿下「大韩民国影像大展」和「釜山映画评论家协会」双料影后,强劲风头令其他女星望尘莫及。
 
《大长今》的成功再次奠定了李英爱在韩国巨星地位。事实上,当初角色的第一考虑人选,是金喜善和崔智友。不过因为韩国古装剧一向冷门,而且占用档期长,两人都回拒了邀约。据说曾拒绝了 200 多个剧本的李英爱,细读剧本后,决定接下角色。「我觉得可以演出长今,是种缘分吧。就像一些时候,可以遇到自己的影迷和观众,也是缘分。」
 
 
隐秘的女人
 
拍戏宣传期之外,李英爱甚少接受媒体访问,不喜欢参加造势活动。
 
她的感情生活一直是个谜,唯一较为人知的是 2000 年她与韩国三线演员车胜元传出的地下情。
 
两人在一次电视节目中认识后,频繁通电话,相约吃饭。
 
李英爱在一段访问中,或许无意中透露了自己的心思:「其实我的条件很简单,我不介意男朋友有没有经济基础,也不在乎他帅不帅,最要紧的是有感觉。我心目中的理想对象一定要有男子气概,是既有头脑又充满野性的男人。」
 
恋情曝光后,媒体朋友都不看好,但她坚持地下情总有一天会开花结果。不久之后男方却宣布「李英爱名气太大,工资比我高很多,和她在一起我很有压力。」
 
两人黯然分手不久,车胜元与圈外女友结婚去了。2001 年过后,没有人知道李英爱去了哪。
 
当时大家开始绘声绘影揣测:李英爱感情受挫,为了麻醉情伤,远远避开公众眼光,闭门足不出户。
 
直到主演《大长今》红遍东南亚,媒体铺天盖地报道有关她的一切。
 
面对媒体挖出那段空白期,她一贯微笑,轻描淡写:「在休息的期间,我和普通人一样,陪父母吃饭,偶尔逛逛街,看喜欢的书,四处旅行,偶尔也写写东西。」
 
与她共事多年的好朋友兼经纪人李周烈则解释说:「她不出席公开场合,是因为没有合适的场合。」
 
云淡风轻,似乎什么也不曾发生过。
 
 
36 岁的女人
 
看《亲切的金子》,大银幕下,李英爱松弛的脸部肌肉、鱼尾纹和双下巴无处遁逃。年华逐渐老去,她身上那股纯净娴静的气质却依然弥漫。已经是 36 岁的女人,在一众争艳斗丽的年轻女艺人中,她的地位依然不可动摇。
 
「我对自己现在这个年龄很满意。20  多岁的时候,就像疾跑在暴风雨中的人一样,经历许多挫败,但是这一切都造就了现在的我。当演员这么多年,我觉得现在就是人生中最好的时期了,心中常感觉到安稳踏实。」
 
经历得多了,想多了,许多事情也看淡了。她微笑说:「我虽然常思考,不过总是觉得自己想得太多,应该丢掉一些才是。」
 
 
~ 《 i 周刊 》,No.441,13 Apr 2006

Love with A Twist

A recovering alcoholic, he could drink again, right? And she wasn’t about to give up her glass of wine with dinner, was she? And their relationship wasn’t really deteriorating as quickly as it seemed, was it? Just in time, a lightbulb went on in NATALIE WHITE’s marriage.
 
 
 
LAST SUMMER MY HUSBAND and I got into an argument about changing a lightbulb. When I couldn’t unscrew it, I asked him to try. Within seconds he was swearing in frustration. The only hope, he said, was to rip the fixture out of the ceiling. I begged him to stop and let me call a handyman.
 
Soon the bulb was in the trash, the fixture was dangling on snapped wires, and we were shouting at each other with naked hatred.
 
Luckily, I had an appointment with our marriage counselor scheduled in 15 minutes.
 
 
HANK AND I MET IN 1998, JUST BEFORE our 40th birthdays, and we fell in love like teenagers. We were magic, we were on fire, and though we lived thousands of miles apart, we were soon engaged. I told my two sons the plan at a Baskin-Robbins the night before Halloween. We went home and carved a pumpkin with the image of a diamond ring.
 
Though Hand and I had much in common — age, East Coast backgrounds, single parenthood — there were differences. I loved the Grateful Dead. He loved the Romones. I loved food. He loved philosophy. But all the ways in which we diverged seemed unimportant, or better yet, refreshing and balancing.
 
For example, I learned the night we met that my blue-eyed college professor was a recovering alcoholic, nine years sober. Great, I thought. My first husband had died of AIDS and drug addiction in 1994, and being involved with someone who had resolved these issues was appealing.
 
Though I liked to drink, and though I’d never fallen into addiction’s clasp, part of me was ready to quit. Ever the chameleon girlfriend, I quit cold turkey and started going by myself to AA meetings, which Hank had not attended regularly in years.
 
 
BY THE TIME OUR DAUGHTER WAS born in June 2000, we were definitely in the second phase of marriage, where yo resettle into the person you were premerger and the other person has to learn to live with it.
 
My sobriety had ended with the century, which I toasted with Champagne. I kept wine in the house, had a glass while fixing dinner, a glass with friends. If Hank was bothered, it was not because he worried about himself — at least he never said so — but because he worried about what I might do if I lost my inhibitions.
 
With lifelong issues about trust, Hank had been trying to change me so that he would feel safe. Often we fought bitterly about things I had done long before we met, and anything from wearing a low-cut shirt to drinking a few glasses of wine seemed to him like steps on the road to betrayal. We began seeing the marriage counselor; Hank started taking anti-depressants to help with his compulsive thought patterns.
 
In the summer of 2004, a friend at a fancy Champagne company invited us to a party she was having in Italy. The trip would include a few other couples with whom we’d wine and dine and tour Florence. While I thought that four luxurious days with these lovely people would be an ecstatic release from the burdens of home and family, Hank seemed dubious about spending time with me in what seemed to him a dangerous situation. We began to argue, and one day, on a beautiful hike in the Pocono Mountains, he told me that my drinking was destroying our marriage.
 
"What are you tlaking about?" I cried. "Are you out of your mind?"
 
"If you had to choose between me and alcohol," he asked, "what would you choose?"
 
"I would choose to have you trust me," I said.
 
To him, I had just said I would choose alcohol.
 
 
OUR HOTEL ROOM HAD FRENCH doors that opened onto a balcony over the Arno River, golden by day, silver at evening. Everywhere we went, we went by limo, and every time we came back to our room, there were gifts on the bed. I never figured out what I had done to deserve this treatment, but I drank it in like any princess who’s long been exiled to rural Pennsylvania.
 
On the third day, the group went to visit a Chianti vineyard in the Tuscan hills. We were taken under the wing of a beautiful Italian woman who showed us around her estate, crisscrossed by ancient Roman roads, then took us on a tour of a cellars and introduced her winemaker.
 
At lunch Hank and I were seated at different tables. I was slipping my fork into the yielding flesh of a zucchini flower when I saw him lift a glass of Chianti to his lips.
 
"Oh, shit," I said out loud.
 
But for the remainder of the trip, Hank partook with the rest of us and I saw a side of him I’d never seen before. He was relaxed, gregarious, even a little flirtatious. At the big party, held in two rococo palazzi, Champagne flowed in icy rivers. There’s a photo of him taken late in the evening with a James Bond leer on his face; his hair and bow tie are askew.
 
"Look," I exclaimed when I saw it, "it’s next month’s cover of Relapse monthly. The headline could be ALCOHOL SAVED MY MARRIAGE!"
 
I loved this joke. I showed the picture and told the story repeatedly, rejoicing that the tension between us was defused. And when I told him he should probably leave drinking behind in Italy, and couldn’t we just take these few days as our little gift from God and go back to the way things were, he said he’d think about it.
 
 
AFTER A FEW WEEKS OF TEETOTALING, Hank showed up after work with a small bottle of gin and said he was going to drink it to celebrate his birthday the next day.
 
I was horrified. "Only alcoholics drink a bottle of gin by themselves on their birthdays," I told him. "Regular people have a cocktail or two with friends." When I burst into tears, he handed over the bottle.
 
Two weeks later, he brought home a six-pack of beer. He said he agreed to my plan of avoiding hard liquor. There was definitely a tone of not taking no for an answer. So he had a couple of beers, I had a glass of wine, and things seemed good.
 
One of my best friends has close to 20 years in AA, and Hank’s drinking became the focus of our conversations during our weekly jog. She was extremely doubtful that moderation would be possible, but as the months went by and no disaster occurred, she began to withdraw her judgement. And, as she told me later, to wonder if this meant she could drink a little, too.
 
In response to these thoughts, she redoubled her focus on AA. Meanwhile, I went home to have a drink with my husband, who was such a lightweight, it seemed, that he often slurred his words after just a couple of beers.
 
 
ALMOST A YEAR WENT BY; I PERFECTED my happy story of how alcohol saved my marriage. Then one night, we met two couples for drinks and dinner. At the last spot we stopped, our friend Lou looked disaffected. When I went over and perched on his knees to ask what was wrong, he said he was just tired. Soon after, we all went home.
 
A few days later, Hank let me know that he was upset about my sitting on Lou’s lap. This was exactly the kind of behavior he had always worried about — drunk, flirty, out of line — and now I had proved he was right. Oh my God, I thought, we’re back to where we started.
 
"This is so wrong and ridiculous, and if we start talking about it, we’ll only make it real," I wrote him in an e-mail. But, of course, we did start talking about it.
 
Then things began to get strange. There was a minor car accident during which Hank behaved badly. The next week, he picked an out-of-the-blue, slanderous fight about money. Though I didn’t know it at the time, he was looking at classified ads for apartments in the town where he works. Finally, on the Fourth of July at my mother’s house, he went off the deep end. An evening of odd behavior culminated in his cursing at me within hearing of my family, even giving me a shove. In the morning, he remembered little of this but was racked with humiliation once I told him.
 
And still, when my best friend suggested that he could be drinking more than I realized, I said, "Oh, Hank would never do that."
 
An hour later, when I asked him, he said actually, yes. He would, and he had.
 
 
OVER THE NEXT FWE DAYS, HANK confessed that he had never, since that first six-pack, believed that he would be a moderate drinker. That very day or soon after, he had bought a pint of vodka to drink secretly, and he had done so a fwe times a week ever since. He knew damn well he was a alcoholic; he was only waiting for me to find out.
 
My sense of betrayal —  and horrible deja vu, as I had been through scenes so much like this with my first husband — was devastating. I knew so much about being married to an addict. The good part: It’s a disease, it’s not about you. The bad part: It’s a disease, it’s not about you. When I finally stopped crying, I went into a phase of numb disconnection. I kept thinking of myself telling the stupid story of his amazing ability to drink, and his letting me rattle on.
 
I had bought a lie, bought it eagerly, because I wanted a husband who could share my pleasures, and I had ignored any hints that my reality was a sham.
 
After his secret came out, Hank stopped drinking again and went back to AA. We ignored each other for the rest of the summer, and reached the cold, weird place past anger. Ot so it seemed, until the day I could not unscrew the lightbulb.
 
Since our counselor had forbidden us to come to appointments together, Hank told me to go. "I don’t want to go," I screamed, and ran out the door and went anyway.
 
 
WHEN I GOT BACK, I SAW THE BULB had been changed; the fixture was stuck to the ceiling with some sort of black glue. Hank was standing by the coffeepot. He asked me what had happened in our session.
 
"I told her that this is so hard, and it’s making me miserable, and half the time I hate you," I said. "So she asked me if I want to leave, and I said no. No matter how awful it is, I’m going to stay forever."
 
Hank gave me a look. "That’s what I’ve been telling her, too," he said.
 
We stared at each other for a moment, and then we had to laugh.
 
As awful as it sounds, there was something that freed us in that moment. I think it was the sound of commitment, the promise of undying love beneath the frustration.
 
Part of the reason we’re together is that we both have thorny relationships with alcohol that are reflected in the other person’s struggle, yet we can’t resolve them the same way. He cannot drink, and I will not stop. Refusing to be controlled by his fear, I am probably always going to seem a little scary to him. But he has lost the moral high ground from which he once judged me so harshly, and I have renounced the desperate need for approval that made me pander to it. Now, to go on, we have to accept that parts of the jigsaw puzzle will never fit snugly together.
 
When the last speck of fairy dust is gone, and you are married to exactly the person you married and not any fantasy of your own, you find out whether you have what it takes to make it through a few more decades of togetherness. It takes commitment, it takes forgiveness, it takes resignation and compromise, but with all of this, you still have to feel tenderness. The person you see in those eyes that meet yours across the pillow, or the dining room table, or over the head of the child whose hands you hold — if that person still touches something wordless in you, you can imagine that there are still good parts left, still surprises in the story.
 
You can only find out what happens when you believe in love if you believe in love. We choose to believe.
 
 
~ 《O – The OPRAH Magazine》, April 2006