Friday, 30 December 2011

給Anita的信

Dearest Anita,

你好嗎?今年過得怎樣?都做過些甚麼來著?

今年,我好像做過不少事情,又好像甚麼都沒做。去年九月重返校園,幾個月匆匆而過,轉眼就畢業了。猶幸成績不錯,選修八科,只差一科就全部拿A了;雖然有點功虧一簣的意味,但那畢竟是自己毫不熟悉的上古文明史(古埃及、巴比倫、兩河流域那些耶……),而且班裡有精研古埃及史的博士生一起上課,拿到次一級的成績,似乎也無可抱怨了。

你可知道,我收到年終成績單的時候,是怎樣的狂喜和興奮?雖然心知未來的路不易走,但因為眼前那份「辛苦種成花錦繡」的滿足感、自我挑戰成功的成就感,之前廢寢忘食、殫精竭慮的辛勞,一下子都變得微不足道,竟如煙雲了。那是多少金銀財寶也買不到的快樂,我想,當年你站在舞臺上接受大家的歡呼和掌聲,大概也是差不多光景。

畢業之後,很幸運地找到一份較穩定的工作,可以有更多時間讀書、寫字、看戲、做運動。因為公主殿下一句話,決心練跑減肥;三個月下來,總算有點成績。十一月最後一個星期日,又參加了十公里賽跑,中途沒休息、也沒步行,以每公里八分鐘左右的速度跑畢全程,算是一項小小的個人紀錄吧。

你一向那麼瘦削,大概難以想像從幼稚園開始就被人取笑是「肥妹」,到底是怎樣一種心情;不過你以前被人惡意中傷的那些話,可能還要難聽百倍。總之,人就是這麼自私,既害怕被人家取笑,又毫不猶豫的譏笑人家,眼睜睜拿人家的痛苦當笑料來取悅自己。真正能夠將心比己、寬厚待人的,又有多少?如今寬己嚴人、只懂肆意批評信口雌黃者愈來愈多,有時候除了裝聾扮啞,真不知道還可以怎麼辦。

踏入十二月,在不同的媒體上,不約而同都出現了關於你的東西,彷彿要提醒粗心大意忙到忘了心的傢伙,這又是一個屬於你的月份。例如,二十多年前你替他們主演第一輯電視廣告的那個手錶品牌,推出了全新製作的廣告,配樂就用上了你的《似水流年》。當日在書房裡做點雜事,一聽到《似水流年》的前奏,馬上以九秒九的速度飛奔到電視機前,就是不想錯過任何關於你的東西。可惜看完了,半點摸不著頭腦。上網找到四分鐘的完整廣告,耐著性子看完。老實說,我真的不知道他們想表達些甚麼──是歲月如流也沖不淡的思念,還是事過境遷,過去了就應該讓它過去?《似水流年》的淡然與無奈,烘托著廣告中安謐、沉穩的氣氛,卻掩飾不了創作人混亂和蒼白的思緒。

另外,有個很久沒聯絡的朋友,一天在Facebook上留言,說某天乘車時聽到司機在播放你的歌曲,馬上就想起我來。其實,為甚麼會想起我呢?難道除我之外,她身邊就沒有你的fans了?抑或是我多年來厚著臉皮直認不諱,在人家的腦海中,已經和你分拆不開了?

還有,早幾天去看公主殿下和她的同學仔紀念從藝五十年的演出,過場時她在錄影訪問中下意識似地說了兩遍「孤身走我路」,正是「新詩落在愁人耳,未加註解也分明」,不禁一陣莫名的悸動,衷懷難吐,真箇是「似上癮無餘地,心坎中翻湧起,漲滿漲滿的感覺,如同懷內聚滿沙,雖荒誕但逼真」。公主一向端凝自持,淡淡道來,彷彿在說人家的事情,語氣中甚至沒有透露絲毫傷感和慨嘆。可是她眼珠子下意識的骨碌一轉,視線飄向上方,好像在回憶那些流年如水,又似是避開注視、強捺心情──頓時心照不宣。她不停地重複感謝同學仔回來,牽著她的手重踏臺板,有意無意之間,彷彿在暗示這二十年來她躑躅獨行,其實有多辛苦。當時雙眼只管盯著投影布幕,貪婪地捕捉她神情舉止的蛛絲馬跡;而你《孤身走我路》蒼涼落寞的歌聲,卻條件反射一般不住在腦海裡盤旋:

孤身走我路
獨個摸索我路途
噢……
寂寞滿心內,是誰,在耳邊輕鼓舞?

我要唱出心裡譜
我已決意踏遍長路
噢……
跟心中拍子,傲然獨舞永沒停步
不想管,終點,何日到

孤身走我路
但信心布滿路途
前面有,陣陣雨灑下
淚兒,伴雨點風中舞
哪怕每天都跌倒
我信我會走得更好
噢……
心中痛苦,無從盡訴卻自流露
風中的,纖瘦影,悠然自顧

有時候我在想,你和公主殿下到底是不約而同的天生辛苦命,還是姓梅的女子都給下了一個千年不滅的魔咒,非要經歷一番徹骨苦寒的風刀霜劍,才練就一身傲視同儕的好本領?殿下本來不姓梅,可是給取了個以梅為姓的藝名,一樣也擺脫不了梅花的宿命。

是了,你見過梅花沒有?喜歡嗎?自從十八年前在揚州一見,驀地傾心,此後在旅途中若是見到梅花,總是很雀躍。可惜香港天氣太暖和,不適合梅花生長;即使公園裡栽種了梅樹,也是經年不開花。只有去年嚴冬之際,才疏疏落落的開了幾株,已經樂得我手舞足蹈。三年前在日本見到梅花盛放的模樣,印象深刻,只是不知為何少了那股清遠幽邈的香氣。早前和Fidelia說起,相約明年農曆新年後找個周末,或者請一兩天假,到杭州超山賞梅去。放心,總不會少了你的份兒的。其實這十多年來五遊杭州,哪一次沒有和你同行呢?更何況,這次去是為了看梅花。在我心目中,你、公主和梅花,儼然三位一體,早已牢牢的烙在心上,難以割捨了。

好了,祝你、Ann姊和諸位朋友新年快樂!

Truly yours,

Thursday, 29 December 2011

滄海拾遺--豪門怨

斜陽已冷
豪門更冷
金光四閃的窗框
空虛瀰漫
儘管耀眼

華筵已散
愁懷已慣
再走到這沙灘
暮色無限
讓我憑欄
獨對夜晚

在一瞬間
舊歡往返
又想到他熱烈地再抱我於臂彎
越出俗世的空間
天邊廣闊無限
冷風再三
幻想易散

緣難再挽
情難再淡
怪只怪我當初不甘一生平淡
夢斷債難還
恨怨循環
人愈變愈冷

回頭已晚
投閒置散
哪管再傷心追憶
舊歡如幻
一雙淚眼
萬莫對人彈
無論慣不慣

作曲:S Sondheim
填詞:潘源良
編曲:Jose Villanueva
專輯:夢裡共醉

回想起來,《夢裡共醉》是Anita一張頗為另類的專輯。日本流行音樂席捲香港之際,專輯則以改編自歐美流行曲的作品為主。例如專輯的點題曲《夢裡共醉》,就是改編自Bernardo Bertolucci執導電影《末代皇帝溥儀》的主題音樂;《不如不見》則改編自美國搖滾樂隊Eagles的名曲Desperado。

老實說,歐美流行曲聽得不多,而且多是五、六十年代的舊歌,所以專輯歌曲的原作,大都沒聽過──《豪門怨》的原曲Send in the Clowns也是一樣。

我不知道原曲的內容和意境,但潘源良的詞,充滿鴛鴦蝴蝶式的幽怨纏綿,與略帶憂鬱的旋律竟是出奇地水乳交融,乍聽之下,簡直認不出是改編作品。

這種音樂風格和歌詞內容,以Anita蒼涼世故的聲音來演繹,最是合適不過,可謂不作他人想。

一個「怨」字,看似簡單,其實內涵可以相當複雜。到底怨的是甚麼?為何怨恨?是恨錯難返,不滿現實而憤懣填膺,抑或是愁腸百結、鬱悶難紓?言簡意賅的歌詞,早已清楚勾勒了故事梗概;然而箇中不為人知的淒涼光景,只能從層次分明的歌聲中細意體會。大概只有她,才懂得怎樣用聲音來說故事。

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

滄海拾遺--愛你.想你

繁忙鬧市中
跟你偶相碰
似陣微風
柔情在眼中
熱情被震動
潛伏的愛情
似在一刻中解凍
被你注視注視我面容
又發現我亦會面紅
愛是難控

繁忙地鐵中
跟你再相碰
似夢魂中
人如著了魔
定形沒法動
如夢幻旅程
偶共他的身相碰
人叢裡面似共他相擁
幻覺像看著心漸融

緣分到又似一陣風
自制已失自控
我似處身於魂夢
為何遇你我竟情動
緣分要我給愚弄
無奈愛是愛是這樣濃
我亦難控

緣份若到訪
令人沒法避
狂熱的愛情
熾熱燦爛烙心裡
悠悠歲月愛念總不死
長願記著掛著不願離
全為這段愛是太神奇
永難忘記
愛你、想你
情意太真摯
不想忘記

仍然愛你(想你)仍然愛你(想你)
仍然愛你(想你)不想忘記

作曲:Dave Grusin
填詞:鄭國江
編曲:黎學斌
專輯:夢裡共醉

隔了許多時日,才可以續寫這個系列,不免對女皇陛下心存歉意。

但是,如果無法靜下心來,更不應輕舉妄動,濫竽充數。

來到十二月,對女皇的思念自然而然濃重起來。身邊的人和事,也不約而同地提醒著,這是才下眉頭、卻上心頭的時節。

這陣子,被公主殿下和同學仔的紀念演出弄得失魂落魄;甚至有人問我,是不是公主已經取代了女皇的地位?當然不是。公主就在眼前,看得見、摸得著,多說兩句,理所當然。女皇一直在心中,沒提起,只是因為沒話柄、沒機緣,卻不是out of sight out of mind。夜闌人靜、孤身一人的時候,有事沒事總會想念、總會牽掛,一腔衷情卻無從傾訴。其實只要她知道,便足夠了。

佳節當前,不知怎地記起了這首改編自電影《杜絲先生》主題曲It Might Be You的舊作。在電腦上反覆播了一個下午,總是百聽不厭。竊以為這是Anita眾多曲目之中,最情意綿綿、溫馨旖旎的一首。鄭國江老師的曲詞,固然纏綿悱惻;Anita柔靡的演繹,也是功不可沒。她唱來溫軟滑膩,恍若無骨;蘭麝微吐,中人欲醉。

在繁忙的鬧市或地鐵中聽著這首歌,煩囂頓忘,儼然物外。那一刻,沒有旁人、沒有計算、沒有絲毫雜念。就像music video和電影中常見的定鏡一般,背景中熙來攘往、車水馬龍,彼此的眼中心上,卻只有──你和我。

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

感情與理智

上星期四覲見公主之後,轉眼又過了差不多一星期。一口氣寫了幾千字的書信和blog posts,澎湃的心情才總算稍歇下來。

這些年來堅持寫作,不是為了滿足發表欲,也不是為了記述某年某月的人和事,而是給自己做心理治療。無論是喜是愁,只要能夠寫出來,就像洩洪一般,心情自然而然的回復平靜。所以這些勞什子,與其說是寫給人家看,不如說是寫給自己的更恰當。

其實老友說得對,公主殿下和同學仔相交大半生,五十年後仍可在舞臺上重逢,無論如何也是值得高興和珍惜的。可是感情和理智由腦袋裡兩個河水不犯井水的部位控制,如果最率真、最直接的情緒反應也可以被理智控制,那就不是真正的感性了。

身為水瓶座,自問從來理性先行,甚至可以就事論事到不近人情的地步。然而,金鐘罩、鐵布衫等橫練功夫都有罩門,我輩凡夫俗子,有個說不破、碰不得的死穴,又有甚麼難懂呢?

在日常生活中,「感情用事」、「意氣用事」都是貶詞,其實未可一概而論。問題不在於是否讓感情蓋過了理智,而是在於感情能否收放自如。人是感情的動物,總有喜怒哀樂,勉強壓抑,可能適得其反;不如讓情緒宣洩出來,心情更容易平復。所以真正的關鍵在於宣洩的方法和途徑是否合適,情緒能否在適當時間內平靜下來,不至影響生活和身邊的人。這固然是知易行難,所以大多數人都習慣強行壓抑,久而久之以為自己早已看破世情,其實差得遠呢。如果真的參得透勘得破,那就應該心裡波瀾不興,不以物喜,不以己悲。然而這是修道者一輩子的功課,多少人窮畢生之力也未能達成;咱們既是紅塵中人,只要不是作奸犯科、沒有妨礙人家,何妨率性而為?

畢竟,這才是生命的活力。

Thursday, 8 December 2011

When Will All These Crap Stop?

Over the past months and weeks the local news agenda has been dominated by publicity campaigns of the two potential candidates running for the next chief executive. Almost every day they attended public or private forums "at the invitation" of various interest and pressure groups, ranging from political parties to the most popular online forum in Hong Kong. But so far no one has ever tabled a full-blown and well-thought platform to bring the public discourse to the next level. Their remarks were reported in soundbites that served as little more than fuel for gossips and parodies.

Even though most of us are not eligible to cast the vote for the next chief executive, does it mean we have nothing better to do than venting our frustrations in the form of sneers, parodies and indifferences? Why can’t we play a more active role in scrutinising the candidates by asking more critical and sensible questions than "what do you think of so-and-so’s comments about you" or "how do you respond to so-and-so’s remarks"? If we really care about the well-being of this ailing city that we call home, we need to tell the candidates as well as all those behind the crappy electoral system that we care, and we are well capable of doing so. Gossips and smears like calling Henry Tang "a pig" or "Dragonball", making fun of his personal attributes or questioning whether C Y Leung was lying when he said his mother had bound feet can achieve nothing but compensate our desperation and frustration. Worse still, these meaningless remarks and behaviours only serve to reinforce the enduring (mis)perception that Hong Kong people are economic animals that are neither interested nor capable of playing the political game. Among other factors, this is precisely why both the British and the Communist Chinese have denied Hong Kong a more accountable and effective political system that is long overdue.

This is why I am so hopelessly frustrated with all the rhetoric about the chief executive elections. News reports are dominated by public relations campaigns that are meant to twist and distort perceptions. Journalists fail miserably in their duties because they have been running after the candidates and the people around them for soundbites rather than asking the critical and sensible questions. Discussions are bias-laden, out of focus and losing sight of the truly important issues. If we are too busy or apathetic to reflect on our future, or simply incapable of thinking sensibly, then we should stop complaining about our seriously flawed political system. We are just getting what we deserve.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

《賽德克.巴萊》

連續兩個周末,把《賽德克.巴萊》上、下集看完了。心情很沉重,也很混亂。

看完了上集,心中有一個問題縈繞不去:「甚麼是文明?甚麼是野蠻?」

戲裡的賽德克族,就像很多原始民族一樣,分成若干部落;雖云來自同一位祖先,卻是多年來互相攻伐不斷。部族以漁獵為生,雖懂得生火煮食和使用火槍,仍保存了茹毛飲血的習慣。族人崇尚勇武,男子以割取敵人頭顱為成年的禮儀、勇士的考驗,事成後可在額前和下巴紋上深藍色的長方形圖案作標識。

電影中不乏部族之間為爭奪獵場而互相殺戮的血腥場面,土語稱為「出草」。以現代的眼光來看,獵頭、茹毛飲血等當然是野蠻的行徑。但甲午戰爭之後,維新成功的日本殖民統治臺灣,把賽德克族等原住民稱為「生蕃」、「兇蕃」,拿他們當奴隸一般驅役,極盡侮辱、輕蔑之能事,難道這就是我們趨之若鶩的「先進」和「文明」?在第二次世界大戰中,日本軍方威迫利誘各國婦女充當軍妓,某些日本軍官更以砍殺中國人作競賽,以首級多者為勝,這又是哪門子的文明?

帝國主義、殖民統治本來就意味著人有貴賤之分,尊貴者手握生殺大權,卑賤者只能成為俎上魚肉。經過幾百年的血腥教訓,現在我們大多數人──至少理論上──不再接受帝國主義和殖民統治,儘管實際的政治形勢卻未必如此。但是,如果野蠻和文明的衝突不在於貴賤,而是彼此的習俗、文化和價值觀,那又應該如何應對?例如戲裡的賽德克人與漢人,在日本殖民統治之下,地位是較為平等的。他們世代通商,各取所需,但似乎並沒有太多的互信。在一個多民族聚居的環境中,如果漢人成為賽德克人出草的對象,應該如何自處?同樣,賽德克人面對其他民族對自己信仰以鮮血祭奠祖靈、以獵頭為勇武象徵的疑慮與鄙視,又應該怎麼辦?像反抗日本人一樣把對方趕盡殺絕?還是捨棄祖先世代相傳的習俗,接受所謂的文明?

看完了下集,不免令人反思「成王敗寇」這句老話。都說歷史是成王敗寇的鐵證,因為只有當權者才掌握歷史的話語權。且不論這個說法是否犬儒太過,我始終很好奇,如果賽德克的勇士真的在「霧社事件」後被誅滅,只留下極少老弱婦孺,他們沒有文字,相關事蹟又是誰來編撰?誰去流傳?無論是歌頌還是抨擊,都是旁人的詮釋而已。賽德克人自己怎麼想,我們又知道多少?就算真有個甚麼說法,又怎樣分辨孰真孰假?

電影宣傳文案雖云力求客觀,其實創作人對賽德克人反抗日本殖民統治的「霧社事件」的取向,已經呼之欲出。單就電影內容而言,賽德克人在霧社出草、「血祭祖靈」的過程中,並非只針對男性,而是連老弱婦孺也不放過。更令人不安的是,主事者是年僅十三、四歲、備受日本老師歧視的賽德克男孩。如果他們的行為是迫不得已、情有可原,那麼我們是否也應該以同樣的態度,面對那些隨時威脅人類安全的恐怖分子?

美國著名異見學者Noam Chomsky的著作,揭露過多少美國政府歷來在世界各地所作的孽,激起多少受害者的抗議、反彈甚至報復。可是上至聯合國,下至國際輿論與新聞媒體,始終無人能夠站出來主持公道;即使有,強國、大國一概置若罔聞,甚至加以封殺、抹黑。十年前的九一一事件,或多或少也跟美國在中東地區親手種下的禍根有關;只是美國政府的輿論機器,主導了國際媒體報道的取向和角度,讓我們遠在萬里以外的人,不知不覺間潛移默化,不由分說相信了自以為客觀公正的傳媒報道。那些敢於提供另類觀點和說法的報道,除非著意搜集,否則本地主流媒體幾乎視而不見,我們絕少機會看到。這樣說,當然不是認同恐怖主義,正如我無法同情賽德克人為了洩恨而濫殺無辜一樣。但是,如果我們願意花時間瞭解賽德克人的怨恨和悲憤,又是否願意深究眼前中東、非洲、拉丁美洲等地被各種霸權壓迫的民族,以及那些恐怖分子世代相傳而無法宣洩的怨恨?

Friday, 2 December 2011

賽跑記

練跑兩個月,成績比想像中理想。不但減肥成功,而且完成了平生第一次十公里賽跑,很有滿足感。

兩個月下來,平均一星期練跑兩次,每次至少半小時,同時飯量減半,於是十磅陳年贅肉無聲無息地消失,腰圍驟減兩吋,繫皮帶時要扣到最後一孔,欣喜之情,難以言喻。從心理學的角度看,這種positive reinforcement比甚麼獎賞更有效,只希望自己能持之以恆,再減十磅,那就功德圓滿了。

上星期日去參加十公里賽跑,事前兩星期因工作較忙,少了練習;加上平日練跑只計時間,不知距離,但心知跑得再久,也從沒跑完十公里那麼遠,所以能否完成全程,絕無把握,不免心中惴惴。雖有朋友鼓勵,但自己知自己事,還是不敢奢望在多少時間內完成,只盼順利跑畢全程,中途不休息、不步行,那就心滿意足了。

天沒亮就爬起床來煮早餐吃了,喝飽了水,約七時半到達比賽場地。七點五十三分左右,比賽正式開始。沒想到同組的參賽者那麼多,本來想稍微提速衝出重圍,又怕後繼乏力,於是說服自己盡量放鬆心情,按平日練跑的步伐緩緩前進。眼見其他參賽者不斷從身旁掠過,心情反而愈來愈平靜,暗想賽跑還是為了挑戰自己,索性橫了心,不論人家是快是慢,我只管跑自己的,正是:「他強由他強,清風拂山崗;他橫由他橫,明月照大江。」

跑了十分鐘左右,已見到有參賽者改跑為走。約半小時左右,來到一條頗長的斜道。本來在公園練跑已有不少斜坡,早想好了怎樣應付,誰知人實在太多了,很多人步行上坡,把路面堵住了大半,反而邁不開腳步。當時烈日初升,陽光大剌剌地炙在背上,又未到補水站,微感辛苦。可是上得了去也自有下來的時候,就如人生總有高低跌宕。沒有低谷,哪有奮發向上的動力和希望?沒有往上跑的努力和堅忍,哪有之後的清風送爽?

餘下來的路程,都是平地,不難應付,只難在克服疲勞、堅持到底的意志力。過了迪欣湖,經過最後一個補水站,還剩下兩公里左右。原來這是最考驗體力和意志力的關鍵時刻。很多參賽者早已改為步行,甚至嘻嘻哈哈三五成群在距離指示牌前留影,猶如遠足郊遊一般。可惜那臨海防波堤上的小路非常狹窄,只容兩三人並肩而行;我堅持慢跑,就要眼明腳快左閃右避。當時真箇恨不得像武俠小說的主角一般身懷絕世輕功,足不點地就在眾人頭上飛躍過去。

就在那時,左腳尖不知怎地開始一陣陣刺痛,不像是磨破了皮膚,也不是鞋子太緊擠壓腳趾,而是像足尖被細針錐刺一樣,難受得緊。心想絕不能功虧一簣,即使愈跑愈慢也沒法子,只好咬著牙硬挺過去。好容易來到終點前最後數百米,拚盡力氣提速衝過去,總算不辱使命。說也奇怪,跑完了雙腿不算太累,呼吸也沒有太急促,很快就回復正常了。最氣人的是,連腳尖的刺痛也消失了,至今仍叫人摸不著頭腦。

一看手錶,原來跑了一小時二十分三十三秒,比預期慢了五分鐘,不免有點失望。但算起來,平均八分鐘跑完一公里,似乎又不是太差。今天看到官方公布的成績,比自己的計時慢了四秒;但腳上計時晶片的成績,又比自己計時快了十七秒。排名雖屬中下,但總算不用做包尾大幡,已經相當滿意了。

Thursday, 1 December 2011

蠻不講理

逾千新界鄉民於星期一到鄉議局示威,抗議政府堅持執法,清拆村屋的僭建物。有示威者把發展局局長林鄭月娥當洩憤的對象,不但扛著「保鄉衛族」、「安民去妖」的橫額,又對寫著她名字的紙紮人偶拳打腳踢,更將人偶放進紙棺中焚燒。據報道,鄉民是響應二十七個鄉事委員會的號召行事,更有人聲言倘若政府堅持清拆僭建物,誓必引起更激烈的行動,甚至不惜「血債血償」。

都說香港的刁民愈來愈多,其實大都是小兒科,不過是任性妄為、惡人先告狀、敢做不敢認的懦夫愚婦而已。若論真正的刁民,那些示威者便是。

新界鄉民大都另有祖籍,根本不是香港的「原居民」;只是英國人租借新界的時候,他們已在其地安家立業,所以才有這個稱呼。因此,所謂「原居民」的身分和隨之而來的特權,都是以1898年作分水嶺。若論香港真正的原居民,世代以捕魚為生的蜑家(即俗稱的「水上人」),可能更有資格。

新界鄉民從來不是善男信女,喊打喊殺儼如家常便飯。遠在清朝,氏族、鄉村之間的械鬥時有發生,而且不是像義和團舞刀弄劍那麼落伍,而是拿著鐵炮、火鎗當武器。戰死者則視為「護鄉烈士」,建祠供奉,永享配祀。不信?看看大埔林村天后廟旁的義祠碑記便可略窺一二。相較之下,現代黑社會糾眾「劈友」,不過是小兒科。

英國人租借新界後,受到新界鄉民激烈抵抗,束手無策,不得不採取懷柔手段,以優惠政策攏絡鄉民,故而形成了所謂「尊重原居民傳統權利」這個冠冕堂皇的說法。因為新主子駕臨,更有人把當年父祖輩維護自己土地權益的反抗行動,說成抵抗殖民者、帝國主義者的「愛國行為」,於是那些早已不合時宜的特權,再次得到主子的默許而延續下來。久而久之,既得利益者自然覺得理所當然,彷彿盤古初開以來,便是如此;就算改朝換代,也應穩如磐石,萬世不移。

如果鄉民真箇是「愛國愛港」,何以英國人「強佔」香港島和九龍半島時,不置可否、置若罔聞?也許有人會說,以前沒車沒船,隔山如隔海,新界鄉民怎麼知道港島和九龍發生甚麼事?那麼,新界某些豪族持有港島黃泥涌等區的地契,向當地佃農收租徵糧,昭昭可辨,顯然部分鄉民並非對周遭環境一無所知,又怎麼解釋?所謂「保鄉衛族」、「抵抗外侮」,其實是後人的一廂情願,抑或指鹿為馬、文過飭非?

我無意為英國人和共產黨開脫,也不是要指摘特區政府軟弱無能,因為政治本來就是一筆盤根錯節的糊塗帳,空談仁義道德固然無補於事,只管貪圖眼前微利亦會貽患無窮。但我們必須記住,強調某些特殊的地位和權益,砌辭粉飾將之變成合理,本來就是凶險萬分的權宜之計,就算換得一時三刻的苟且偷安,這個計時炸彈早晚會引火自焚。既然我們沒能奢望英國人主動拆彈,回歸時又錯過了撥亂反正的時機,更應該珍惜這次契機,全盤檢討所謂「原居民」的政策,以馴服那些自以為是的「化外之民」。如果我們真箇相信香港是法治之地,人人擁有平等的權利和義務,就應該堅持到底,絕不退縮。

《賽德克.巴萊》的莫那魯道有豪言云:「如果你的文明是叫我們卑躬屈膝,那我們就驕傲地野蠻到底!」某些鄉民聽了,大概心有戚戚然;但是別忘了,那些所謂特權,本來就不是與生俱來、與世無爭的natural rights,而是某個政府、某個朝廷為了政治目的而賦予的格外榮寵。常言道:「得些好意須回手」,除非你像賽德克人一樣抱著玉石俱焚的決心,否則還是乖乖的坐下來從長計議吧。輸不起的,是你,不是我。

Monday, 24 October 2011

充滿驚喜的一夜

昨晚到沙田大會堂看衛駿輝、陳咏儀主演《帝女花》,十分愜意,頗有驚喜。

驚喜之一,是舞臺上有好幾張熟悉的臉孔,都曾在公主殿下麾下亮相。不過她們以前大都以丫鬟、舞蹈員身分演出,連話也不必多說;今次則人人都有個角色,有戲可演。例如盧麗斯演昭仁公主、譚綺文演維摩庵新住持,都很稱職。昭仁公主戲份不多,但盧麗斯絲毫不見鬆懈,暗場裡仍不乏表情、造手,感情投入,燙貼自然,值得表揚。

驚喜之二,是不少配角都很用心,非常亮眼;其中以飾演張千和王承恩者最為人激賞。王承恩只在〈香劫〉出現,而且口白很少,但她從頭到尾非常投入,宣召長平公主上殿之時,雙眉緊蹙,竟是一臉無奈與痛心,正好映襯長平公主在崇禎皇帝和宮中上下的地位。印象中沒見過這樣入戲的王承恩,竟如親歷其境一樣,真箇是一見難忘。

至於張千,她的小個子、長方臉、像卡通松鼠般的小哨牙,加上鼻樑上一小片白漆,扮相滑稽可愛,不用說話,憑誰見了就忍俊不禁。這位張千同樣演得用心、投入,掌握搞笑的節奏分毫不差,而且會與其他無名家丁稍作交流,正所謂「沒戲找戲做」,讓場景更活潑些,但又沒有搶去主角的鋒芒,值得一讚。例如在維摩庵被周鍾打了一記耳光,便哭喪著臉轉過身去向其他家丁無聲無息地「訴苦」;得知公主確實沒死之後,又得意洋洋地用拇指指向自己,彷彿在說:「你們看!這都是我的功勞呢!」然後又滿心歡喜鮮蹦活跳地向周鍾討賞錢。可惜沒有場刊,不知道兩位的芳名,但她們的心思、誠意和佳績,都是有目共睹的。

驚喜之三,是這場《帝女花》的曲詞完全按照「雛鳳鳴」2006年重演時的修改本,把原著的微瑕全部改正,也刪掉了一些無關宏旨的曲白,令劇情更緊湊流暢--儘管少了這幾句滾花,仍覺意難平:「對一載青燈和杏卷,到此方知劫後情。觀音懶得拾殘棋,孝女未應長養靜。」

驚喜之四,是燈光、布景等技術環節,也做到一絲不苟,可見臺前幕後的認真態度。例如〈香劫〉時崇禎得知曹化淳偷開彰義門,李自成率兵長驅直入,全場燈光倏地轉為紅色,儼然一片血光火海。可惜底景用了色彩斑斕的蟠龍浮雕圖案,效果未算十分顯著,反而不及十多年前在上環劇場用白色布幕作底景,全場忽地染紅的視覺震撼。〈樹盟〉、〈迎鳳〉、〈香夭〉等場,從全景亮燈漸次換成對準主角的白色射燈,都是配合劇情發展的,值得一讚。從〈上表〉到〈香夭〉的過場時刻,舞臺中央垂下一幅深灰色的簾幕,臺前則是一幅繫滿了柳絲和彩珠的珠簾,設計意念明顯來自五年前的《帝女花》,不過「雛鳳鳴」版本的垂簾沒有珠子,而是密密麻麻的深綠色長旒,在〈香夭〉開始時把舞臺隔開前後兩半,駙馬和公主再度出場時,幾乎把他們的樣子完全遮掩,要伸手撥開柳蔭探出頭來,不免有點滑稽相。這一次珠簾在過場時在臺前垂下,而且旒子距離較寬,身穿吉服的周世顯手執綵球,領著公主緩緩下場的表情和身段,都看得比較清楚。另外,他們採用暗燈換幕的手法,大幅縮短了換景的時間,讓整齣戲看來更覺一氣呵成、情緒連貫;完場時也不會太晚,只是十一點左右,無論對觀眾或演員,都是一件好事。

至於驚喜之最,莫過於衛駿輝飾演的周世顯,竟然非常符合自己多年來對駙馬爺的想像,滿心喜慰之情,實在難以形容。

已經忘記了,這些年來看過衛駿輝演多少次《帝女花》,無論在戲院還是鄉郊戲棚,她也從來不會故作兒女態取悅觀眾,深得我心。難得是這次更進一步,從〈樹盟〉的自信瀟灑,經歷〈香劫〉的悲喜跌宕、〈乞屍〉的徬徨無主、〈庵遇〉的鍥而不捨,即使唱著爛熟了的曲子、唸著同幾句口白,就是乾淨俐落,沒半點脂粉氣,活脫脫一位傲骨錚錚、才情並茂的駙馬爺。〈迎鳳〉時故意在公主面前說反話,以騙過周鍾、周瑞蘭和十二宮娥,暗場裡卻又擔心公主信以為真而受不了打擊,表情細膩獨到,令人擊節嘆賞。衛駿輝素來擅長武戲,身手不凡,〈上表〉的慷慨激昂文戲武做,自然難不到她;只可惜唱到長滾花最後一句「共舉齊眉案」,稍覺洩氣。下次或可嘗試用霸腔唱出,把高亢的情緒推至沸點再結束,以收「言有盡而意無窮」之效。

然後,到了〈香夭〉。

五年前拙文曾提出,〈香夭〉的周世顯,感情複雜、心態曲折、層次豐富,所以極難揣摩,遑論表達。自問看戲二十年,還沒有看到接近理想的演繹。

然而這一句,終於要改寫了。

這次〈香夭〉的周世顯,頗能兼顧「先國後家」的公義與私情,非常難得。繃緊的臉上總是帶著三分肅穆、三分悲戚、三分凜然,深得「江山悲災劫」之要旨。喝毒酒的時候,更沒有半分猶豫,甚麼跺腳嘆氣、偷眼往酒杯裡瞧的,全然沒有。但周世顯能令雍容大度、嬌矜自負的公主兩度傾心,又怎會是有勇無謀、不解溫柔的莽漢?「將柳蔭當做芙蓉帳」的時候,他從容地攙扶公主坐下、細心地為她放下鳳冠上的紅羅巾,絕不讓她操心,更不會讓她手忙腳亂,落人笑柄。「夜半挑燈有心作窺妝」的時候,燭影搖紅,四目交投,居然還能向公主報以一絲誠懇溫暖的笑容,彷彿是為了讓她安心,告訴她只有他是全心全意、義無反顧的愛護她,無論上窮碧落下黃泉,也會永遠伴著她、牽著她的手。

「寧甘粉身報皇封,不負蛾眉垂青眼」的諾言,多年來聽過無數遍;這一夜,總算真正的做到了。

表演藝術很虛緲,也很實在。某時某刻的表情、動作、歌唱或唸白,都可以震撼人心,一剎那便成就了永恆。可是那份震撼,卻看不見摸不著,只能活在記憶之中。多少年苦心孤詣、潛心修為,就是為了博取那一剎的永恆。看衛駿輝謝幕時激動難言的樣子,大概她也沒想過自己能突破到這個水平罷?希望她繼續努力,闖出屬於自己的一片天。

Monday, 17 October 2011

Say No to Communism and Capitalism. But What Next?

Today marks the one-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Quoting press reports, the Wikipedia said the protesters, who claim to be inspired by the Jasmine Revolution of Egypt and the Arab world earlier this year, "are protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, among other concerns."

First instigated by the chronic economic problems and financial crises in the United States and Europe, the Occupy Wall Street movement has now received tremendous support beyond national boundaries, with replicas in varying scales flaring up across the globe.

In Hong Kong, where the income gap is notoriously wide by international standards, the Occupy Central movement is long overdue rather than surprising. I must confess that I am pleased to see that something is being done to make the calls for social justice and reasonable distribution of wealth louder and clearer than it used to be.

Having said that, I'm not sure if the movement is heading towards the right direction. To make it long-term and sustainable and thus consequently achieve a real difference to our lives and those of our children, we need to strategise. We need to give some concrete, logical and well-thought arguments that would appeal to the people. We need to articulate these clearly and sensibly so that everyone would understand. In order to achieve all these, first of all, we need to think carefully what exactly we are against and what we are looking for.

From what I can see in the local news, the protesters in Hong Kong don't seem to know what they are doing. They don't even seem to know how to express themselves properly. What do they mean by "Say no to capitalism"? Can you believe that they are actually asking for reform instead of complete dismissal and revolution by chanting this slogan?

More than 160 years ago Karl Marx already knew all the horrendous problems of capitalism and thus proposed his prescription. Only until 1990 were we convinced that it wouldn't work. China, Russia and many other communist regimes have already changed course, with or without admitting upright. However, we must not forget that capitalism "survives" because it is better than communism but not the best system. Far from it. Whether capitalism is the only viable option is also highly disputable. Therefore I believe if the protesters are serious about what they are doing, they have to think hard and come up with some sort of proposals. It can be a new type of ideology, only if they were intellectually capable; or pragmatic stuff such as a detailed programme of social and economic reform. Only in this way would the protesters be seen as constructive stakeholders for common good rather than troublemakers who promote nothing but destruction. Only until then would they be taken seriously by the rich and powerful and those who are watching on with their arms folded.

Before closing, just wanna share an editorial of Headline Daily today, which is certainly worth considering not only for the corporate monsters and government leaders, but everyone of us.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Shame on Us

Once again, Sir Donald Tsang's presence at the Legislative Council question and answer session for his last policy address on Thursday ended up as a farce.

Legislator Raymond Wong Yuk-man's assault was by all means predictable and quite expected. Yet Sir Donald's response was regrettably clumsy and stupid.

Those who understand Cantonese or Chinese (refer to the subtitles), please check it out yourself on Youtube here:

Over all these years since Sir Donald took office as chief executive of Hong Kong, he never really seems to be able to maintain his composure, if any awareness or serious attempt to do so.

As a result, he fell prey again and again to those legislators who took advantage of clangers and misbehaviour of senior officials. Understandably, one can hardly resist the temptation to defend and rebuke. But this is exactly where the trick of the vicious cycle sets in: The more you blame your rivals without reflecting on your own attitude and thus crafting your response, the harder they attack on you and the more you hate them. This is exactly what happens in Sir Donald's case.

And Legislative Council chairman Jasper Tsang's overreaction to dismiss Mr Wong and his colleague Leung Kwok-hung only made things worse. As we can see from the video, despite their provocative attitude and disruptive actions, they did not utter a word of improper language or use any form of violence. The dismissal is thus controversial and seems unfounded on evidence. This yet provided the pro-democrats another great opportunity to showcase their "integrity" and "dedication" for "justice".

But I'm not saying that Mr Wong and Mr Leung and their colleagues can come clean. It is no secret that their performance as legislators has been far from satisfactory, let alone any closer to good. For example, Mr Wong's questions raised at the general assemblies of the Legislative Council are surprisingly irrelevant and ridiculous, even though he is a seasoned journalist and professor himself. His questions are often meant to embarrass anyone in the government who is responsible for preparing the answer. The real target of the issues are often missed, if deliberately.

Let's re-consider the recent example on Wednesday. When the session was supposed to focus on the policy address, what is the point of bringing up Stephen Lam's appointment of Chief Secretary for Administration? Can't we just stick to the agenda, undoubtedly an important one, and put first things first?

Equally disappointing is the media and public reaction. Why so many of us are so obsessed with the moral judgment of telling who is right and wrong and taking sides? What does it mean if you choose to support Sir Donald or Mr Wong in this case? Nothing! And so many people don't even bother to think carefully whether Mr Wong's yelling could be regarded as some sort of violence!

Over the past 14 years since the handover I have already seen too much of this kind of ridiculous episodes dominating the air time and press coverage. This is why I am unbearably weary of news these days. Too many of us seem to have lost our brain to think logically and properly. No serious attention has been given to the grounds and implications of policies and measures in question. Due to the limited space and air time, media reports have been filled with pointless rhetoric and meaningless debates like this one rather than well-thought arguments supported by reason and evidence. Criticisms, be they relevant or not, are all over the place, but prescriptions or counter-proposals are rare, if any.

I just can't help but asking why. If we take so much pride in our smart brains that have made Hong Kong what it is today, why do we have such mediocrity at the helm of the city? Many would blame the absence of democracy in Hong Kong, but how about the legislature? There are still plenty of directly elected seats to make some difference. Why do we have so many folks who don't seem to know what they are supposed to do in their current places? Why can't we exercise our power, albeit limited, to kick them out and source for someone better? Imagine if we were going to select the next chief executive by universal suffrage, is there any better alternative to the existing candidates? Will the top talents of the city dip their toes into the dirty waters of politics?

So stop blaming and start thinking if we really want to make a case to Beijing that we deserve something much better. Stun them with good governance, justice and reason. Show them that we can manage our business well. The repeated blunders and farces of our local politics would only reinforce their prejudice that we are brainless economic animals who know nothing but to fill our stomachs full.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Happy Birthday, Anita!

Dearest Anita,

Happy birthday!祝你仙福永享,壽與天齊。

今天有甚麼慶祝節目嗎?是不是Ann姊、Danny和Leslie他們給你開party?不管怎樣,我在這裡先飲為敬了。今晚一定很多歌迷排著隊給你敬酒、送禮,好好enjoy吧。不過記著別喝太多,否則待會兒若是儀態盡失,別怪我言之不預也。你可不像我,喝醉了只管找周公去做心理輔導;以前見過你喝醉了的照片,那個醉態可掬,嘖嘖嘖,真是有失身分哪。畢竟是女皇陛下,不能不著緊點兒啊。

往年很少替你慶祝生日,大概你也知道我的古怪脾氣,總是不太喜歡湊熱鬧;但我心裡總是記得清清楚楚,你也是知道的。

這陣子給公主殿下迷得七葷八素、翻江倒海,彷彿要把二十年來的感情一古腦兒傾瀉而出,然後在更高、更遠的起點重新出發。這是一種怎樣的感覺,事隔兩個多月,我還是捉摸不透,只知連自己也措手不及。你居高臨下、旁觀者清,覺得又是怎麼一回事呢?

無論怎樣,我知道你一定不會吃醋,因為咱們倆的感情是不一樣的。相識於微時,從小到大的相伴相知,說甚麼也無法取代--因為,回憶這事兒,是真實而永恆的存在,沒有人、沒有東西可以敵得過。即便是老人癡呆症發作,回憶只會失落在腦細胞退化的荒原裡,就像深埋地下的古老文物一般,等待被人再次發現。雖然回憶重新出土的機會微乎其微,卻不是無緣無故消失於世間,只是我們再也找不到、說不出罷了。

更何況,你和公主殿下都是獨一無二的。可惜不知道還有沒有機會,把咱們這份交情再提升到另一個層次,就像我對公主殿下那樣。

那天在首爾,和Gloria說起你的《男人四十》,我說我真的很感謝許鞍華,感謝她請你演繹陳文靖這個角色,讓你的演戲生涯畫上一個圓滿、漂亮的句號。說話的時候,我想起你在戲裡淡掃蛾眉、長髮輕挽的造型,剁肉煮飯、洗燙衣服的樣子,胸口仍是一酸,心裡還是想哭,不知道眼睛有沒有洩漏風聲,但好像勉強能按捺著。我不知道為甚麼會這樣,只知道你心坎裡最想做的事、最想過的日子,只能在鏡頭前、舞臺上裝模作樣的過一把癮。燈滅了、鏡頭關了,一切又回復舊觀。雖然感情是真實的,可是對象始終不對;再真摯的感情,也得收拾起來。

光是說,已經覺得累;這些年來你一次又一次地重複了那麼多遍,大概只有累不堪言罷?希望你現在真的無憂無慮、無拘無束,想睡多久就多久,想玩甚麼就玩甚麼。

今天是你的大日子,抱歉我似乎不太識趣,儘說些無聊透頂又不著邊際的話來,希望你別見怪。為了陪罪,就送你一段早些年你跟羅文在香港大球場合作的片段來助慶吧。實在愛死了這一段,看一次high一次,多麼想坐叮噹的時光機回去跟你們大唱大跳大叫一場,那一定很過癮。

同場加映一張從網上淘來的舊照。從你的髮型看來,那大概是《In Brasil》的時候罷?你和公主不約而同梳了個鬈曲的「飛碟頭」,我都很喜歡。老實說,我還是喜歡你們長頭髮的模樣,總覺得多了幾分溫柔嫵媚,也較適合你們的臉型。不知你現在是長頭髮還是短頭髮呢?

好了,等年底咱們再聚吧。再次祝你生日快樂!

Truly yours,
Cecile

Sunday, 9 October 2011

On the Centenary of Chinese Revolution 1911

Tomorrow marks the centenary of the Chinese Revolution in 1911.

One hundred years have passed since the curtains of imperial China were drawn. Despite all the hardships and grievances brought by warfare and social upheavals that ensued, thousands if millions were looking forward to a free, prosperous and dignified China that enjoys the respect of the rest of the world - more specifically, the imperial powers of the West and Japan.

Is this noble mission achieved? How far have we succeeded? To what extent have we failed? Why did we fail and is there any remedy? If yes, what can we do and how? Are we on the right track? Or have we already steered away from the original course and change to something else that is even more cost-effective and worthwhile?

To answer these questions is by no means easy. Even more difficult would it be to come up with a consensus that most historians, politicians and other members of the community find acceptable, let alone agreeable. The current political landscape in China - most notably the antagonistic regimes on the mainland and Taiwan - just makes this important soul-searching process far more complicated and exhausting than what we are ready to comprehend. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the commemorations and celebrations have, regrettably, degraded into yet another array of political propaganda and whitewashing - although they are embarrassingly limited in scale and scope.

As in the worst times of hostility and confrontation across the Taiwan Straits, Hong Kong is still in the best position to have a more balanced and impartial review of the Chinese Revolution - although its edge may be eroding due to a number of reasons. In any event, we are in a better position than any other Chinese communities to do so partly because we have always been relatively free from political and ideological intervention in the discourse of Chinese history. We remain so 14 years after the sovereignty was transferred to communist China. Yet so many people here don't seem to care any longer. They find it more relevant and interesting to bet on who is going to run in the next chief executive elections, or to mourn the death of Steve Jobs or to lash out on Apple's disappointing release of iPhone 4S instead of iPhone 5, and its unforgivable contempt of Hong Kong by excluding it from the sales of the newly launched gadget.

Among the few local historians researching on the Chinese Revolution, even fewer are providing a fresh perspective of understanding the historical significance and implications of the incident. More are, not surprisingly, focusing on digging for new information about the leading figures like Dr Sun Yat-sen or unsung heroes such as Tse Tsan-tai, a Chinese Australian best known as the founder of the South China Morning Post. While I am confident that these research projects will add to our knowledge of those who had contributed to the success of the Chinese Revolution, whether they can offer alternative views on this ground-breaking development of Chinese history remains to be seen.

Discovering and evaluating the life and accomplishment of individuals has been a very common and traditional way of historical studies. But in my opinion, this may not be the best - though arguably easier - way to study an extraordinary event like the Chinese Revolution. In history textbooks we have already seen too much moral judgment of historical figures without actually understanding what they had done to deserve a good or bad name. Our knowledge of history is too often highly selected if distorted to comply with the established perceptions and stereotypes. And I reckon this obsession of moral judgment has deep roots in our culture that goes beyond the remote past. The same happens in drama and opera appreciation. Too often our first question about the characters is who the good and bad guys are. For those who are a bit more serious about history, however, this is a preconception that we should be acutely aware of and make every effort to overcome.

For this reason, I am so fed up with all the clichés that how great the Chinese Revolution was and how heroic the revolutionaries were. These excessively simplified rhetoric can only serve political purposes but do little to help us better understand history, only if we care. Just read the interview with Dr Joseph Ting, former chief curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History, an extraordinary civil servant and a passionate local historian whom I respect very much and was privileged to be able to sit in his class last term, published in Ming Pao Daily today. The more the journalist emphasised how "special" and "different" Dr Ting is, the more I feel, for some reason, that the journalist was actually teasing him and repeating the common rhetoric that "it is useless to study history" rather than showing appreciation.

In Western civilisation, history is one of the essential subjects of liberal arts education and thus indispensable in grooming cultured souls with a critical, independent mind but also a humble heart. Chinese historian Qian Mu also said that only those who respect and understand their national history could be regarded as "nationals". Among other things, therefore, I think the centenary of the Chinese Revolution should be leveraged to promote the value and significance of history and its proper learning. Only until then could we embark on the daunting task of providing a more balanced, impartial, honest and upright account of the Chinese Revolution. This is a mega undertaking that we still owe ourselves and our children. But a hundred years on, we are still not ready, but only if we still care.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

造袍記

星期一晚下班後,以九秒九的速度趕車到中環去訂造畢業禮袍。

一小時後,來到中環士丹利街。經過陸羽茶室,在一排舊房子中間找到一幢又長又窄的商業大廈,終於找到了學校指定的裁縫店。

店裡燈火通明,米黃色的牆壁反照之下,更是明亮如白晝,跟小時候看到一盞孤燈、幾輛衣車、環境昏暗的裁縫店很不一樣。唯一能喚起兒時記憶的,就是滿地碎布、布疋、半製成品和成衣樣版,一座座土墩兒似的擱在地上,雖然凌亂,卻散發一種樸實、安分、世俗的厚重質感。

敲門進去,只有老師傅一人忙著。他個子不高,好像比我還要矮半個頭,花白的頭髮稀疏得緊,有點像老夫子那樣。臉上戴著老花眼鏡,脖子上掛著一把軟尺,穿的是尋常不過的襯衫和西褲,一身打扮和小時候看到的裁縫沒兩樣。只是如今我已經不是小孩子,靠一門手藝養妻活兒的師傅也逐漸老去了。

道明來意,說了學校和學位的名稱,老師傅一言不發,拿起桌上的軟尺就給我度身。肩寬、上圍、腰圍、袖長、袍長、頭圍,軟尺輕描淡寫地依次繞一圈就完成,不鬆不緊,連衣裳裡的肌膚也碰不到,當然更不會勒痛了人。每量完一個尺寸,就用指甲捏著刻度細看,大概是心中默默記誦罷?然後再量另一個尺寸。瞧著老師傅熟練如流的動作,可能閉上眼睛也能收放自如,不知怎地,竟站直了身子連大氣也不敢透一口,彷彿看見東邪黃藥師的絕學蘭花拂穴手翻飛上下,儘往自己身上招呼。若不是他老人家手下留情,可能我已經死了一百次……

不用五分鐘,老師傅就量完尺寸,在靠近門口的長櫃子上拿過一本兩三呎長的簿冊,提起筆來,終於開口問道:「你貴姓?」寫上了我的姓氏,然後用以前市場菜攤、果檔經常看見的舊式中文數字記下尺寸。遠遠望去,幾組數字從上而下垂直寫來,剛勁流麗,氣勢不凡,儼然一幅行草。

寫完了尺寸,老師傅對著登記簿微一沉吟,頭也不抬,說道:「二十三號就有了,到時來取袍吧。」語氣中沒來由一股威嚴,令人無法吭聲,只有乖乖受教的份兒。我愣了一愣,心想這就行了嗎?回過神來,問道:「要付訂金嗎?」老師傅脫下老花眼鏡,拿在手裡搖了兩搖,聲如洪鐘斬釘截鐵的道:「不用。」我又是一怔,心想:「連訂金也不用付,你不怕我白撞的嗎?」臨行前又問:「請問有名片嗎?」老師傅看了我一眼,一邊說道:「你是想先打個電話來吧?」一邊走到長櫃上拿起名片盒,抽了一張遞給我,然後頭也不回地走到桌子旁繼續忙活去。我道了謝,暗忖:「怎麼你連我的電話號碼也不問?難道真的不怕我來瞎攪和?」於是開口問道:「袍子是七百五十元一套,對嗎?」老師傅抬頭瞧了我一眼,說道:「是中大MA對吧?沒錯,是七百五十元。」不知老師傅會不會嫌我嘮嘮叨叨沒完沒了?只見他又繼續低頭工作,毫不在意,也就轉身走了。

開門迎客做生意,貨真價實、童叟無欺固然重要,但自己的基本權益也不能不維護。古語有云:「小心駛得萬年船」。戲文也說:「人情薄、世情險」。這些都是行走江湖的至理名言。沒想到如今仍有像老師傅那樣完全信任顧客的店家,彷彿上得門來就是講個「信」字,不必多費唇舌,更不用錙銖必較,頗有「出門贈百萬,上馬不通名」的慷慨豪邁,真令人受寵若驚。轉念又想,數十年的老江湖,又怎會是省油的燈?即使我真箇白撞,老師傅自然會把多餘的禮袍拿去給其他畢業生租用,蝕本門早就封得滴水不漏,哪怕我怎的?即使如此,老師傅待人以誠,氣定神閒,令人心折,不禁又想起《笑傲江湖》裡身懷絕技而甘於淡泊、賣餛飩為生的何三七。所謂隱世高手,原來並不遙遠,真的梗有一個在左近。

Monday, 3 October 2011

《白蛇傳說》

雖然沒有甚麼期望,但是看過《白蛇傳說》,仍是覺得非常失望。

失望,不是因為李連杰老了。時至今日,「自古美人如名將,不許人間見白頭」這句老話,用在男演員身上可能已不合時宜。君不見多少年登花甲--甚至古稀--的男演員,仍然魅力四射,氣度不凡;舉手投足之間,把多少不男不女陰聲細氣弱不禁風的奶油蛋糕比了下去。所以不要老是嗔怪自己生不逢時,當務之急是先拿鏡子照照,看看自己還像個頂天立地的人兒不像。

失望,不是因為電腦特技比不上外國。這從來不是咱們所長,比不上是天經地義,即使比得上了,也不見得有多稀罕。俗語說得好:風水輪流轉,山水有相逢。時至今日,不見得誰要被誰牽著鼻子走。即便是自以為不可一世做慣老大的,也有巧婦難為無米炊的時候。為甚麼外國人做的事情,咱們非要依樣畫葫蘆不可?咱們真的明白人家是怎樣成功的嗎?能學得來嗎?以己之短,攻敵之長,從來都是兵家下下之策,為何屢敗屢試,樂此不疲?須知道,能夠平心靜氣審視自己到底是怎麼一個人、怎樣揚長補短,那才叫卓然成家、獨步武林。邯鄲學步,學得再像也是智在人後而已。

失望,是因為《白蛇傳》這麼一個千錘百鍊的民間傳說,來到二十一世紀的今天,不肖子孫竟然把最感人、最精粹的部分棄如弊屣,卻去追求那些曇花一現、讓人目盲發狂的聲色之娛。不是說電腦特技不能用、或者不應該用,關鍵在於先把主客分辨清楚。妖精鬥法、水漫金山,全是天馬行空的想像,若不用特技視覺效果來表達,更待何時?可是,這些只是末節。《白蛇傳》能夠穩踞中國四大民間傳奇之一,難道憑藉的就是這些虛無縹緲的想像?

無論四大民間傳奇有多少個版本,只有《白蛇傳》和《梁祝》穩如泰山,從來不會跌出名單以外。所以說中國人骨子裡比法國人更浪漫,因為我們傳誦千古的民間傳奇,全是驚天地泣鬼神的愛情故事。上窮碧落下黃泉有之、仙凡錯戀有之、人妖纏綿有之,總之萬物有情,連非我族類的花鳥蟲魚、妖怪仙娥,只要動了真情,就是性情中人,值得紀念和歌頌。

可惜,《白蛇傳說》完全掌握不到《白蛇傳》的精粹。片中描寫白素貞與許仙的愛情,平淡單薄如白開水,無色無味,即使有那麼幾句令人頭皮發麻汗毛直豎的對白,說到底只是青春偶像劇為賦新詞強說愁的級數,距離打動人心實在太遠。白蛇與青蛇數百年的情誼,也是很多改編本著力描摹的素材,要不與白蛇、許仙的愛情作比較或對照,要不就是給故事背景作鋪墊。然而《白蛇傳說》一樣沒有寫好白蛇和青蛇之間的感情,就連閨中密友姊妹淘也不如,最多只是同行同食幾百年、再熟悉不過又無可奈何別無選擇走在一起的同伴而已。反而法海與能忍、能忍與青蛇之間的關係,雖云輕描淡寫,居然較為生動別致,頗堪玩味。

從小很喜歡《白蛇傳》的故事,喜歡到情意糾結、難解難分,所以不管甚麼形式的改編本,總是要先睹而後快;即使劇本再爛、演員再討厭,也願意耐著性子看完,免得錯過了又要捶胸頓足長嗟短嘆。我只是不明白,《白蛇傳》真的那麼難懂嗎?即使珠玉在前,要另闢蹊徑並不容易,但一切也得還原基本步,從揣摩箇中人物的心態開始。探索人心、表達感情,原是戲劇的本質,也是終極的追求,為甚麼科技愈進步,人心、才智反而愈往後退?難道我們連會流淚的白蛇也比不上嗎?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Pain in the Ass

Trained as a journalist, I feel guilty to say that reading the news these days has become a pain in the ass. Seriously, it now takes quite some determination to switch on the television or pick up a newspaper.

This is all because the local news agenda has never seemed so hopelessly boring and tedious. So many seem to be happening, but little progress has been visible.

Much of the media attention has been focusing on the potential candidates at the next chief executive elections, for example. No doubt this is big news for Hong Kong, although only 0.1 per cent of us would have the privilege to "determine" who is going to succeed Sir Donald. Convenor of the Executive Council Leung Chun-ying has just tendered his resignation but it still remains unclear when he would formally leave his office. Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang manages to maintain his posture despite all the rumours and speculations. But it seems only God knows whether or not he would become another candidate for the helm of Hong Kong.

It is unbearably boring because so many guessing games have been going on for weeks and months and even years and the answer remains so remote and unreachable. It feels like watching a soap opera that has been dragging on and on for ages and no one can tell precisely who the leading players are and the cameos. The audience's patience and tolerance have been repeatedly put to test, but there is little, if any, escape. Essentially there is no such thing as a plot, although everyone knows that someone behind the scenes are masterminding the show. But this time it seems even those "invisible hands" are also confused and perplexed, not knowing exactly what to do with the available options. In turn, the absence of any direction only fuels the boiling speculations that only end up with nothing.

Be it political, economic, social or even showbiz news, it is incredibly tedious also because news stories these days are filled with endless chains of responses to responses to the most trivial stuff. Few can have a grasp of what is going on by reading the newspaper or watching television nowadays because too often everyone seems to lose sight of what the real issue is. To begin with, journalists are simply too obsessed to seek diverse views - an extremely misled but prevalent definition of balanced reporting. Constructive debates and contemplation with reason are replaced by wars of words fought in front of the camera. Everyone is so obsessed with the ability to grab a share of media exposure as if it were the ultimate end, not means of communication. No one seems to bother to pause for a second to think, let alone attempting to clarify, what the matter is all about. This is why the news pages are flooded with comments of relevant - and quite often irrelevant - parties on someone else's sound-bites - rather than the key issue - that mean anything but meaningful. Air time and columns are filled with the same opposing views by the same rivals from the same political camps and interest groups. Op-ed pages in the press are dominated by well-established names, although the quality of their content is not necessarily commensurate. Simply put, the journalists are abandoning their moral duty of being the gatekeeper. Instead, they are running after those who are feeding the advertisers to pay their bills, in the glorious name of market orientation.

So if all these do not cause inertia and sickness of news, what else does?

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

練跑記

這兩個月下來,一縷心魂牢牢繫在公主殿下身上,有意無意之間,腦海中不是鳳影翩翩,就是鶯聲嚦嚦,想擺脫也無從說起。

猶記得殿下諄諄囑咐:「要注意飲食,不要太長胖了。」鳳臺有命,焉敢不從?何況自己的小肚子實在漸成尾大不掉之勢,於是在練拳、做gym之外,打起精神練跑,一星期兩至三次,每次至少跑半小時。同時飯量減半,盡量少吃碳水化合物,連啤酒也差不多戒掉了--這一個月只喝了一杯。沒想到這一次功效顯著,四星期下來已輕了五磅,小肚子終於像股市一樣停止膨脹,掉頭向下。褲頭不再勒緊,也不用挺胸收腹裝腔作勢,彷彿走路的步履也輕盈起來。我不知道若是堅持到年底,能否減掉十多年來累積的二十磅贅肉;即使不能,這仍不失為難得一見的個人成就。

其實這幾年一直也有緩步跑的習慣,一星期大約跑一兩次,不過因為沒有練習目標,跑來跑去只能維持半小時,雙腿已經累到不行。最近買到了公主殿下多年前在電視上義演折子戲的DVD,裡面附送的原裝錄音可以轉錄到iPod上,真是功德一件,值得一讚。只是沒想到聽著殿下的歌聲練跑,居然如有神助;未到第三個星期,已可以連續慢跑一小時,大約就是兩段《牡丹亭驚夢》折子戲的長度。下一個短期目標,就是逐步遞增,從〈相遇〉、〈亭會〉到〈折梅巧遇〉,漸漸練到慢跑一個半小時。

這次練跑成功,也要感謝網友muifans的鼓勵和提點。顧名思義,他也是殿下的鐵桿粉絲,資歷卻比我深厚得多。若不是他提醒有關跑鞋的問題,可能我的左膝仍會繼續投訴,直至壯烈犧牲。於是星期六給自己買了一對新跑鞋作獎勵,今晚試跑,甚是舒服,左膝、左腳都不痛了,感覺很好。他又鼓勵我參加十一月底十公里的慈善賽跑,希望到時能夠在指定時間內完成比賽,再創一項個人紀錄吧。

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Next Steps

Nearly four months have passed since I re-started working after completing a year of historical study. As I settle in, I can't help contemplating what the next steps should be.

For many years there has always been a long list of plans and projects in my mind, although very few of them, unfortunately, could ever become reality. Long-term priorities are yet on another list of the must-dos.

Despite all the setbacks, challenges and frustrations over the past few years, at least there is one thing for which I should be grateful - alarming signals reminding me to re-evaluate and re-define what my priorities should be. I am even more grateful that I had an opportunity to take a meaningful and rewarding break, during which I could sort out my thoughts and get better prepared for the days and years ahead.

Although the workload during the peak season in the next couple of weeks and months remains uncertain, it seems more manageable than what I used to have. If this were truly how things turn out, then it should not be too much of aggression to pursue the next goal on the priority list. When it comes to a commitment of six to eight years in a row, however, I still think I'm not confident and resolute enough to say yes at this point of time. For some reason I have very little confidence in my preparations so far. Despite all the time and effort spent on the research, I have absolutely no idea whether my proposal is going to sell. Worse still, I have yet to figure out how it can be improved. Perhaps I just need to be a bit more patient to see what is going to happen in the next couple of weeks and months before making up my mind. Perhaps all I need, after all, is just an irresistible trigger just like what I had two years ago.

But most recently there emerges another warning from within. Over the past few days I found myself extremely tired and therefore hard to concentrate, as if the brain has gone on strike. No matter how much or how little I slept, I still felt far from being fully recovered. I'm not sure if it happens because I have driven myself a bit too hard in jogging over the past three weeks. I'm not sure either if it has anything to do with other hidden causes. Physical fitness and mental power are now very important to me, not just for my overall well-being but also determinant to whether the next goal could ever be accomplished. At the same time, I must admit that I do enjoy the recent carefree status. Spending time on no-brainers such as working out, going to the cinema, meeting friends and even blogging at home is genuinely soothing and comforting. It seems questionable whether I'm now physically and mentally fit enough to take up the next challenge that is going to drag on for six to eight years.

This is how I get stuck between the long-standing desire of achieving something and the immediate advantage of having a more relaxed and balanced life.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Ten Years on…

Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of the terror of 11 September 2001.

This day ten years ago, thousands of lives were brutally put to an end. Millions around the world witnessed the collapse of the twin towers of World Trade Centre in New York. Everyone was shocked.

I still remember how I was overwhelmed by anxiety and astonishment when I watched the news live on television returning home from the evening class. I thought sooner or later someone would declare war on someone else that might plunge the world into another catastrophe comparable to the Third World War. Thank God that my worry did not come true. But its aftermath lingers on, overshadowing not only the United States but the rest of the world.

The consequences of 11 September are much more intense and far-reaching than anyone might have originally expected. They are by no means confined to politics either. As Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has convincingly argued earlier this month (thanks Chris for introducing me to his article), "President George W. Bush's response to the attacks compromised America's basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security." Worse still, the rest of the world seems to have no escape from the spill-over effect of the American blunders.

According to Dr Stiglitz, the global financial tsunami that erupted in 2008 could have been attributed, at least indirectly, to the disastrous decision to wage costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of anti-terrorism: "The wars contributed to America's macroeconomic weaknesses, which exacerbated its deficits and debt burden. Then, as now, disruption in the Middle East led to higher oil prices, forcing Americans to spend money on oil imports that they otherwise could have spent buying goods produced in the US.

"But then the US Federal Reserve hid these weaknesses by engineering a housing bubble that led to a consumption boom. It will take years to overcome the excessive indebtedness and real-estate overhang that resulted."

Essentially, all of us living in this world have to pay a price for the aftermath of 11 September, in one way or another, more or less.

Today Pope Benedict XVI has also published a letter to the Archbishop of New York, expressing his condolence and prayers for the victims. What seems more interesting is that there are signs of his disapproval of the anti-terrorist endeavours of the United States between the lines, "The tragedy of that day is compounded by the perpetrators' claim to be acting in God's name. Once again, it must be unequivocally stated that no circumstances can ever justify acts of terrorism. Every human life is precious in God's sight and no effort should be spared in the attempt to promote throughout the world a genuine respect for the inalienable rights and dignity of individuals and peoples everywhere."

Notwithstanding the bloody history of the Crusades and countless violent clashes between some Christians and Muslims over the past millennium, the Pope's words are by all means comforting and inspiring. Monotheism in the twenty-first century, I believe, must cease to insist on absolutism but show more respect and tolerance for diversity, a reality that has existed as long as human history anyway. High-sounding and even unrealistic it may seem for sceptics, the Pope's emphasis on universal love and respect, I'm convinced, remains the ultimate prescription to all conflicts and hostilities.

Speaking in cultural terms, perhaps this is also why East Asian philosophies such as Daoism and Buddhism have gained increasing favour among Westerners in recent years. Both Daoism and Buddhism, as far as I know, tend to emphasise more on recurrence, relativity and universal equity. Unlike monotheism that promotes unquestionable loyalty to one single authority, Daoism and Buddhism help promote greater respect and tolerance for difference and deviation as an undeniable and unchangeable fact of existence. In an increasingly sophisticated world where people of various cultures and backgrounds run into each other more frequently and inevitably, mutual respect and tolerance are simply indispensable.

Perhaps this should be the best moral lesson to be learnt from the 11 September tragedy.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Why Why Tell Me Why

Readers of this blog might wonder why I haven't commented on what happened at the University of Hong Kong on 18 August. I haven't because, as you can see from the previous posts, I was privileged enough to be distracted to something much more pleasant and rewarding over the past two weeks. This is especially soothing in one way or another when you feel so hopelessly frustrated by the repeated blunders of the administrators of this great city.

Another reason that I haven't uttered a word is that so many questions remain unanswered. Despite the inquiry at the Legislative Council and all the war of words and changes of positions, little has been clarified and confirmed. The full picture remains pretty much as blurred and remote as it was two weeks ago. There don't seem to have enough facts to draw an informed conclusion. Venting your emotions is by all means good for your psychological health, but not necessarily so for identifying the root causes and prescribing the right medicine to deal with them.

I don't need to repeat myself how ridiculous and unacceptable the police actions were. Neither do I need to repeat myself that the recent public uproar once again demonstrates the irrevocable, deep-rooted mistrust and discontent of communist China among many people of Hong Kong. But what seems most intriguing to me is the question of WHY. Why do the decision-makers, whoever they are (although I can't wait to be told), keep making stupid decisions, big and small, from giving a remote corner seat to Lord David Wilson, one of the officiating guests at the University of Hong Kong to allowing the police to cordon off the campus for the so-called security concerns. Why did the government (both the Security Bureau and the police in this case) insist to upgrade the security precautions to unprecedented levels, even more stringent than those for previous visits by the Chinese president, the premier and the US Secretary for State? Why did senior government office-bearers and social leaders such as Henry Tang and Rita Fan choose to support a hard-line approach to fend off opposition, which has always been a commonplace in Hong Kong? What does it tell you about them and other creatures alike that are said to be contenders for the helm of Hong Kong in the next few years?

As a history student, I know too well how collaborative the government and the local business leaders, be they Chinese or British, has always been during British colonisation. But that does not necessarily mean that the business leaders are ready to do anything to please the government. Leading British merchants had direct access to the Colonial Office in London and thus were powerful enough to give the local administration a cold shoulder. Prominent Chinese tycoons had extensive networks in the Chinese government and generally maintained good terms with the local administration, which could be leveraged and manipulated to their own benefit when the tides changed. But rarely did they lose sight of what is right and wrong. When it comes to the big question, confrontation and even clashes with those in power were not uncommon. Why do the rich and powerful guys nowadays seem to have lost the courage to uphold our values and beliefs? Why do so many of them behave like eunuchs who devote their time to gain the master's favour and care for nothing else?

Monday, 5 September 2011

從別後,憶相逢

我知道自己很無聊,但真的很希望把當日站在開山祖師後面九位女士認將出來,記下芳名,彌補這次盛宴的遺憾。

余生也晚,兼之孤陋寡聞,九位女士之中,認得臉孔的不到一半。

但開山祖師翩然出場,俏生生往椅旁一站,親自向觀眾道謝,能恭恭敬敬站在她後面護駕的,除了自家的得意門生,還能有誰?

各位神通廣大的網友,你能幫個忙嗎?

這是九位同一打扮的雛鳳成員一字排開的情形,左排五人,右排四人。已確認右排右起第二位是言雪芬、第三位是蓋劍奎、第四位是江雪鷺。

感謝網友Portia Lee指點,下圖沈殿霞右邊長髮披肩者原來是蕭劍纓,她是上圖左排左起的第一位。

左排除蕭劍纓外,還有四位,站在沈殿霞和朱劍丹後面。請問有誰知道她們的芳名?下圖是左排左起第二位和第三位。

任冰兒後面是左排靠中的三位,最右邊是江雪鷺。

跟在言雪芬後面出場,右排右起第一位又是誰呢?

也許有人會問:數十年過去了,當日的青春少艾,如今都已滿臉風霜,即使認出了又如何?

不為甚麼,只為紀念一份同門情誼,珍重一場相識大半生的緣分。世事無常,當日的熱鬧圓滿,竟似是為了慰藉今時的寂寞和淒涼。今年雖是這班「同學仔」相識五十周年,但是這個彩鳳還巢、花團錦簇的場面,已無法完整重現了。

Saturday, 27 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行(後記)

寫給趙太太的遊記,拖欠了一年一個月零二十日,終於如數償還了。希望她老人家原宥則個。

籌劃了兩個月的行程,費時一個月走完;回來事隔一年餘,終於可以下定決心,勉力凝定心神,斷斷續續的記下當時的所見所感。沒想到一寫又是兩個月,更沒想到居然寫了四萬六千餘字,再次打破了個人遊記的紀錄。十三年前的《絲路遊記》、七年前的《西湖半月記》,寫成一篇篇鉅細無遺的流水帳,甚麼陳穀子爛芝麻都鋪敘下來,也不過三萬餘字。這一次給趙太太寫東西,壓力陡增,不容有失,費了好些精神構思、剪裁,本來想別出機杼,以對話形式寫來,又怕書空咄咄,招人譏誚;何況某些地方根本沒有關於趙太太行蹤的資料,結果還是沿用最平庸的記敘方法。希望她老人家不會介意。

其實在旅途中,情緒起伏不大,並沒有想像中的狂喜或悸動;一路走來,都是那麼淡然安適。朋友問我一個月來孤身上路,走遍大江南北,曾否感到寂寞;我答沒有,也許聽起來不近人情,但我實在沒必要說謊。大概我太習慣和自己相處,難得一個人在外,更可以隨意調節步伐,仔細梳理自己的思慮和心情。即使甚麼也不做、甚麼也不想,也可以滌蕩胸懷,像定期重灌電腦一般,把無謂、不必要的東西統統扔掉,重新開機之後,煥然一新,又是一條好漢。

何況,旅途上有趙太太暗中照應,又有趙太太的集子,女皇、公主的歌聲相伴,怎會寂寞?

回來之後,本想稍事休息,就把見聞記下,權作給趙太太的禮物。誰知沒來由俗務纏身,加上九月開學以後,課業紛至沓來,還須戮力應付,結果一耽擱就是一年。十二月寒假時本想動筆,可是寫了一篇序言之後,再也寫不下去了。畢竟錯過了繼續進修的時機,除了嘆恨,還是嘆恨。我深知自己思慮太多,滿腹躊躇,自尋煩惱,怪不得人,可是放不下就是放不下,又有甚麼辦法?即使拿著完美的成績單,證明了自己的實力又如何?除了告慰自己努力沒有白費,誰又稀罕了?

這趟和趙太太去旅行,實在是難得的機緣,還是由衷的感激上天和趙太太給我這個機會。若不是暫時引退、重返校園,根本花不起這樣的時間和心力,來實現一個如此吃力不討好的癡夢。日後年紀大了,體力不繼、情懷不再,即使有了閒暇,也未必會如此這般自討苦吃。將來若是重遊舊地,也未必可以一次跑那麼遠、離家那麼久。清兒說我對趙太太的心意「鄭重而浪漫,純粹得教人動容」,真是太過譽了。實情不過是這些年來,太喜歡她老人家的作品和為人,喜歡到想為她做一點事情,留個紀念;就像現代的追星族到處追隨偶像去送花送禮一樣,毫不浪漫,也不鄭重。說穿了,這是為了滿足自己多於一切,沒甚麼可稱道的。倘若趙太太泉下有知,能鑒領我這不入流的粉絲一點傻裡傻氣的精誠,那自然是我的榮幸;至於趙太太到底喜歡不喜歡,可就難說得很了。

我和趙太太去旅行之溫州

七月五日,大清早趕到杭州火車站,乘高速火車到「易安之旅」的最後一站--溫州。

溫州古稱甌,又稱永嘉,不過似乎與導致西晉滅亡的「永嘉之亂」無關;「甌」則至今仍是溫州的簡稱。溫州是浙江最南端的城市,南邊與福建省寧德市接壤。據計程車司機說,從溫州駕車到福州,約需四小時,似乎也不是太遠。

若不是今年七月二十三日發生的嚴重火車意外,一般香港人對溫州的印象,大概就是那些富可敵國的暴發戶,聯群結隊的到香港來買名牌、炒樓房,從來跟歷史文化沾不上邊。

從杭州乘高速火車到溫州,約需三個半小時,差不多跨越了浙江南北兩端的距離。若不是今年的意外令人質疑鐵路安全,高速火車真是造福社會的德政。但是,所有交通工具都是讓人乘坐的,它們存在的前提,必須是安全。如果不能保障安全,再快捷、再方便也毫無意義。

到達溫州時,還沒到上午十一點,但太陽熱剌剌的懸在半空,連空氣也是火燙的,好像站在戶外一刻鐘,就會渾身著火似的。火車到達的溫州南站,又是座落杳無人煙的荒野,四周大興土木,煙塵瀰漫。要進城去江心嶼,得先乘75路巴士,再換28路,足足花了一小時。回程路上,等了半小時還沒等到往溫州南站的75路巴士,不禁憂急如焚。好容易截到一輛計程車,司機也不太願意老遠的跑到南站去,只怕在換班前沒有返回市中心的乘客。不過他聽說我要趕車,還是快馬加鞭的把我安全送到火車站。看來趙太太真的待我不薄,一次又一次的讓我化險為夷。

在渡頭對面匆匆吃了午飯,然後乘船渡過甌江。顧名思義,江心嶼位於甌江中心,島上東西兩端各有一座高塔,看上去不似現代的導航燈塔,卻像民國初年杭州雷峰塔倒塌前的舊貌。東塔上有一叢枝葉繁茂的樹冠,不知是古樹伸到塔內生長還是怎地,遠看猶如塔頂戴了一個大鳥窩,甚是有趣。

在渡輪上,遠遠就看到河堤上的江心寺,黃牆青瓦、金碧輝煌、飛檐參天,屋脊上的鴟吻面目猙獰,張開了血盆大口,望之令人生畏;不知怎地,總覺與講究清靜平和的佛門禪寺格格不入。上得岸來,刻有「孤嶼」兩字的大石首先映入眼簾,可是東邊的西洋建築更是矚目。原來那是清末光緒初年,溫州據《煙臺條約》開闢為對外通商口岸後,英國駐溫州使館所在,現已改成閒人免進的「國際會館」。雖然明知保育文物所費不菲,把建築文物改作商業用途無可厚非,但改成只供達官貴人消遣的場所,又未免辜負了同屬這片好山好水的同城人。如果說當年以種族分化社會,是列強侵凌之下無可奈何的結果,那今天以財富、職業來界定人的價值和地位,又是誰的過失?

走過國際會館,就是江心嶼的東端,有一方寫著「梅溪讀書處」的石碑,旁邊的高臺上是一個書生捋鬚的雕像,神態悠然自得。回來上網一查,才知道「梅溪」原是南宋狀元王十朋自號,故「梅溪讀書處」即王十朋讀書處。可是該處甚麼介紹也沒有,未免怠慢了這位號稱「南宋無雙士,東都第一人」的溫州老鄉。

王十朋讀書處旁邊有兩條石階,上山者可通往東塔,下山者則通往江畔石灘。東塔位於江心嶼東峰之上,原是導航的方向塔。據說始建於唐,又有人稱始建於北宋,未知孰是。後來屢經重修,清末時又被英國人要求拆去飛檐等物,現在只剩下光禿禿的塔身。塔身呈六角形,每面都有佛龕,看上去似乎很深,不知還有沒有佛像。與東塔遙遙相對的西塔,飛檐至今保存完好,佛龕內仍有十多尊佛像,看樣式似乎是同時期所建。據塔下的說明文字,西塔的飛檐和佛像都是宋代樣式,雖經歷代重修,尤為難得。不知當年趙太太循海路到溫州,為她指路、給她安慰的,是否就是這兩座佛塔?

沿路下山,來到江心嶼中段,驚見「孤嶼」石刻後有一口宋代古井,稱「海眼泉」,還有遊客汲水飲用。可是公廁就在數十步外,這井水我是說甚麼也不敢亂嚐。

返回堤岸西行,沒多遠便是龍翔寺故址,也就是宋高宗當年駐蹕之地。龍翔寺原稱普寂禪院,始建於晚唐,後來因成為高宗行朝所在,故改稱「龍翔寺」。沒想到現已改作溫州革命烈士紀念館,其中並無任何宋代遺蹟。

出龍翔寺,繼續西行,便是始建於明代的浩然樓。旁邊與龍翔寺之間,竟有一座「宋文信國公祠」--文信國公者,文天祥是也。原來他當年曾經過溫州,哭於高宗御座之下,又有賦詩,故溫州人建祠紀念。其祠看來甚是古樸,廳內壁上有萬曆九年吳自新手書文天祥《北歸宿中川寺》詩碑(碑題寫成「江心寺」),看來此祠可能明代已有,甚是難得。

終於來到江心寺。從小賣店旁邊的側門進去,只見大雄寶殿前有一方「高宗道場」的石碑,字蹟圓潤工整,碑後記載了江嶼和江心寺的來歷。原來孤嶼本是東西對峙的兩個小島,其間有中川流淌。宋高宗時,青了禪師率眾填塞中川,使兩島相連,並於其上創建中川寺,即江心寺。高宗親題「龍翔興慶禪寺」賜之,所以是「高宗道場」云云。

高宗的親筆匾額固然無存,但在正殿東牆上,終於找到他親筆的「清輝」二字碑刻,金光燦然,保存極佳。只是我不太喜歡這種瘦硬剛勁的書法,總覺得銀鉤似鐵,不近人情。考諸史事,趙構本來就是自私自利、忘恩負義的傢伙,不理父兄囚居北方,不顧臣民收復中原的雄心壯志,授意秦檜誅除岳飛,其後過河拆橋,讓秦檜死不瞑目,正好符合了「書如其人」的古語。

「清輝」碑下還有清末光緒年間的題跋,記載題字與勒石的經過,十分珍貴。原來「清輝」後有「浴光」兩字,刻在木榜之上,至清代才勒石。可是「浴光」兩字已佚,「清輝」二字劫後餘生,更形貴重。如今石碑嵌在牆上,毫無保護,觸手可及;若是有心破壞,易如反掌。即使無心損壞文物,亦難免遊客指點摩挲,年月一久,自然有所損毀。當局不去保護石碑,是為了方便普羅大眾親炙皇帝遺墨,還是管理文物疏忽不周?

Friday, 26 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行之紹興、寧波

讀《金石錄後序》,相信沒幾人對趙太太跌宕多舛的人生無動於衷--年輕時,她娘家、夫家俱罹黨爭之禍,猶幸可以和丈夫「屏居鄉里」,搜羅天下古器、書畫,以著述自娛,與世無爭。賭書潑茶之樂,更留下千古美談;所謂神仙眷屬,大概不過如此。後半生國破家亡,流離於江湖之間,孑然一身,愁病交煎。數十年來的收藏,雖在亂離之中,「猶愛惜如護頭目」;畢竟人算不如天算,幾番兵禍和盜竊之後,不免散為雲煙。如今思之,猶覺心痛疾首;趙太太當時的沮喪、難過,實不足為外人道。無怪乎趙太太感嘆:「昔蕭繹江陵陷沒,不惜國亡而毀裂書畫;楊廣江都傾覆,不悲身死而復取圖書。豈人性之所著,死生不能忘歟?或者天意以余菲薄,不足以享此尤物耶?抑亦死者有知,猶斤斤愛惜,不肯留人間耶?何得之艱而失之易也?」無奈悲憤之意,噴薄而出,令人不忍卒讀。

說起人算不如天算,不禁想起那天到紹興和寧波的情形。

七月四日,乘火車到紹興和寧波逛逛;如果時間許可,之後或可從寧波乘長途巴士到舟山。趙太太在世時,舟山稱「昌國」,高宗泛海躲避金人,曾駐蹕其地,因此也有學者認為,趙太太追隨御駕之時,可能到過舟山,並在海天連碧的客途上填了一闋媲美李太白游仙詩的《漁家傲》(天接雲濤連曉霧)。

以前從杭州乘長途巴士到紹興,不用一小時;到寧波也不過兩小時左右。心想乘火車,肯定比巴士要快得多,時間應該充裕。誰料往紹興的「快速」火車,延遲了差不多一小時才開車,中途又停頓了好幾次,看來是為了讓道給高速火車,結果原定半小時左右的車程,竟走了一個半小時。在紹興逛一個上午的計劃,就這樣無聲無息地,完全泡湯。

往紹興的火車票是「無座票」,買票時心想車程不過半小時,站一下也無妨,誰知一站就是兩個半小時,不免有點腿酸。當日天氣悶熱,烏雲密布,卻始終下不出雨。那趟列車好像是從安徽開過來的,車上擠滿了乘客,車廂裡更是鬱悶,很多男乘車都乾脆脫掉上衣乘涼,滿眼看去盡是一條條汗光閃爍、脂厚皮粗的肥肉,除非閉上眼睛,否則避無可避。眼前又有十個八個小孩蹲坐地上,一邊吃東西一邊玩耍。車廂裡又熱又悶,小孩的哭鬧聲和大人的談笑聲吵成一片,還要讓道給賣東西的乘務員、上廁所和拿開水沖泡麵的乘客,愈發令人心浮氣躁。停車之時,車上也沒有廣播,到底是列車故障還是為了避車,全無頭緒,怒火更熾,幾乎忍不住要破口大罵。可是無論怎麼生氣,擠在車廂裡既動彈不得,更不能下車,只得乾著急,真是比熱鍋上的螞蟻更難受。

好容易挨到達紹興,逛街的心情蕩然無存,只想早些完成行程。本來買好了前往寧波的火車早已開出,只得跑到售票處改簽車票,一排隊又是半小時。終於坐上了往寧波的高速火車,定神一想,自己到訪紹興三次,以這次的經驗最不愉快,難道因為趙太太當年在這裡,「卜居土民鍾氏舍,忽一夕,穴壁負五麓去」一事,始終未能令她釋懷麼?最耐人尋味的是,「後二日,鄰人鍾復皓出十八軸求賞」,所以趙太太「知其盜不遠矣」,可惜「萬計求之,其餘遂不可出。」不過,最好笑的是明朝的張居正,據說他有一次得知某個新來的屬吏姓鍾,又是紹興人(當時稱「會稽」),想起趙太太在會稽鍾氏舍遇盜,竟一口認定姓鍾的會稽人都是盜賊,要為數百年前的趙太太抱不平,把這姓鍾的辭退了。如果屬實,張居正就是蠻不講理、假公濟私,不見得高明到哪兒去。其實,那鄰居鍾復皓是否就是穴壁盜寶之人、趙太太居處的鍾姓業主有沒有與人合謀,根本無從稽考。雖然事有蹊蹺,但始終無法舉證。明朝那姓鍾的遇上張居正這等自以為是之徒,只好自嘆倒楣。

到寧波後,只見大街上到處有人滿之患,而且天上終於飄下幾點渾濁的雨水,更添暑熱,四處閒晃的心情完全消褪,只得找個地方胡亂吃點東西,喝杯咖啡就算了。誰知時已過午,咖啡館一樣人潮洶湧,那些滿臉橫肉肚滿腸肥叼著香煙的大漢搶佔位子,面不改容,還要一臉洋洋自得炫示他眼明手快不甘後人的喜悅。那些文靜瘦削的女服務員都不敢作聲,只得裝作若無其事。折騰了二十分鐘,終於有位子坐下來休息,我連書也不想看了,深吸一口氣,呷了一口咖啡,只好嘆一句「人算不如天算」。

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行之金華

風住塵香花已盡,日晚倦梳頭。
物是人非事事休,欲語淚先流。
聞說雙溪春尚好,也擬泛輕舟。
只恐雙溪舴艋舟,載不動,許多愁。

趙太太這闋《武陵春》雖不及《醉花陰》、《聲聲慢》膾炙人口,也堪稱廣為人知。最後兩句別致傳神、委婉愁深,尤為人所嘆賞。雙溪原在金華,一曰東港,一曰南港,因兩溪會於城下而得名。所以王仲聞先生等學者,俱認為此詞是趙太太寓居金華時作。

趙太太傳世的作品不多,能考定創作年月、地點的更少,但不知為何,她在金華的作品大都能確定創作地點,甚至年月,實屬罕見。除描述雙溪景色的《武陵春》外,還有《題八詠樓》和《打馬圖經序》。其中《打馬圖經序》,趙太太自署作於紹興四年(公元1134年)十一月二十四日。同年十月,她「臨安泝流,涉嚴灘之險,抵金華,卜居陳氏第。乍釋舟楫而見軒窗,意頗適然。」如果說趙太太輾轉流離於浙江各地之後,終於可以在金華喘定一口氣,所以作品大都可考,固然有其道理,但為何她在北方生活更為安逸時,能考證創作年月和地點的作品更少?趙太太沒有任何作品吟詠杭州的湖光山色,卻在《武陵春》、《題八詠樓》明確描寫金華的景物,是否暗示她老人家對金華獨垂青眼?

於是帶著一顆熱熾的好奇心,頭頂著似火驕陽,乘火車到了金華,想看看這個城市,為甚麼能討得趙太太如此歡心。

早在計劃行程時,無意間發現金華有一條清照路,不禁狂喜,一心先找到清照路所在,然後再去八詠樓。向曾在金華唸書的清兒請教,她聽同學說坐10路巴士到金華第一中學下車便是。誰知那天適逢周末,四處渺無人跡,想問路也無人可問。筆直的大街連路牌也沒一個,附近都是新蓋的豪華住宅,門前卻無保安崗位,都是自動開關的電閘。幸而金華一中門前有28路巴士直達八詠樓,等了半小時,車終於來了,想也不想就跳了上去。

大概是趙太太氣魄恢宏的詩句影響了想像,一直以為八詠樓是高聳入雲的高樓,沒想到它規模很小,雖是建於高臺上,卻只有一層。現在前後左右都被樓房遮蔽,更是毫不起眼。高臺上懸著一幅紅得霸道的宣傳橫幅,更是煞盡風景。

據說八詠樓原名玄暢樓,是南朝蕭齊時代東陽郡太守沈約始建。由於沈約為玄暢樓寫過八首詩,所以稱為「八詠樓」,其後更取代了正名。今天的模樣是清代嘉慶年間重修,二十多年前也翻新過。

這麼古老而沒有空調的古蹟,雖在市中心,時值周末,仍是冷清得慌,全場只有我一個遊客。其實那也不錯,讓我可以靜心仔細的看,不會被人騷擾。

高臺上建有簷頂,內置沈約的雕像和重修八詠樓的碑記,後面才是八詠樓的主建築。拾級而上,只見前廳是有關八詠樓歷史沿革和沈約生平的展覽館,後廳則是趙太太的紀念館,也是全國四座趙太太紀念館中,唯一座落江南者。廳中簡單陳列了趙太太的生平和她在金華的行蹤。其中一張照片的說明指趙太太「卜居陳氏第」之處,看街道、房屋的樣子卻有點像八詠樓前的八詠街,現已成為古董、書畫店林立的古玩街。前、後廳之間有一個天井,設有一張石桌,桌面畫著趙太太記載的《打馬圖》,格式有點像現代的《大富翁》遊戲紙板,心中又是一陣興奮。在天井徘徊不忍去,沒多久就來了一雙只有銅板大小的白蝴蝶,在石桌前盤旋飛舞,多時不去。不知怎地,竟想那會否是趙氏夫婦來告訴我,這一瓣心香,他們終於收到了?

八詠樓前是八詠路,外面還有一條東西向車行的飄萍路,名字十分傷感。馬路對面就是婺州公園,瀕臨金華江和義烏江交匯處,河岸綠樹環繞,荷葉連波,甚是清幽。正門內又有一尊沈約的雕像,比八詠樓那一尊要大得多。沿飄萍路東行約二百米,又有一座復修的城樓保寧門,據說乃五代時錢氏吳越始建,為古代金華的南門。

找不到清照路,始終心有不甘,於是按照Google Map的指示,先乘33路到尾站環江小學,一心再轉乘31路到清照路附近。不料一下車就看見城隍廟,畫棟雕樑,樁柱巍峨,好一處氣魄宏大的所在。更沒想到的是,31路巴士已取消,只好乘計程車向司機打聽清照路所在。不過,計程車司機也是沒聽說過,在婺江邊繞來繞去,花了半小時才找到。那是面臨義烏江一條東西向的馬路,連路牌也沒一個,最後還是司機驅車繞了一圈,好容易才找到個人確認。清照路荒涼得很,附近都是豪華住宅的工地,待一排排金碧輝煌的新式別墅拔地而起、巨賈豪強聚居競富之時,不知又是怎樣一番光景。或者,這條路還會沿用趙太太的閨名嗎?

我和趙太太去旅行之衢州

知道衢州,不是因為趙太太,而是金庸。小學六年級時初看金庸小說,第一部看的是《碧血劍》。女主角溫青青和她母親溫儀,就是出身於衢州石樑派的強盜世家。

衢州名勝之中,以「爛柯山」名氣最大。據說一名樵夫因旁觀仙人下棋,一局既終,回頭驚見斧柄已朽,回到家中,始知已過百年。「爛柯」就是朽壞的木製斧柄,其山遂以為名。崑劇也有一齣名劇叫《爛柯山》,不過那是敷演朱買臣與妻子覆水難收的故事,好像跟衢州沒甚麼關係。既然明知趙太太曾寓居於此,更是不可不遊。

衢州位於浙江西部,毗鄰江西,從杭州乘高速火車,約需兩小時十五分鐘。可是衢州的火車站同樣是搬到遠離市區的荒郊,若要到爛柯山,先得乘巴士到市中心,再轉乘18路巴士才到達,全程約一小時。可是下車以後,還要走半小時才到山門售票處,檢票口卻在二十分鐘步程外的另一座山峰上,真是稀奇古怪得緊。

沿路上山,只見荒山寂寥,人影全無,心中卻全無驚怖之意,與那年在日本京都伏見稻荷神社獨行的陰森詭異,真有天壤之別。為何如此,卻始終摸不著頭腦。

上得山來,首先看到稱為「梅巖」的天然巖洞,然而洞裡放滿了神像和供桌,若不是看到兩個工作人員在午睡,在荒山中倏地看到這般景象,肯定大吃一驚。只是梅巖前一塊說明牌子也沒有,是誰放了那些神像、為甚麼要放,全無頭緒。離開梅巖,經過一方亭子、一個山谷裡的岔路口、一片蓮塘,才來到檢票口;彷彿剛才那段高低起伏的山路,只是為了考驗朝聖者而設,並非爛柯山的真身。

過了檢票口,爬上連綿不斷的石階,好容易才到達山頂石樑所在。那石樑橫亙在兩座山峰之間,猶如一道石橋,真箇是鬼斧神工,奇險之極,難怪傳說那是仙人凌空運來,並非人力所能及。石樑下有一塊平整的石臺,可容百人。一路走來,除了剛才的亭子有幾個人在閒談或午睡外,到這裡才看到幾個遊客在歇息,還有一個賣飲品的小攤子。石樑旁邊有依山開鑿的石階可供攀援而上,小心翼翼地手腳並用,終於爬上了石樑,坐在其上遊目四顧,只見遠山凝黛、群嶺疊翠,端的是心曠神怡,較之身在濃蔭環繞的深山,又是另一番風景。轉念又想,金庸在新修版《碧血劍》把石樑派改為「棋仙派」,到底是畫蛇添足阿茂整餅,抑或不想靈山蒙污,所以給心狠手辣的強盜世家換了寶號?

石樑下的山谷中有一座寶巖寺,是始建於蕭梁時代的古剎,可是看上去甚為破落,門前甚麼橫匾也沒有;若不是看到大雄寶殿外牆的碑記,就連寺名也不知道。

下山途中,按指示牌轉入岔路去參觀紀念宋代抗金勇將徐徽言的「忠壯陵」。據《宋史》卷四百四十七〈徐徽言傳〉記載,徐徽言乃衢州西安人,靖康之難後,固守山西晉寧,金人深為畏憚。後來金人壅塞支流,截斷晉寧水源,城破後徐徽言被俘,不屈被殺。噩耗傳來,高宗大為「震悼」,親諡之曰「忠壯」,追贈晉州節度使。可是偌大的陵園,仍是孤清冷落,一個遊客也沒有。入口左側的石牌坊燦然如新,另有一塊石碑則深藏草叢之中,生滿了青苔,只有殷紅的三個大字依稀可辨,更增寂寥荒涼之感。

相較於杭州靈隱寺的人滿之患、西湖北岸岳王廟的名聞遐邇,寶巖寺和忠壯陵未免太寒傖了些。寶巖寺歷史悠久,較諸天下名剎毫不遜色;徐徽言忠勇不屈,亦似堪與楊業比肩。只因名氣不及,門堪羅雀,令人感慨無已。難怪古往今來多少人汲汲於名,因為只要有了名聲,才可以流芳百世、勳業不朽。可是,有多少人能明白,傳誦不衰的名聲,說到底還是要靠真材實學來鋪墊?具備真材實學者固然也可能寂寂無名,但萬古流芳者無不是學富五車、虛有其名、巧言令色者只能欺瞞一時,始終逃不過恢恢天網。且看老謀深算如宋高宗,有意無意間把謀誅岳飛的罪名都推到秦檜身上,可是天道昭昭,不必等到千百年後,還不是被人拆穿了西洋鏡?

在爛柯山徘徊了半天,只覺荒山清泠,草木蓊鬱,果然是個潛心靜修、埋首棋局的好去處。不知道趙太太當年寄寓衢州,為時雖短(據王仲聞先生考證,大約只有三個月左右),有沒有閒情逸致到爛柯山來散散心?她自稱喜歡博奕,尤其擅長打馬,少逢敵手,不知對下棋有沒有興趣?若是她能在這裡遇上鄉人對奕,或可稍紓顛沛流離之苦。畢竟身逢蹇滯,最重要的就是懂得如何自遣。若是一味沉淪於悲慟愁苦之中,勞神傷身,終非長久之道。趙太太的《打馬賦》,想像汪洋肆恣,用典深邃精準,寓針砭於博奕,寄滄桑於遊戲,豈是尋常鬚眉可匹?且看她《打馬賦》結尾:「佛貍定見卯年死,貴賤紛紛尚流徙。滿眼驊騮雜騄駬,時危安得真致此?老矣誰能致千里,惟願相將過淮水。」讀來慷慨激昂、沉雄蒼勁,兼而有之,才是深得自我排遣之道。

Monday, 22 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行之臺州

趙明誠去世後,趙太太追隨高宗御駕、躲避金兵南侵,在浙江輾轉流離。她在《金石錄後序》記述甚詳:「上江既不可往,又虜勢叵測,有弟迒任勅局刪改官,遂往依之。……守已遁。之剡,出陸,又棄衣被,走黃巖。雇舟入海,奔行朝,時駐蹕章安。從御舟海道道之溫,又之越。庚戌十二月,放散百官,遂之衢。紹興辛亥春三月,復赴越。壬子,又赴杭。」

這段記載,是趙太太自敘身世的重要文獻,可惜歷來傳鈔脫漏訛誤頗多,竟有魚魯亥豕渾不可解之嘆。王仲聞先生《李清照集校註》所收錄的《金石錄後序》,乃以呂無黨抄本為底本,並校以多種不同抄本,堪稱最為精審。手上人民文學出版社的《李清照集校註》排印本,「守已遁」前有空格,其他版本則多作「之臺,臺守已遁」。王先生又云,明代會稽鈕氏世學樓鈔本,「之剡,出陸」後有空格若干,再接「棄衣被走黃巖」,「之剡」、「出陸」之間似乎也有脫文。

黃盛璋先生《李清照事跡考辨》一文,更參照史書記載高宗南逃的路線,把趙太太的追隨御駕的行蹤勾勒出來,按年月編成日程表,參考價值極高。可是由於資料不全,趙太太的行蹤仍不能百分百確定,加上路途遙遠、地貌變遷、車船轉乘不易等因素,現在要順序重複趙太太的流亡路線,實在不太可能,只好重施故技,一天跑一個城市。第一站,就選定了臺州。

今天的臺州,似乎沒甚麼古蹟名勝,最有名的可算臨海的臺州府城牆,素有「江南古長城」的美譽,不過那是明代為防範倭寇而建造的。臺州有沒有宋代的遺蹟流傳至今,很成疑問。

清兒說臺州的「臺」,國語應唸第一聲,我還是第一次聽說,真是長見識了。

趙太太提到過的臺州、黃巖、章安等地,都在今天的臺州,但南宋的臺州即今天的臨海,在臺州之北,相距甚遠。幾經考慮,還是先乘高速火車到臺州,待遊遍黃巖、章安之後,再視乎時間和行程,隨機應變。

從杭州乘火車到浙江南部的臺州,約需三小時。過寧波後,窗外的景色截然不同,似乎進入了丘陵地帶--沿途要穿過很多山裡的隧道,外面也有連綿不斷、尖削高峻的山巒,跟杭州至寧波一帶水道縱橫的田野平原不可同日而語。

原來火車也經過臨海,再到臺州。下了火車,只見四野無人,一如山東章丘、青州等剛通火車不久的小鎮,火車站都建在遠離市中心的荒野,站外只有幾輛巴士在等客,還有一些計程車司機在招攬生意。司機都叫喊「椒江」、「椒江」,我卻不知道椒江是啥地方。後來和兩個帶著孩子的女人合乘計程車到汽車站,居然花了差不多半小時。抬頭一看,眼前一黑,一顆心幾乎跳了出來--因為汽車站頂上竟然寫著斗大的兩個字:「黃巖」。心裡立時想起趙太太說:「棄衣被,走黃巖,雇舟入海……」回來查看地圖,才知道原來臺州火車站在黃巖區東北角永寧江外,距離黃巖市中心好一段路。

時已過午,既然黃巖已經到過了,馬上就得去章安。在汽車站一問售票員,才知道章安在另一處,跟黃巖完全不搭軋。乘計程車到椒江汽車站,過馬路轉乘112路巴士,橫越椒江大橋,到椒江北岸,才是章安。

不知是張冠李戴的印象根深蒂固,抑或是章安的發展實在快得過了頭,傳說中的章安古鎮,看上去絕無半點古意,只有一條汽車不絕、黃塵撲面的公路,兩旁都是半新不舊的平房。轉入橫街窄巷,到處都是垃圾和污水,令人卻步。

大路旁邊有一間飯館,想進去吃點東西,兩個一邊看門一邊吃飯的女子卻搖頭說不做生意了。過了馬路,找到一家小麵店,取價卻比南京中華門附近的麵店還要高。沒奈何,趕了大半天路,實在有點累,只好將就著吃了。那老闆娘大概見我頭臉生疏,口音又不像本地人,有一句沒一句的逗我說話。誰料她得知我是香港人,便要我介紹她到香港工作,又不住「誇讚」香港人多富有、賺錢多容易,不禁心中有氣。我耐著性子答說我也是個學生,哪有這個本事?她竟然說:「我們是朋友嘛。」我心想:「姑奶奶甚麼時候跟你做朋友了?」頓時連問路的心情也沒有,只想趕快離開這裡;碰巧有兩個打扮新潮的男生來吃麵,急忙付了飯錢就一溜煙的跑了。

那天在煙臺王懿榮紀念館,看門的大娘也是這樣,一開口就問香港人的薪水有多高,是不是都很有錢;聽了真的無明火起。正如內地的暴發戶到香港購物,銀子花來如流水,首飾、電器、化妝品、名牌袋子和服飾有多少買多少,花個十萬八萬臉不紅氣不喘,難道我們就會覺得內地人個個都如此?你們知道現在香港大學畢業生的平均薪金,比回歸之前還要少三分之一嗎?你們知道在香港吃飯、乘車、租房有多貴嗎?香港人平均薪金的數字,表面上看起來不錯,其實本地消費很高,生活並沒有他們想像的容易。對我們來說,把香港說成遍地黃金的天堂,不是恭維,而是辛辣的諷刺。

回顧香港的歷史,所謂賺錢天堂的情景只不過是曇花一現,短暫的繁榮不知如何竟成為永恆的定格印象,以為盤古初開以來就是如此,真是荒謬絕倫。所謂「家家有本難唸的經」,這種不切實際的幻想和謠傳,早應該止息了。我當然知道誰是始作俑者,可是他們多年來陶醉於自己杜撰出來的神話,時日一久,竟把幻影當真了,真是可笑復可恨。

乘巴士回到椒江南岸,然後轉乘計程車直奔火車站。半路上火燙耀目的陽光突然收斂,轉眼間烏雲密佈,雷鳴電閃,大雨傾盆而下,猶如滔滔不絕的江水潑在車窗上,連前路也看不清楚,不禁心裡發毛。又想起六年前從寧波乘長途巴士回杭州途中,也是遇上這樣的雷雨,閃電如長劍般直劈曠野之中,恐怕膽子再大,也要震懾於大自然的威力。

好容易挨到火車站,雨勢漸小,過不多時,天色轉霽,陽光穿過濃雲灑落荒野之中,甚是好看。回到杭州的時候,竟有回到家裡如釋重負之感。這次在臺州的經驗不太愉快,但總算領略了千里奔波的徬徨和顛簸,不免又想,這會否與趙太太當年的遭遇頗有暗合之處?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行之杭州(四)

「易安之旅」結束前兩天,紹興、寧波、臺州、溫州、衢州和金華都去過了,於是留在杭州,到處逛逛,見見朋友,好好享受餘下的旅程。

難得馮姐有空,叨擾了兩頓晚飯,吃杭州本幫菜,有湯有魚有菜有肉,異常豐富,而且味道都很好。我最愛吃那道臭豆腐,烹調方法很特別,不是常見的油炸,而是好像用鹵汁長期醃製後再煙薰,所以豆腐的顏色灰灰黃黃,賣相興許不佳,但吃來又麻又香,勁道十足,無論下酒或下飯,都是上品。可惜就是菜點得太多了,我們兩個人怎麼吃也吃不完;就是我拚了老命放量的吃,把連日來天天爬山遠足消耗掉的脂肪都超額補回來了,仍只能吃掉一半左右。她身體也不好,是個藥罐子要戒嘴,平日很少在外面吃飯,就是偶然放縱一回也吃不了多少。若她把飯菜帶回家吃,結果肯定要進醫院躺幾天。這兩頓飯真是既浪費又破費,莫非內地人請朋友吃飯都喜歡這樣鋪張的?如果在香港,我一定會把剩菜打包回家慢慢吃;可是人在旅途,沒冰箱也沒微波爐,只得眼睜睜看著滿桌剩菜給倒掉,想起這世上還有多少人天天吃不飽穿不暖,總覺得很慚愧。

和馮姐東一句西一句的閒扯,從秦檜到底是不是趙太太的表妹夫到何英、茅威濤的《李清照》越劇電視片集再到「杭州不易居」無所不談,很開心。她居然讚我的國語愈說愈標準,心中不禁有點飄飄然。不過轉念一想,在內地遊歷了一個月,國語每天從早練到晚,也總該有點進步,才對得起自己的老師罷?

馮姐這個祖籍山東的老杭州又說了幾句杭州話,這是我第一次認真的聽,倒聽懂了五六成,覺得有點不可思議。我問她為甚麼杭州話聽著好像跟寧波話、溫州話等江南方言不太一樣,反而像國語,比較易懂,她就說:「因為杭州很多人都是宋朝時從河南來的嘛。」真是一言驚醒夢中人。那麼,趙太太晚年選擇在杭州定居,語音依稀可辨是否也是原因之一?

我至今仍無法想像,在北方出生長大的趙太太,說起一口山東話是怎生模樣。那天在煙臺福山的王懿榮紀念館和看門的大娘聊了一陣子,她不太會說國語,滿口山東話(煙臺話?)聽得我甚是吃力。當趙太太來到鄉音佶屈聱牙的南方,幾乎每個城市的方言都不一樣,可以想像要適應有多麼困難。雖有官話,但說到日常起居柴米油鹽等瑣事,又用得著多少?即使有婢僕使喚,言語不通,終覺無聊隔閡,思之不禁淒然。

馮姐很客氣,又請我看了一場杭州越劇院演出的傳統劇目《九斤姑娘》。那是聰明伶俐的鄉下姑娘為鄰里排難解紛的街坊故事,雖然質樸無文,也談不上甚麼動人佳處,但嘻嘻哈哈從頭笑到尾的,有些地方也挺witty,倒是看得開心。

終於和網友清兒見了面。首次見面時,我一身僕僕風塵,剪得短短的頭髮、曬得黝黑的皮膚、破爛的牛仔褲和爬山鞋,大概有點錯愕和失望罷?她穿了連身裙和涼鞋,很典型的江南女生打扮。我們在南山路的咖啡店坐下聊天,她送我周密的《武林舊事》,幸而我也早有準備,送她一部徐培均先生的《李清照集箋注》。天南地北的聊些甚麼,現在都想不起了,只記得很開心。本來她說要陪我去金華,又說要去雁蕩山,結果都沒去得成。臨走前兩天,她請我在湖濱路的外婆家本幫菜飯店吃午飯,又是點了滿桌的菜。大概是這幾天吃撐了,胃口不怎麼好,吃得不多。飯後和清兒到湖邊散步,還沒走到柳浪聞鶯她就喊累了,真是個弱不勝嬌的小女生。

次日我從杭州北站乘巴士到良渚去探望她,她帶我逛了一圈良渚博物館,裡面的展品相當豐富,尤其是關於良渚考古源起和擅長製玉的先民生活的介紹,值得一遊。只是博物館地點較僻遠,看來要維持也不容易,遑論擴充發展了。從杭州市區乘車到北站,不堵車的話也要一小時,然後再乘半小時巴士才到良渚,展品能否吸引足夠遊客不只一次長途跋涉慕名而來,頗成疑問。博物館四周都是曠野,人煙全無,只有一條公路行經其間,連遮蔭的大樹也沒有,對於早被空調寵壞、怕曬、怕冷又怕熱的城市人來說,更是致命的缺點。我們參觀的時候,遊客寥寥可數,在偌大的展廳裡更顯冷清,又是一陣惆悵。

良渚文化素以玉器聞名,是江南遠古文化的代表,可是現在又有多少人記得?多少人有興趣?在良渚西北的安溪,就是清兒的祖家;安溪之西北有東明山,據說是靖難之變後,明惠帝出家避世之地。安溪又有苕溪流經其中,把小鎮一分為二。知道苕溪,就是因為南宋胡仔的著作《苕溪漁隱叢話》,其中就收錄了趙太太的《詞論》。可是胡仔對她的主張不以為然,更引韓愈詩嘲諷她「蚍蜉撼大樹,可笑不自量」。

去年此時,清兒正忙著寫一本有關東明山掌故的書;今年付梓後,就給我寄來一冊作禮物。仔細看完,深感於她對老家的眷戀和自豪。同時也不禁叩問自己,又給這個家做過甚麼?能做甚麼?

Friday, 19 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行之杭州(三)

那天在中山中路的御街展覽館拍下了南宋遺蹟示意圖後,興奮莫名,一心要按圖索驥,於是一連兩天在城南吳山一帶徜徉,戀戀不去,彷彿多留一刻,就有多一分希望捕捉湮沒了的前朝餘緒,瞥見那裙釵縹緲、風鬟霧鬢的寂寞身影。

七月六日早上,漫天細雨,如煙似霧。心血來潮安步當車,從湖濱經南山路,一直走到萬松嶺,再經鳳凰山社區、中河南路,轉入中山南路,找到南宋三省六部辦公廳所在的杭州捲煙廠和對面的三省六部橋,然後抵達嚴官巷路口的南宋御街展覽館。在地圖上看來路途甚遠,約有五公里,但慢慢走來卻不過一小時多一點。

人在旅途,少了俗務的牽絆,只想放慢生活的節奏,盡情享受沿路的陰晴雨雪。所以只要條件許可,總喜歡徒步而行,一來可以當作運動減肥,二來親自用汗水和腳步見證過,印象特別深刻。有朋友看了這幾篇雜蕪不成章的遊記,問我怎麼記心那麼好,其實不是的。旅途上固然有做筆記、拍照為證,最重要的是用心、用力體驗過。乘車渡船的話,一晃眼就影蹤不見,怎比得上自己隨心調節的步速和距離?

原來鳳凰山就是南宋故宮所在,今天萬松嶺路口有一塊石碑記載其事,見之不禁狂喜。只是「舊時王謝堂前燕,飛入尋常百姓家」,趙太太在世時的皇宮禁苑,如今都變成了炊煙處處、雞犬相聞的鄰舍里弄。原來尊貴無比、神采飛揚的名字「鳳凰山」,也給改成世俗平庸的「饅頭山」。想當年鐵蹄雜沓、珠翠委塵,恭帝與太皇太后謝氏、太后全氏等三千人被俘北去,可能百姓連「牽衣泣血問歸旋」的機會也沒有。從此宋室江河日下,猶如風前殘燭,最後在嶺南荒僻無人的海隅,由孤臣孽子、寡母雛兒寫下沉痛而無力的收筆。香港遠在邊陲,自古隔斷中原,不見經傳,七百多年前卻竟然有幸接駕,自然感到無限榮寵、蓬蓽生輝。所以棄國蒙塵的孤兒寡婦,從來不入史家法眼,卻成為天涯海角家喻戶曉的民間傳奇。此幸歟?不幸歟?恐怕無人說得明白。

在中河南路口左轉入中山南路,不遠處就是杭州捲煙廠,據南宋遺蹟示意圖,廠址就是南宋時的三省六部辦公廳所在,對面跨河的小石橋就是三省六部橋。不知當年趙太太撰寫呈獻皇帝的節慶帖子,是否也從這裡轉達?周密《浩然齋雅談》卷上說,「時秦楚材在翰林,惡之,止賜金帛而罷。」且不論這段秦梓厭惡趙太太的掌故是真是假,周密這一則筆記補遺了趙太太寫過的幾篇應制帖子,也是一場功德。事實上,如果趙太太的生母真箇是王珪而非王拱宸的孫女,那秦檜就是她的表妹夫,與秦檜之兄秦梓自然也是一場親戚。秦梓為何「惡之」,無從稽考;有人說可能因為趙太太與張汝舟的糾葛,有人說因為趙太太沒有為他代筆進呈帖子,也有人說因為趙太太為人剛直不阿,看不過眼秦檜的所作所為,所以連他的兄弟也給得罪了。然而這一切都是後人臆測,真相如何,只有天曉得了。

捲煙廠是私人物業,當然謝絕參觀。即使進得了去,也不見得能看到多少遺蹟。在三省六部橋發了一陣呆,再沿中山南路北行,很快就到嚴官巷交界的南宋御街展覽館。裡面展示了經考古人員發掘和清理後的南宋御街遺蹟,雖然只有不足一百米的一小段,已經覺得精采絕倫。房舍的地基和間格、細磚鋪成的街道仍然清晰可辨,就像在看《清明上河圖》的簡約實物版,心情激動難言,暗想:這就是趙太太在世時的遺蹟!她老人家很可能到過這裡,鞋子就踏在眼前幾呎下的青磚路上!過了八百多年,仍有機會親眼目睹,真是曠世難逢的機緣。我真的不懂怎樣形容當時的心情,只是一廂情願地認為:若不是趙太太暗中關照,能有這樣的奇緣嗎?

連續兩天跑到嚴官巷去,一雙眼把南宋御街遺蹟如X光機般仔細掃瞄個遍,然後繼續北行,大約十分鐘左右,就來到南宋太廟的遺址。那太廟遺址現在開闢為綠草如茵的廣場,沒有任何文物,只有一件龍雕柱墩,不知是否太廟遺物,抑或是仿造的擺設。在中國,我從來沒見過皇族的太廟,反而在韓國首爾,李氏朝鮮的宗廟和祭禮儀式、音樂都保存下來,不但成為當地的國寶,也是聯合國確認的世界文化遺產。不過宗廟內擺放歷代祖宗牌位的殿閣平日重門深鎖,並非如中國氏族的宗祠般中門大開。更難得的是,韓國每年仍按照舊日習俗,舉行隆重的宗廟祭奠儀式,使李氏皇室的血食得以延續,只是把以前全年四季各一次、臘月一次的祭禮簡化為一次。主禮者都穿著整齊的傳統服裝,神情肅穆,令人凜然起敬。所以說,不要老是嗔怪人家「厚顏無恥」,把模仿甚至抄襲得來的東西當作自己的去獻寶。是誰個先行數典忘祖、把祖宗留下來的東西棄如敝屣?人棄我取,事屬尋常,人家揚名立萬之後才跳出來說人家抄襲、剽竊,因為那是自己當年丟棄了的寶貝。到底是誰厚顏無恥了?

細看太廟附近的街名和遺址分布,仍能略窺這一帶在南宋故都的布局和地位。除了御街南端的嚴官巷、白馬廟巷、高士巷,太廟之南還有太廟巷,北面有察院前巷。看來這一帶是南宋首都的「政府合署」所在,地位猶如香港殖民時代以來的中環。


由於地勢所限,杭州不像位於平原的長安、洛陽、開封、北京等古都,可以把都城的街道、坊里畫成棋盤一樣工整,宮城、皇城等也不是座落都城中心,而是偏向一隅,倒是暗合侷促偏安的處境。轉念又想,南京也是龍盤虎踞的丘陵之地,街道也得依照地勢規劃,不是整齊有致的棋盤式。魏晉六朝和南唐的古城規劃早已湮沒無蹤,明故宮的遺址也只剩下一片柱墩和地基,而且同樣不是位於水道縱橫的城市正中,而是偏向城東。巧合的是,金陵雖是著名古都,建都其地的朝代卻從來與長治久安、國祚延綿無緣,不是偏安江左就是烽火危城,很快就罹災臨禍。那麼,皇宮、官署坐落城市中央位置真的關乎國運興衰嗎?這是古人早就發現並遵從的自然之道,抑或是無法解釋的巧合?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行之杭州(二)

離開清波門,過南山路,對面就是杭州鳳凰寺故地,旁邊就是清波街。鳳凰寺並非佛門浮圖,卻是伊斯蘭清真寺,與廣州崇聖寺齊名,同樣始建於唐代。據說宋代時毀於祝融,後來重建於今日的中山中路,即南宋的御街上。沿清波街前行,穿過四宜街,便是河坊街步行區,南宋時也是御街的一部分,商店林立,一片肩摩接踵的繁華景象,可能頗有北宋開封州橋至龍津橋一帶的遺風。河坊街的宋代浮華固然了無痕跡,但清代的餘緒則依稀可辨。街道兩側的老房子,如今仍然是各式商店和食肆,店鋪之間大都有一條牆界石柱,註明原來是誰家某氏、某堂的界牆,在別處好像沒見過,甚覺有趣。猶幸粉飾店面時沒被掩埋,不知是杭州人識見高明,還是誰也沒留心這些毫不起眼的老古董。


逛完了河坊街,轉入中山中路,又是另一番天地。這一帶多是民國初年的西洋建築,窗櫺、門框、柱樑的飾紋都比較精致和講究。雖然商店和食肆不盡是老店,看上去舊日的氣氛仍能維持,未至淪為上海新天地和廣州上下九路那種虛有其表的布景板。

在中山路南端的舊建築之間,還有一些展現老杭州風貌的雕塑,而且都以「門」作題材,創意大膽新穎,頗能發人深省。更有趣的是,這些前衛的藝術品卻能與周遭的老建築水乳交融,十分難得。

老街盡處,竟是南宋故城的朝天門,俗稱「鼓樓」。這當然是近年翻修的,但南宋遺蹟難求,未經破壞的更如鳳毛麟角,如今仍能捕捉到南宋的一鱗半爪遺存,已是喜出望外。穿過朝天門前行不遠,有路可直通吳山。吳山頂上聳立著城隍閣,在西湖邊上無處不可望見。另外還有藥王廟、中興東嶽廟等古蹟,茶館也不少。漫步其間,只覺佳木鬱蔥,神清氣爽,山下市井的塵俗煩囂,彷彿又在千里之外了。

返回河坊街,沿中山中路向北直行,只見一路都是修復得整齊潔亮的步行街,兩旁是民初建成的西洋樓房,走在其間,甚是寫意。還沒到靠近西湖大道的鳳凰寺時,東側有一間規模不大的展覽館,門前的地板早被挖去,鋪以大塊的強化玻璃,讓遊人可以看到地底的物事。走近一看,才知道地底是南宋至民國歷代街道的遺址,清晰可辨,不禁驚喜萬分;心想這御街距離清波門不遠,當年也是販夫走卒集散之地,趙太太很可能也有穿梭其間,張羅生活所需。展覽館內陳列了一張數米長的南宋御街文化遺蹟示意圖,原來南宋的三省六部、太廟和皇城遺址仍有跡可尋,更看得我抓耳搔腮,狂喜不勝。急忙用照相機拍下全豹,決定改天擇要巡遊一遍。

俗語有云:「龍床不及狗窩」,家總是自己的好,菜卻是人家的香。對自己家鄉的一山一水、一草一木、一磚一瓦懷著濃厚的感情,可能是古今皆然,不分中外。看來杭州人不但對自己的老家深感自豪,在保育和發展的兩難之間,也能保持不錯的平衡;即使不是世界第一流,可能也稱得上傲視全國。

香港的保育意識儘管高漲,始終欠缺杭州人深厚蘊藉的文化素養,傳媒和坊間也不見得有幾人願意認真思考和討論保育與發展之間的平衡點在哪裡,怎樣做才可以兩者兼得。高喊口號不費吹灰之力,但空談何益?始終無補於事。有心有力者永遠屈指可數,只好憑著一腔熱誠孜孜探求,但各自為政獨善其身始終成不了氣候,政府也樂得不聞不問坐享其成,待做出成績以後才探出頭來抽水沾光,無本生利。沒錯,香港已經保存了不少古蹟,維修、保養的功夫也不太差,問題是怎樣發揚光大,從歷史文化的角度,培養普羅大眾對自己家園的歸屬感和責任感。不是說杭州做得完美無瑕,例如重建的雷峰塔就真的不敢恭維;但人家始終經過深思熟慮的宏觀規劃,遠非單人匹馬鼓其剛勇苦心孤詣者可比。試看西湖邊上的老城區,從街道鋪設和裝飾、房屋高度、行人流向和交通等方面,都明顯花過心思,是好是壞雖屬見仁見智,仍不失其參考價值。反觀香港政府老是本末倒置,在應該放任自主的地方橫加干預,在應該引導扶持的時候袖手旁觀。保育文物是決定一個城市能否立足於歷史洪流、經得起時間考驗的重要政策,政府怎能逃避責任?即使香港是自由社會,也不應把規劃視作洪水猛獸,不問情由一律拒諸門外,關鍵在於如何提升規劃的水平。北宋范鎮景仁曾說:「事當論其是非,不當問其難易。諸公謂今日難於前日,安知異日不難於今日乎?」所言極是,為政者宜乎其熟思之。

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

我和趙太太去旅行之杭州(一)

六月二十六日中午,乘火車離開南京。約四小時後,終於來到「易安之旅」最後一個落腳點--杭州。

因為臨時要到上海去探朋友,前後一共耽擱了三天。本來相當充裕的時間,一下子消失無蹤。原定計劃中想到富春江的嚴子陵釣臺,甚至嵊州,結果都沒去得成。至於傳聞中趙太太可能到過的福州和泉州,更要期諸日後下回分解了。

六月二十九日,總算可以好好享受陽光明媚、遠山含笑的杭州。熱是燠熱了些,不過只要在這裡,始終不會太難受。

已經是第五次來杭州,朋友都奇怪,我怎麼有事沒事就往杭州跑?眼看是同一座山同一片水,為何總是不厭?湯顯祖有云:「情不知所起,一往而深。」對杭州的情有獨鍾,大概就是這樣罷?喜歡就喜歡了、愛上就愛上了,其實不需要甚麼理由。

那麼,喜歡一個人,是不是也這樣呢?

遊歷了那麼多地方之後,還是覺得杭州這座山、這片水最舒坦、最沒拘束、最能滌蕩心塵。只要在湖邊呆一會子,就像經過沐浴浸禮一般,身外天大的事情都好像跟自己無關了。

在杭州時,最喜歡在西湖邊上蹓躂,沒有計劃,也沒有目的地,只是信步而行,已經覺得很開心。北山路和南山路都是梧桐參天如拱篷的長廊,綠意盎然,滿目生涼,但我還是比較喜歡南山路的氣氛。大概是因為心知趙太太晚年寓杭,就住在清波門一帶罷?聽說西湖邊上柳浪聞鶯公園附近蓋了一座「清照亭」,這次既然是一心追隨趙太太遺蹤而來,豈可錯過?在清波門附近繞來繞去,終於找到了。

那「清照亭」座落在草樹茂密的叢林深處,遠離大路,附近也沒有指示牌;若非故意訪尋,實在不易找到。問了好幾個人,包括旅遊服務站的工作人員,都說不知道有這麼一處所在,連土生土長的清兒也沒聽說過。走近一看,亭子甚是簡陋,竟以茅草覆頂,亭後有一塊寫著趙太太《聲聲慢》詞的照壁,亭前兩柱懸著一副對聯、一塊橫匾,如此而已。亭裡有幾個大叔一邊抽煙、喝茶,一邊閒聊,寫意得緊。可是不知怎地,面對此情此景,一股寂寞淒涼之意,油然而生。

當年趙太太追隨高宗御駕、逃避金兵,在兩浙流離數年之後,終於回到杭州,喘定一口氣。那時趙明誠病逝已久,和張汝舟的離婚官司也結束了。半生收藏,喪失殆盡;家散人亡,孑然一身,景況只怕比她在萊州與烏有先生、子虛子作伴時還要孤寂無聊。所以一直覺得《永遇樂》煞板「不如向,簾兒底下,聽人笑語」,用語平淡而意味深邃,淒苦愁絕,蕩氣迴腸;既不忍卒讀,復不忍釋卷。可是她在「風鬟霧鬢」之時,尚可聽人笑語;如今香殘花落,芳塚無覓,清照亭荒僻冷靜,草木萋萋,卻連鳥語鶯聲也不可多得。天縱奇才如趙太太身後也尚且如此寥落,何況我輩凡夫俗子?若是她泉下有知,我這一炷阻斷千年、萬里迢迢的心香,她又能鑒領多少?

趙太太曾否改嫁,一直是學術界爭論不休的議題。身為她的粉絲,我還是相信她自己和同期人的記載。其實不只一部宋人筆記提及其事,而且那些作者大都是趙太太夫家的親戚或文壇後輩,與趙太太談不上有甚麼過節,似乎沒理由平白無端造謠生事。《金石錄後序》所謂「頒金」之誣,目前也沒有證據顯示與那些作者有關,未可遽然混為一談。

在宋人記載中,以李心傳《建炎以來繫年要錄》最為詳細。該書卷五十八紹興二年(公元1132年)九月戊午條記載:「右承奉郎、監諸軍、審計司張汝舟屬吏,以汝舟妻李氏訟其妄增舉數入官也。其後有司當汝舟私罪徒,詔除名柳州編管(十月己酉行遣)。李氏,格非女,能為歌詞,自號易安居士。」著有《齊東野語》、《武林舊事》等書的周密認為,李心傳著書時遠在四川,「去天萬里,輕信記載,疎舛固宜」,雖是平情之論,卻未能一筆抹煞。李心傳始終是有名的史學家,素以「據實銓敘」見稱,《四庫全書總目提要》稱讚他「絕無軒輊緣飾其間,尤為史家所僅見」,為何只說他誣蔑趙太太?何況趙太太在《上內翰綦公啟》也坦然承認自己愁病交煎、遇人不淑,還有甚麼好辯駁的?清代俞正燮甚至因此質疑《上內翰綦公啟》並非趙太太手筆,乃是「小人」所改,「用輕薄之詞,作善謔之報」云云,何嘗提出半點確鑿證據?以臆斷作證據,天下間做學問、做考證,哪有這等道理?

平心而論,我對改嫁一事看得較淡,深信即使趙太太曾經改嫁,也無損她作品的價值,更不會貶低她在文學史上的地位。儘管個人聲譽可能會受影響,說到底也是後人自己心地齷齪而已。古代婦女改嫁從來不是新鮮事兒,現代離婚、再婚更是司空見慣,何必如此苛求於人?喪夫再嫁,人情之常,又不是一腳踏兩船,憑甚麼說她名聲減色,辱及先人?蘇東坡曾撰悼亡詞《江城子》,膾炙人口,卻依然續弦三娶,何以無人說他言行不一欺世盜名?雖然俞正燮之流是出於一片愛才之心為趙太太「辨誣」,細推之則未免無風起浪、庸人自擾。若要紀念文壇奇葩如趙太太,不去研究、發掘她散佚流落的作品,卻在她的婚姻狀況上做文章,敢問與今日的八卦娛樂狗仔隊何異?豈是讀聖賢書者憐才重義之道?