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美国式“强拆”:新房·新生 From the Foundation Up


  Somehow I heard the knocking, the knocking on my front door, before I was ever really consciously aware of it. I was somehow expecting the visitor that showed up that 1)fateful day. Not only did I know he was coming, in all reality I think I had even, in a way, invited him.
  As I reluctantly made my way to the front door, I could feel the familiar mental 2)tug-of-war begin. In my mind, no deeper, I knew what waited at the front door. As I approached the front door, the front door to my home, fear gripped me. I somehow knew that once I opened the door that things, things like my life, would never be the same. 3)Inwardly I knew that change was on the way. Inwardly I also knew that I had asked, even longed for this change. But I just couldn’t face it.
  The rusty front door reluctantly swung open. It 4)squeaked and 5)screeched all the way for it hadn’t really been open in years if ever. The first thing I became aware of was his warm, gentle smile 6)accented nicely with a 7)knowing sparkle in his eyes. “Can I help you?” I mumbled. He let out a hearty genuine laugh at that one, “Can you help me?”
  In between his laughing he managed to say “Sir, I am the 8)Contractor, I have done an 9)exhaustive survey of your house and I am afraid I have some good news and some bad news.”

From the Foundation Up  不知怎的,在我真正意识到那是敲门声之前,我就听到了,我家前门上的敲门声。不知为何,在那个重要的日子里,我一直期待着那位访客的出现。我不仅知道他要来,事实上,我甚至觉得是自己以某种方式邀请他来的。
  I wondered silently if it was too late to shut the door and pretend I had never opened it. But I knew, knew deep down inside where all the serious, big decisions are made, that that would never happen. For I knew, really knew, that once you open this door, you can’t pretend you never opened it. You can’t shut it and walk away as if it had never existed. Once you have seen behind the magic curtain, so to speak, the show, this show, is never the same.
  He continued. “I have found that your foundation, the foundation of your home is cracked, is faulty. Your home, the home you are presently living in, has been built on a broken and faulty foundation.” He scratched his head and said softly, “We have to put in a new foundation, we must start over from the ground up, the entire structure, the entire house, has to go.”
  My mind screamed, my identity protested, not my house. Didn’t He understand that I had spent my whole life living in this house? The walls and the doors were full of memories. It had witnessed my old glory days. It was all I had, it was where I lived. It was my life, it was my precious home. He must surely be mistaken. There must be another way.
  “Couldn’t we just get rid of a couple rooms and somehow 10)straighten the house out,” I asked. “No,” he said, “I’m sorry, in order to rebuild your house, we need to lay a new foundation, we need to begin 11)anew.” “But I am comfortable in my house,” I resisted, “I know where everything is. I am used to the way the furniture is, I know my way around all the rooms.”

  Suddenly, a realization dawned on me that maybe it was my lack of courage of facing something new which was preventing me from signing the contract to rebuild. Just like when people are used to something, they may not be able to accept something new. I was hesitant, I was resistant, my mind, my body rebelled, but I knew he was right. I knew the time had come to rebuild a house, deep down, a new life.

  I stood at the end of my 12)driveway, the road to my new home to be, for a long time, and as I watched the first 13)wrecking ball smash into my old house, I let out a sigh of relief. I was acutely aware of the hard work that lay ahead, of the changes that would be required, but I also knew in my soul that it would be well worth it. As I began to walk up the driveway to my soon to be new home, I heard a loud crash as the wrecking ball struck my old house again, and a small smile broke across my face.
  The work had begun. The work on my new foundation. The work on my new and beautiful home. The work on my life.