À la recherche du temps perdu

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Month: June, 2010

Meeting Death in the Eyes

Father came home from the US last evening. I did not know how to face him, what question to ask. He sat down and began watching the World Cup on TV. He was made to give up the matches because of Grandfather’s business. My US relatives do not watch the World Cup. America is this one big isolated island, oblivious to the passions of the world. Father handed Mother and I a red packet each. Said it was the custom. They did not do it when Grandmother died because they were not sure of the customs themselves. I think I would never know what to do if one of my parents dies, albeit being the eldest child. This is not normally the kind of knowledge one pursues enthusiastically.

Before father left, we made him take a digital camera with him. I looked through the few photos he took, and was suddenly confronted with the image of my Grandfather inside his coffin. The shock took me by surprise. Grandfather looked unchanged at all. He did not have the waxy look of the over-made up corpse, nor had he the disshevelled look of someone who endured a long sickness. His hair was black and neatly combed, his skin clear. He facial expression was calm, like someone in a deep sleep. The body in the dark suit became robust again, and in his hands held a book – I could not read what that was. By his right side was the latest family photograph, four generations. I was not in there.

Suddenly the feelings I had when I first learnt about Grandfather’s death came back to me, and the urge to cry was only controlled with some ado. Still I knew not how to face death. To confront the image of death, the visible reality of death, so bleak and blunt, overwhelmed me and rendered me totally helpless. It was as incomprehensible as it was fearsome. Suddenly Antonio’s melancholic speech, my first Shakespearean speech, came back to me:

In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.


Perhaps like Antonio who saw the invisible sadness, or like Hamlet holding the skull in his hands, I have also met Death in the eyes, and learnt the meaning of Melancholy.

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傷逝

每天上班時,總會途經街市。街市外那條行人路總是充塞著來買菜的老人。我總是很討厭那一段路,因為路太窄,我總是被迫跟著前後左右的公公婆婆以老人的那種速度蠕動,走完那段路得用上正常兩倍的時間。但昨天我看著前方的一位老公公,心裡忽然有一種奇怪的感覺。有一天,這些老人都將從這個世界消失,這個光景將會不復存在,正式成為歷史。不只他們的形態,連他們所盛載的,都會一併消失,只留下歷史書裡的發黃照片和一堆符號。

最近看了朋友借我的1999年的電影版Le Temps retrouvé。雖然有一些人物跟我想像中有點距離,很多重要的情節也未有觸及,我還是被這如詩美麗的映像化了的Proustian dream深深打動。Marcel打破了茶杯,Gilberte de Saint Loup把破杯放在紅木盒子裡。我們總是死命想留住重要的記憶。人老了,人死了,回憶逝去了,過去不再存在。回憶變成了窗外眩目的亮光,雖然明知過去就在那亮光背後,卻甚麼也看不到。人死了就甚麼痕跡都不留下了。這小說對我的影響力大概是永遠的。

今天早上回到公司,打開電郵就看到祖父離世的消息。雖然並不完全是意料之外,但有一刻我卻不懂如何反應。我以為自己會很冷靜的,最後卻還是不能自制的放聲大哭了起來。到現在我還不太懂,為甚麼我們會為身邊的人的死亡而悲傷。我們都知道每個人最終都要死的。但那傷痛的感覺卻是那麼真實,彷彿是一種與生俱來的能力似的。忽然一切看上去都是那麼徒然。無論我做些甚麼,熱衷於甚麼,執著於甚麼,到了此刻都是不值一提了。忽然我很想放棄,那些甚麼的所謂大事,在死亡面前,其實是那麼渺小。

但是這個時候,另一把聲音卻叫我不要放棄,要我更加努力。或者是不願意被死亡打擊了生存的意志,或者是死亡更加突顯了記錄的重要,我現在是更加希望能完成這個攝影集計劃,作為給我祖父的禮物。人死了,他所承載的過去就不再存在。現在我的祖父母外祖父母都不在人世了,我才了解到屬於我的一部份未曾發現的歷史也已無法修復。或者我會像Proust那樣,窮一生去追逐逝去的回憶,直到那一天當一切,包括我自身,不再存在任何意義為止。

兩年的約定

心情好了,原來的我就回來了。忽然心癢癢就想要搞點甚麼。這個我原來還存在啊。想著想著卻越覺得不太可能,睡醒了就不多想了。但過了一天,結果還是決定要試一下。因為今天同事問起,我才醒起自己四年前出了書,兩年前又出了手作書,怎麼今年甚麼都沒做呢,於是原本沒有多想的,忽然又覺得非要做點甚麼不可,否則就有點對不起以前那個滿腔熱血的自己。但是,時間真的很不夠,計劃也很粗糙,因此要借助很多人的力量,唯這樣就很難確保所有事情能按計劃搞定。因為是純粹即興,搞得成會很高興,搞不成又不會很失望。但是我還是希望能搞得成,就算會讓自己忙死,我也希望能堅持著每兩年搞一點甚麼的約定。這也算是對自己的一個承諾吧。

因此,朋友們,求求你們了!一起來玩吧!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

And suddenly all the clouds are gone and my heart is no longer overcast. I have to thank my dear friend for it. For clearing my mind off the confusions that obscure insight. Apparently I have once again allowed my emotions to take over myself. I thought I had become reasonable while I am still the same person who is solely motivated by emotions. What a sad realization that I am nothing but emotions. They were showing this film the other day. Is it truly possible to have an eternal sunshine of the spotless mind? Not a trace of cloud, not a trace of emotion. No love, no hate. Will that be something preferable?

After the late lunch I got back to office, picked up my earphones and listened to Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions. I read about this indie band from a magazine. I really like the vocalist’s voice, sweet and very soothing, and reminds me of the brilliant green which I liked very much. Only Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions is less Pop. Embraced by the melody, for once I forget about my anguish and sadness and loneliness, and everywhere is eternal sunshine.


悲傷的權利

今天出席六四燭光晚會,學會了一件事,就是人除了要堅持原則,也應該有悲傷的權利。遇著悲痛的事,不只是著人堅強面對或者索性忘記,而是接受和允許悲傷的存在。

而今天我必需接受自己真的受傷了,雖然曾經努力試圖堅強面對,結果告訴我那傷痛並不是單憑我的堅強就可以消退。然後朋友說:其實我覺得妳是可以難過的。面對這樣的事,任誰也會難過的。這刻我才恍然大悟,其實自己是有悲傷的權利的。

因此,我決定讓自己哭,讓自己悲傷,然後,才放手讓時間救贖自己。

玫瑰花耳環

或者那也是一個契機。今天早上起來,竟然在房間發現失落多時的一只玫瑰花耳環。當我垂下眼,那只耳環就靜靜的躺臥在垃圾桶旁,那桃紅色顯得醒目非常。本來我已經放棄去找回它的了。不知為何,我覺得這當中代表了一些東西。於是我把那耳環的另一只找來,把它們戴上了去上班。

果然,不知是喜是悲,忐忑的回到公司後,得到的幾個反應竟是出乎意料的平淡輕鬆。當我苦惱萬分了兩天後,才發現其他人對此不過輕描淡寫,還叫我別太放在心上,這兩天受的罪就變得很冤枉。更可恨的是,到今天早上我才得知,基於同事的一個疏忽遺漏,讓我受了兩天不必要的罪,也讓人受了我不必要的情緒。有同事說其實我沒有必要被置於那麼嚴苛的狀況,而我覺得,是次做成了的傷害已經無法回頭。

我的一不小心,造成了傷害,因而要承擔責怪;而別人處理這個責怪稍一不小心,卻又傷害了我;我又因而再將傷害伸延,以致這個殘破的局面。雖然表面上好像已經風平浪靜,但我知道很多事,其實已經不再一樣。因為我的眼睛不再只看到美麗的桃紅色玫瑰花瓣,也看到了刺。

快樂有罪

有點迷信命運,不是古典悲劇裡呈現的命運弄人,而是日常生活裡那些很微細的法則,類似是「有咁耐風流有咁耐折墮」「風水輪流轉」或者「出得黎行預左要還」的日常版,在我很小,還未聽過這些俗話的時候,就已經開始相信好事發生之後必然會有壞事發生的規律。那純粹出自小童獨有的靈感,建基於某些被特別理解的零碎經驗。因此我的童年活得不無戰戰兢兢,快樂的時候總要害怕隨之而來的悲慘,覺得悲慘是快樂的代價,而且兩者都無法由自己選擇。即使做了好事,也未必會有好結果,因此那也不會是天主的旨意,假如天主真如師長們所說是那麼賞罰分明的話。那時我已覺得,快樂或悲慘只是一種運氣,一種跟自身行為也跟神祇無關的超自然規律。

而隨著我漸漸長大,開始留意到自身以外的世界,那對自身以內的敏銳靈感也就慢慢消失。儘管如此,唯有那迷信仍然時刻籠罩著我,每當我過得很快樂,甚至覺得過了頭的時候,腦裡就會有一把聲音警告我,一切都將完結,然後苦難就會降臨。

而的確,當同事說我是派對後遺症的時候,我知道不是那麼簡單,因為純粹派對後遺症的失落並不足夠抵銷之前令人迷醉的歡樂。彷彿是要懲罰我過得太快樂,現在的我就要承受比失落更沉重的代價。這半年以來都沒有過這麼糟糕的狀況,發生的時候令人有點手足無措,不知道該如何面對。這時我又變回當年的小童,面對突如其來的災禍,只能嘗試以贖罪的方式,希望藉著減少太過快樂的罪孽,惡運可以早日離去。今天在公司自己一人走來走去搬搬抬抬,把ART HK 10攤位回來的東西都全收拾了,然後再坐在圖書館一路做到過了七時半,公司的人差不多全走了才離去。整天都害怕會表現得太過快樂或者跟同事玩忘了形,因而比平常意興闌珊。本來昨日在家裡寫了半天的ART HK 10記趣,都不打算登出來了。拍了很多的照片也不想分享。總之,在這災難完全過去之前,我都將為快樂而受罪。