My childhood and adolescence were a joyous outpouring of energy, a ceaseless quest for expression, skill, and experience. School was only a background to the supreme delight of lessons in music, dance, and dramatics, and the thrill of sojourns in the country, theaters, concerts.
And books, big Braille books that came with me on streetcars, to the table, and to bed. Then one night at a high school dance, a remark, not intended for my ears, stabbed my youthful bliss: “That girl, what a pity she is blind.” Blind! That ugly word that implied everything dark, blank, rigid, and helpless. Quickly I turned and called out, Please don’t feel sorry for me, I’m having lots of fun. But the fun was not to last.
还有我的书，那些厚重的盲文书籍无论在我乘车、用餐还是睡觉时都与我形影不离。然而，一天晚上，在高中的一次舞会上，一句我无意中听到的话霎那间将我年少 的幸福击碎——“那女孩是个瞎子，真可惜！”瞎子——这个刺耳的字眼隐含着一个阴暗、漆黑、僵硬和无助的世界。我立刻转过身，大声喊道：“请不要为我叹 惜，我很快乐！”——但我的快乐自此不复存在。
With the advent of college, I was brought to grips with the problem of earning a living. Part-time teaching of piano and harmony and, upon graduation, occasional concerts and lectures, proved only partial sources of livelihood. In terms of time and effort involved, the financial remuneration was disheartening. This induced within me searing self-doubt and dark moods of despondency. Adding to my dismal sense of inadequacy was the repeated experience of seeing my sisters and friends go off to exciting dates. How grateful I was for my piano, where—through Chopin, Brahms, and Beethoven—I could mingle my longing and seething energy with theirs. And where I could dissolve my frustration in the beauty and grandeur of their conceptions.
升入大学之后，我开始为生计而奔波。课余时间我教授钢琴及和声，临近毕业时还偶尔参加几次演奏会，做了几次讲座，可要维持生计光靠这些还是不够，与投入的 时间和精力相比，它们在经济上的回报让人沮丧。这让我失去了自信和勇气，内心郁闷苦恼。眼看我的姐妹和伙伴们一次次兴高采烈地与人约会，我更觉消沉空虚。 所幸的是，还有钢琴陪我。我沸腾的渴望和激情在肖邦、贝多芬、勃拉姆斯那里得到了共鸣。我的挫败感在他们美妙壮丽的音乐构想中消散。
Then one day, I met a girl, a wonderful girl, an army nurse, whose faith and stability were to change my whole life. As our acquaintance ripened into friendship, she discerned, behind a shell of gaiety, my recurring plateaus of depression. She said, “Stop knocking on closed doors. Keep up your beautiful music. I know your opportunity will come. You’re trying too hard. Why don’t you relax, and have you ever tried praying?”
The idea was strange to me. It sounded too simple. Somehow, I had always operated on the premise that, if you wanted something in this world, you had to go out and get it for yourself. Yet, sincerity and hard work had yielded only meager returns, and I was willing to try anything. Experimentally, self-consciously, I cultivated the daily practice of prayer. I said: God, show me the purpose for which You sent me to this world. Help me to be of use to myself and to humanity.
In the years to follow, the answers began to arrive, clear and satisfying beyond my most optimistic anticipation. One of the answers was Enchanted Hills, where my nurse friend and I have the privilege of seeing blind children come alive in God’s out-of-doors. Others are the never-ending sources of pleasure and comfort I have found in friendship, in great music, and, most important of all, in my growing belief that as I attune my life to divine revelation, I draw closer to God and, through Him, to immortality.
在接下来的几年里，我得到了明确而满意的回答，超出了我最乐观的期望值。其中一个回答就是魔山盲人休闲营区。在那里，我和我的护士朋友每年都有幸看到失明 的孩子们在大自然的怀抱中是多么生气勃勃。除此之外，朋友们真挚的友谊以及美妙的音乐都给我带来无穷无尽的欢乐和慰藉。最重要的是，我越来越意识到，在我 日复一日的祷告中，当我聆听上帝的启示之时，我正日益与他靠近，并通过他接近永恒。