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  • 2019.2.15
  • Essay
  • 中&上級

Flying fish

トビウオ

トビウオ© Getty Images

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英文を見る

Like many people around the world, I am fascinated by flying fish. Watching a group of flying fish propel themselves out of the water and remain airborne for as long as 45 seconds is a breathtaking experience. I’m also familiar with flying fish as food. I’ve enjoyed the tiny, bright orange eggs as a topping for sushi and used the dried flesh for high-quality soup stock.

But flying fish secured a special place in my heart when I read a poem by the American poet Carl Sandburg called Flying Fish. It’s a short poem, and ends like this:

Child of water, child of air, fin thing and wing thing . . . I have lived in many half-worlds myself . . . and so I know you.

Since I had been born and raised in the “half-world” between two very different cultures, this poem seemed to describe me. For a while I adopted the flying fish as my avatar. Over and over I painted etegami of flying fish and accompanied the art with the lines from Sandburg’s poem. These etegami attracted attention from friends and strangers who also felt their lives were reflected in this combination of image and words. Over the years, I found many words to which I felt strongly connected. But in my heart, no image ever quite replaced that of the flying fish.

It became time for my children to leave the country they had lived in all their lives to continue their education in the unfamiliar country of which they were citizens. I had done the same when I was their age and I knew the struggles they would experience.

I am not comfortable with hugs, kisses, tears and other physical displays of sentiment. But the year after my youngest child left home, I expressed my heart by painting a special Valentine’s Day etegami. The image showed a contented-faced flying fish soaring through the air with its fins widely spread. Below the fish, near the bottom edge of the card, I painted hearts of various sizes. These hearts were connected by crisscrossed lines that formed a long safety net. Alongside this image I wrote the words, “If your wings ever fail you, I will be here to catch you.”

After all these years, this etegami remains one of my favorites. You can see it on my Instagram (dosankodebbie). It reminds me of the love of my parents, who sent me across the sea to continue my education in a land that was strange to me. And it tries to convey to my own children, halfworlders themselves, the love with which I sent them off, decades later, across that same sea.

重要ボキャブラリーを見る

breathtaking
(形)はらはらさせる、息をのむような
◆breathtaking beauty(息をのむほどの美しさ)
◆We had a breathtaking view of the sunset from our hotel balcony.
(私たちはホテルのバルコニーから息をのむほどきれいな夕焼けを見た)

describe
(動)描写する、表現する
◆Joyce tried to describe her feelings with words, but found it easier to do through her paintings.
(ジョイスは気持ちを言葉で表現しようとしたが、絵を通して伝えるほうが簡単だと気づいた)
☞description(名)記述、説明、描写

attention
(名)関心、注意
◆Please pay attention to the teacher when she is talking.
(先生が話しているときは注意して聞いてください)

replace
(動)~に取って代わる
◆We have to find someone to replace Ben.
(私たちはベンに代わる人を見つけなければならない)
☞replacement(名)交換、取り替え

unfamiliar
(形)よく知らない
◆unfamiliar word(聞き慣れない言葉)
◆Mark was unfamiliar with the train system because he just moved into the area.
(マークはその地域に引っ越したばかりなので電車のシステムをよく知らなかった)
⇔familiar(形)よく知っている

struggle
(名)困難、奮闘
(動)もがく、奮闘する
◆with a struggle(奮闘して)
◆Getting my toddler to eat all of her vegetables is a daily struggle.
(子どもに野菜を残さず食べさせることに日々格闘している)

sentiment
(名)感情、意見
◆Most citizens seem to agree with sentiments expressed by the president of the country.
(ほとんどの国民が大統領が表明した所感に同意するようだ)
☞sentimental(形)感傷的な

remain
(動)~のままである
(名)(複数形で)残り物
◆remain the same(同じ状態のままである)
◆Please remain seated until the seat belt sign has been turned off.
(シートベルトサインが消えるまで座ったままでいてください)

convey
(動)伝える
◆My wife has a cold, so she asked me to convey her regrets that she could not join us for dinner this evening.
(妻は風邪をひいているので、今夜のディナーに参加できなかったことを残念に思っていると伝えてほしいと頼まれた)

和訳を見る

Listening Comprehension Check

Q1. Why does the author relate to flying fish?

  • A) Because she grew up between two cultures.
  • B) Because she loves to go fishing for them.
  • C) Because she enjoys flying in the air.

正解を見る

正解は、B
Because she grew up between two cultures.

Vocabulary Review Quiz

Q1. Watching a group of flying fish propel themselves out of the water and remain airborne for as long as 45 seconds is a ( ) experience.

  • A) overtaking
  • B) breathtaking
  • C) mistaking

正解を見る

正解は、B
breathtaking

Q2. Since I had been born and raised in the “half-world” between two very different cultures, this poem seemed to ( ) me.

  • A) describe
  • B) desert
  • C) debate

正解を見る

正解は、A
describe

Q3. These etegami attracted ( ) from friends and strangers who also felt their lives were reflected in this combination of image and words.

  • A) ambition
  • B) attention
  • C) antennas

正解を見る

正解は、B
attention

Q4. But in my heart, no image ever quite ( ) that of the flying fish.

  • A) reprised
  • B) replaced
  • C) represent

正解を見る

正解は、B
replaced

Q5. It became time for my children to leave the country they had lived in all their lives to continue their education in the ( ) country of which they were citizens.

  • A) unfamiliar
  • B) unfollowed
  • C) unfasten

正解を見る

正解は、A
unfamiliar

Q6. I had done the same when I was their age and I knew the ( ) they would experience.

  • A) bubbles
  • B) pebbles
  • C) struggles

正解を見る

正解は、C
struggles

Q7. I am not comfortable with hugs, kisses, tears and other physical displays of ( ).

  • A) sentiment
  • B) sediment
  • C) serious

正解を見る

正解は、A
sentiment

Q8. After all these years, this etegami ( ) one of my favorites.

  • A) retries
  • B) remains
  • C) remote

正解を見る

正解は、B
remains

Q9. And it tries to ( ) to my own children, halfworlders themselves, the love with which I sent them off, decades later, across that same sea.

  • A) contrary
  • B) conversation
  • C) convey

正解を見る

正解は、C
convey

Speaking practice

Q1. Have you ever lived in a culture different from your own? If yes, please talk about your experience. If not, would you like to try? Please explain.※この問題に解答はありません

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