Monday, 31 March 2014

梅見

これから発表します。

私は梅がとても好きです。梅を見るめに、時々日本と中国へ行きます。

梅の名所は京都にたくさんあります。北野天満宮とか、西本願寺とか、東本願寺の渉成園とか。2008年2月に日本の関西へ旅行に行きました。天気はよかったですから、青い空の下の赤い梅は特にきれいでした。

姫路の好古園と姫路城へ行きました。雨が降りましたから、とても寒かったです。観光客はあまりいませんてした。静かでした。白い梅はとてもきれいでした。

今年の2月に友達と中国の杭州へ行きました。杭州の超山は中国の梅の名所です。朝地下鉄とバスで超山へ行きました。白い梅も、赤い梅も満開でした。雪が降っていました。本当にきれいでした。楽しい一日でした。

発表はこれで終わります。ありがとうございました。

Sunday, 30 March 2014

《水滸108之終極英雄:蕩寇誌》

唸書時,初窺戲曲藝術的門徑,對多媒體、跨藝術、跨文化的融合與碰撞充滿好奇。因為對表演藝術的本質和精粹一知半解,也急於支持從藝者為瀕臨變成博物館展品的傳統藝術找出路,總是很期待那些沒有章法、出其不意的火花。就像某零食廣告的宣傳語一樣:看他一次能滿足我多少願望。是三個?還是七個?

如今年紀漸長,戲文也看多了,卻愈發珍惜純粹、精準的傳統技藝與表演方法。自問對創新的支持不輸當年,但也逐漸體會到前賢多次強調「傳統根基不穩,無以創新」的深意。

因為我們每個人的文化傳統就像身體的遺傳因子一般與生俱來,難以改變。我們在甚麼地方出生、長大,接受怎樣的教育,培養甚麼價值觀和審美眼光,往往不由自主。若要創新,卻需要擺脫固有觀念的束縛,探索更多天馬行空的可能。不過,創新之困難,不在於混雜和跨越,而在於怎樣在花團錦簇、目不暇給的表象之下,堅持一點純淨的傳統本質,使人一望而知那是甚麼,而不是令人欲言又止的四不像。

所以說,如何在傳統和創新之間取得平衡,從來比凌空走鋼索更艱難。

也許有人會認為,為甚麼要堅持某部作品是某個類型的表演藝術?為甚麼不索性打破表演藝術的固有分類法?這不是給予創作者和觀眾更大的自由嗎?

恕我不敢苟同。若是一件作品全無可以描述的定位和本質,那不是自由,而是虛無。至少我這個頑固保守的觀眾是這麼想的。如果按照這個邏輯推論下去,那可能連作品也是多餘的。雲淡風清、鳥語花香,不就是世間最好的藝術品了嗎?還需要甚麼創作?須知道,創作本來就是一種畫地成牢啊。選取哪個題材、哪種表現形式,其實是一種束縛。選擇再多,網羅再多,也意味著放棄更多。老子說:「大方無隅,大器免成;大音希聲,大象無形」【註】,正是這個道理。

因此,臺灣「當代傳奇劇場」的《水滸108之終極英雄:蕩寇誌》開演後,腦袋一直忙著搜尋合適的概念來嘗試理解這部作品。大半小時之後,仍是不得要領,頹然決定放棄,就讓感官先行,看他可以帶領我走到哪裡。

如今曲終人散,若要我用一句話來形容《水滸108之終極英雄:蕩寇誌》是甚麼東西,我會說它是一齣融匯京劇、搖滾樂、hip hop街舞,甚至西洋歌劇、日本能劇和漫畫元素的音樂劇(別告訴我那天壽公主的造型跟《Sailor Moon》的月野兔和《Playboy》的粉紅兔子是如有雷同實屬不幸的巧合……),是一場極盡視聽之娛的感官盛宴。每一種藝術元素的面貌都很鮮明,可是加起來卻說不出是甚麼名堂──因為它完全超越了我對表演藝術的認知與表達能力。

說實話,表演非常好看,熱鬧、有趣、色彩班斕、活力澎湃;尤其是上海戲曲學院的學生和畢業生,人人功力深湛,以他們矯捷的身手來跳hip hop,充分展現了陽剛力量之美,很符合《水滸傳》的人物與氣氛,也別具一般舞蹈員略欠的動作準繩與美感。

吳興國在場刊裡說:「除了唱唸做打基本功外,包括故事結構、戲劇節奏、音樂、舞蹈、服裝和舞臺視覺全顛覆了,希望帶給觀眾感官與心靈的衝擊!」又說:「我們的終極目標是震翻劇場的屋頂!」衝擊感官、震翻屋頂,他們確實做到了,而且做得非常厲害,簡直令人應接不暇。至於心靈上的衝擊,也不能說沒有,但大概不是導演所期許的「英雄命、兄弟情」,而是「人人都在找歸宿、尋感情、求慰藉」。

大概因為吳興國的京劇背景與使命,我一直以為《水滸108之終極英雄:蕩寇誌》也是探索京劇演繹手法的實驗,但我至今無法以「京劇」視之。正如前文提到,這次實驗所採納的元素極多,京劇只是其中之一,也不佔主導地位。例如從音樂方面來說,京劇唱腔與搖滾樂之間沒有融合,過渡與串連顯得生硬突兀,可以說是連融合的企圖也沒有,充其量只是各自表述而已。何況貫穿全劇的搖滾樂主題曲,篇幅較京劇更多,表達題旨也更清晰。

所以,如果真的要說《水滸108之終極英雄:蕩寇誌》的本質是一齣京劇,恕我難以認同。其藝術和表演元素之蕪雜繁複,早把本質滌蕩殆盡,猶如梁山好漢被宋廷一次又一次的利用和折騰,終至損兵折將,黯然消亡。轉念一想,也許不是人家的問題,而我這個食古不化的觀眾,對京劇的認知仍停留在某個時空的荒原,而人家早已揮舞著刀斧,披荊斬棘,一往無前,飛奔到九天雲外了。


【註】語出《老子》第四十一章,現通行本多作「大器晚成」,疑誤。馬王堆帛書原作「大器免成」,似更契合前後文義,故取之。

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Iphigenia in Tauris

Thanks to a friend’s invitation, I attended Iphigenia in Tauris at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014, choreographed by Pina Bausch and premiered in 1974, which I almost missed because the tickets were sold out.

My ignorance in the art of dance and Western theatre does not prevent me from enjoying the performance, which brought my artistic experience to a new level.

Body movements of the dancers were empowered by the emotions of the characters they were playing. Every stretch of the arm or twist of the body was fully charged with energy that poured out of the limbs like the roaring waves of the rough seas that can shatter the Titanic. For the first time, as far as I remember, I could focus on appreciating the physical expressions without being distracted to the libretto or the plot, which looked extremely complicated in the house programme. The operatic singing and orchestral music provided superb support to the delivery of the plot and characters. The plain, practical and straightforward design of the set and costumes was not only pleasing to the eye, but also helped the audience to focus on the essence of the performance itself, the dancers and their physical movements.

Interestingly, and quite unexpectedly, what impressed me most was the relationship between Orestes and Pylades, a pair of good friends captured in a storm that raged Tauris. One of them had to be offered to the gods as sacrifice. The third act was thus devoted to their struggle against each other to become the martyr, so that the other could survive. The friendship between Orestes and Pylades, skilfully and powerfully expressed by the body movements of the dancers, was by all means touching. There were hints of homosexual love too, offering a tint of tenderness that I found quite heart-warming without any trace of uneasiness. Apparently such a depiction also has stark differences from the brotherly love in the Chinese classical fiction such as The Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which are often characterised by masculinity and shared hatred towards a common foe.

Four decades after its premiere, Iphigenia in Tauris may no longer raise any eyebrow, because, in one way or another, its artistic elements have become the norm of contemporary performances. Blending other art forms such as vocal singing and orchestral music with dance is hardly revolutionary nowadays, but it is not difficult to imagine how shocking and rebellious it might seem in the 1970s. To me, the greatest enjoyment of Iphigenia in Tauris was to experience the overwhelming energy and passion of the dancers’ movements on their own merit. No language was really necessary. Indeed, it was a pleasant cultural shock that I was fortunate not to have missed.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mies Julie

"Probing into the issues of ownership, power, sexuality and memories in her adaptation of August Strindberg's classic, award-winning director Yäel Farber presents in Mies Julie a provocative examination of the post-traumatic society in South Africa today."

Thus begins the interview with director of Mies Julie, of which the Asia premiere was recently staged at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, published in the house programme.

Indeed, the adjectives of "provocative" and "traumatic" best encapsulate the electrifying impact on the heart and mind of watching Mies Julie. At least these words work for me perfectly well. While scenes of explicit sexuality and violence were expected, I was stunned seeing them live, right before my eyes. Those scenes set in so naturally as part of the escalating tensions in the plot that most spectators would have little problem anticipating. Yet those scenes were presented in such intimidating intensity and magnitude rarely seen in the Chinese theatre, traditional or modern.

Better still, the embarrassingly upfront presentation of sexuality and violence on stage managed to go beyond sensationalism and touch upon the hearts and minds of the audience, inviting them to probe into the issues of race, gender, ownership, colonialism and politics of all these and so on. Even one who knows little about the history of South Africa may find such an invitation too compelling to decline.

In fact, one does not need much knowledge of apartheid and the colonial history of South Africa to appreciate Mies Julie. Based on August Strindberg's play Miss Julie written in 1888, Farber relocated the story to post-apartheid South Africa, where, in the sarcastic and scornful words of John, the male protagonist, "nothing has changed". The complex power relationships of gender, social status, love and lust in the original work were expanded and elaborated, blending with the issues of race, history, colonialism, indigenous and foreign cultures in Farber's adaptation. On each single issue, the politics of power at play seems quite simple and straightforward. For example, on the gender issue, John is presumably more powerful because he is a man; and Julie is the "second sex". But on the race issue, power changes hands because John is black. In terms of social status, power turns against John once again because he works for Julie's father, so does his mother. In terms of love and lust, the relationship becomes even more complicated and intriguing. Apparently it is Julie who takes the initiative to seduce John in the beginning, but John turns out to be the decision-maker of their common future despite Julie's attempt to persuade him to take her course. It also seems they can't really tell whether it is genuine love that bonds them, or the thirst for company in overwhelming desperation and loneliness. When all these sophisticated and volatile relationships add up and interplay with each other, however, an eruption of conflicts that have been subdued for too long is just inevitable.

In a nutshell, Mies Julie is a brilliant and profound challenge to the heart and mind of the audience. The brutal past of humanity and its impact today are boldly presented without much reservation, if any at all. The more disturbing or even outrageous one finds the performance, the more successful it is because such displeasure reflects how much distress and frustration such a traumatic society has endured. Farber did a great job in coming up with a succinct, powerful script that skilfully weaves together all the complicated issues plaguing South Africa. Her veteran performers and production crew also deserve a big applause for bringing the masterpiece to life.

On a final note, from my limited experience with Chinese and Hong Kong theatre, what makes Mies Julie successful is exactly what we are short on – the capability of articulating certain themes and messages in considerable depth and strength with an intact plot. Too often our theatre stops short of challenging the audience's mind, or fails to convey the messages in an organic, sensible manner, so that the play is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Too much emphasis has been put on pleasing the senses but little else. Is this attributable to any fundamental difference between the Chinese and Western theatre?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Giselle

I have never been a fan of ballet, but more than happy to explore new possibilities in art appreciation. It would be even better if I were caught surprised, even stunned, with wide open eyes. This is what prompted me to watch Giselle by Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014.

Pardon me for being unable to give any meaningful comment on choreography, of which I barely know anything. All I can say is that etoile Svetlana Zakharova and guest dancer David Hallberg both impressed me greatly with their energetic and passionate movements, which helped them deliver the characters of Giselle and Albrecht in considerable depth and fine detail. Their mastery of dancing skills also seemed significantly higher than the rest of the line-up. The sharp contrast was easily visible even for someone as ignorant as me. While the protagonists are supposedly the best of the team, it is still somewhat surprising to see such a conspicuous gap.

More surprising though is that the house programme includes an article on the symbols and myths in the woods of Giselle, instead of a dummy's guide to the background and technical features of the performance. Perhaps Giselle is so popular that it warrants no introduction, but I think it may not be a very good idea to assume that most, if all, spectators are familiar with the masterpiece. There are always newcomers like me.

Apparently I do not have the expertise and knowledge to appreciate the choreography and skills involved, thus I chose to focus on what interested me most – the plot and characters.

Like many other female protagonists in folklore and fairy tales, Chinese or Western, Giselle is a character of pure love, kindness and innocence. Although she falls in love with the wrong man and dies of a broken heart when betrayed, she comes out of her grave and saves her lover from the spell of incessant dancing until death. Her loyalty and devotion to Albrecht is by all means respectable, and it is disheartening to see her fall for the wrong man who doesn't really deserve her love.

In sharp contrast with Giselle, Albrecht is an intriguing character. What bothers me most is the reason of his disguise: to abandon his engagement with Bathilde, daughter of the duke of Courland? To free himself from nobility and start life anew in the village? To hunt for women in a fake identity so that he does not have to worry about anything? It seems Albrecht is not any different from many other egoistic characters who make terrible mistakes, though often unwittingly, that end up with regretful and irrecoverable consequences. A more important question is: why are male characters often those who commit misdeed, but females are the ones who bear the consequences with grief, despair, torture and even death as if they were helpless sacrifices? What does it have to say about our assumptions of gender roles and stereotypes in performing arts?

Mixed feelings therefore filled my heart seeing Albrecht alone in the woods at sunrise, overwhelmed by remorse, at the end of the story. While it is sad to see a man losing his lover forever, I can't help reminding myself of his giving to Giselle a false hope of happiness in the first place.

If Giselle is meant to have any moral lesson, my take will be honesty in love – being faithful to someone you love means more than having one lover at a time, but also present your true self to someone who loves you and cares for your well-being. Make sure that he or she is not falling in love with an illusion.

Friday, 7 March 2014

杭州賞梅記(六)

轉眼便是旅程的尾聲,而且只得半天時間,所以沒有行程,只想隨便逛逛。清早起來,瞧見窗外仍有少許積雪,小妹不禁頓足輕嘆:「咱們應該校好鬧鐘,天沒亮就爬起來,搶在人潮之前到斷橋賞殘雪啊。」大概是前一天爬完超山有點累,晚上很早就倒頭大睡了,壓根兒沒省起這件事。雖說有點可惜,倒是給自己第N遍重遊杭州的上佳藉口呢。

吃了早餐,先帶小妹到文三路、教工路一帶買點東西,可惜按圖索驥,依舊找不著那些商店,不知是搬走了還是怎的,幸而她似乎也沒怎麼失望。這一來一回約十公里的路程,輕輕鬆鬆的便在東拉西扯中消磨過去。

回到北山街,未及正午,於是沿蘇堤向南走,過六道橋、花港觀魚,然後在蘇東坡紀念館簡略參觀了一回。沒料到紀念館門外也種了幾株白梅,花蕊不多,嬌臉半開,略帶嫵媚,與粗壯、剛勁的枝椏相映成趣。

出紀念館左轉,沿南山路直走,經「南屏晚鐘」所在的淨慈寺、雷峰塔,又回到柳浪聞鶯和錢王祠一帶的湖濱。原來在錢王祠附近的草坪上,也開闢了一爿小梅園。可惜大概因為連日來風雨交侵,花兒頗見脂零粉褪,沒幾株能保住其珍重芳姿。轉念一想,莫非市區氣溫稍高,梅花開得略早,所以已露疲態?

其時天色漸霽,偶有幾縷陽光灑將下來,不禁精神一振。雖然在湖邊仍不時吹起一陣陣北風,涼颼颼地寒氣料峭,遊人已明顯較前幾天增多。當如鯽的遊人不斷踐踏草地、攀住梅枝拍照,引來糾察阻止的哨子聲此起彼落,又想起趙太太那幾句「從來,知韻勝,難堪雨藉,不耐風揉」。

有道是風似刀、雪如劍,梅花儘也抵擋得住。猶記超山的梅花,在磨礪中愈顯精神。有時對頭來勢洶洶,難免要低首斂眉,暫避其鋒;但骨子裡始終梗直崢嶸,不改本色。又如植物園和萬松書院裡披寒冒雨的梅花,也出落得鮮妍明媚、晶瑩可愛。當此憂煩惶亂之時,拋下塵囂踏雪尋梅,不啻是一服清潤怡人的安神劑。對症下藥是談不上了,但能略紓愁悶,總是好的。

可惜即使潔身自愛、堅忍剛毅如寒梅,若是遇上人類有意或無心的破壞,卻也無能為力了。

也要衷心感謝小妹抽空陪我走這一趟。她不但要應付繁重的工作,也為自己的理想而勞心勞力。對她來說,假期本來就是追夢的時候;如今拋下一切,老遠的跟我跑到杭州去遊山玩水,儘管時日不長,心裡總有點不好意思。只盼沒有耽誤正事,更希望她可以趁機輕鬆一下,養精蓄銳,為更漫長的征途作好準備。

Thursday, 6 March 2014

杭州賞梅記(五)

位於超山頂峰的玉喜寺規模很小,天王殿竟在數十米下的山坡,與主殿相隔一條數十級的石階。石階盡處,豎著一塊寫著「超峰」的石匾,據說出自西泠印社第三任社長、浙江圖書館前館長張宗祥的手筆。玉喜寺似乎正在修葺,塗料、水泥、木板等橫七豎八的放滿一地。如此大雪,自然沒人動工,只有一名工作人員在看守,還問我們是怎麼上去的。呵呵,當然是一步一步踏踏實實走上去的,難道會從天而降不成?眼見四周無甚足觀,我們也不淹留,問明了下山的路徑,繞到天王殿後面隱蔽的出口,踏著一千零九十五級石階,緩緩下山。

登山的棧道依巒而建,曲折迂迴,但不算陡峭;下山的石階則彎多勢急,猶幸膝蓋沒有投訴,不一會便走完了。看看手錶,全程上山下坡,不過兩小時左右。

從大雪紛飛到陰雨綿綿,從暗無天日到澄亮明淨,從萬籟俱寂到雞犬相聞,儘管爬超山的行程只得短短兩小時,感覺卻像在某個陰霾密布的國度繞了一圈,然後重返人間一般漫長。但一路上毫無驚怖之意,只覺荒山冷落、雪擁寒枝,別有一番蕭瑟、寂寥、空靈之美。回到山麓,眺望仍掩映在霧靄重雲之中的山峰,方才登山的勞累與見聞,竟如夢幻,不太真實。

石階盡處,便是大明堂。堂後是吳昌碩墓和一些展覽室,堂前則有一株唐代流傳下來的梅樹,樹齡少說也逾千年,樹幹粗壯,至今仍未枯竭,可惜只開了兩朵白梅。大明堂外的花圃中,種有多株梅樹,桃紅、粉紅、米白俱全,當中有不少更是六瓣的奇品。

梅花五瓣是常情,但凡事總有例外,就如人生。為甚麼超山的梅花竟有六瓣,我當然不得而知,除了「得天獨厚」四字,大概沒有更好的解釋了。好事之徒固然可以憑空想像--甚至妄自臆斷--那是某些植物學家挖空心思培植出來的異種,但聽說超山的六瓣梅花由來已久,我還是寧可相信,這是上天賜予當地的殊恩厚遇。俗語有云:「防人之心不可無」,記著人性總有醜惡是防身遠害的基本原則,但也不必凡事儘往壞處想。即使自己終日提心吊膽不覺得累,做人如此也未免太索然無味了。如果世上盡是壞蛋、惡霸,早就世界末日了,哪裡還有梅花可賞?

此時已是午後,氣溫回暖,大雪初歇,又換成淅瀝細雨。遊人也明顯增多,但若與天朗氣清的西湖相比,自然不可同日而語。大明堂外是一座種滿梅花的廣袤庭園,還有一座宋梅亭。與宋梅亭遙遙相對的是一株已半枯的宋代梅樹,至少七百多歲了,差不多與彭祖同壽。大概是插枝養植之故,樹上竟長著紅、白兩色的梅花。後面還有一株主幹彎曲的梅樹,稱作「游龍梅」,但看那螺旋盤曲的模樣,竟像極了《碧血劍》裡五毒教那柄金蛇劍。

離開大明堂一帶,折向南行,慢慢朝著大門走去。途中轉向半山,參觀了「中國戲劇梅花苑」。那是展示歷屆「梅花獎」得主的手印的戶外長廊,按劇種依次排列。大概因為浙江是越劇的發源地,分類排名僅次於號稱「國劇」的京劇,「百戲之母」崑劇只排第三。

「梅花獎」是中國戲劇家協會發起的戲劇獎項,至今已有三十年歷史,涵蓋戲曲、話劇、歌劇、舞劇等戲劇形式。本來是每年一屆,自2007年起改為每兩年頒發一次。在網上粗略一看,至今有五人曾三度獲頒「梅花獎」,包括裴艷玲和茅威濤。可惜我和小妹在延綿數十米的「手印牆」前走來走去、眺上瞧下,也找不到裴艷玲的手印,只找到茅威濤的。

耐人尋味的是,「手印牆」所羅列的梅花獎得主之中,沒有粵劇的代表,不論廣東或香港的也沒有。心中不免嘀咕,為甚麼粵劇沒有得獎,是否真的技不如人,抑或別有內情。回來查閱資料,才知道歷年來廣東粵劇已有十多位演員獲獎。那麼,是否可以推斷,那「中國戲劇梅花苑」並沒有集齊所有得獎者的手印?為甚麼會有脫漏呢?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

杭州賞梅記(四)

雖說賞梅之旅期待已久,但沒有刻意安排甚麼行程,更沒有非去不可的景點,一心只是想輕鬆休息幾天,隨心所欲地沉浸於風花雪月,安撫一下煩躁、不安、迷惘的情緒。

因此,只記下了幾個徒步可達的賞梅勝地和沒去過的景點,避開了需要舟車勞頓的遠郊,就是怕一旦天氣欠佳或其他原因臨時難以成行,不但敗了遊興,更添失望,反而不妙。

杭州的賞梅勝地,以超山最負盛名,可是我嫌路遠,交通頗費周折,沒有記下詳情。我生性疏懶、散淡,心想只要見得著梅花,賞梅的主題便已完成,去不去超山也沒所謂。小妹卻是個意志堅定、做事認真的人,只要定下了目標,就非達成不可,而且務求盡善盡美。恰巧她帶著小型手提電腦,在酒店可以無線上網,輕易找到了往超山的交通資料。反正左右無事,於是決定第三天清早起來,就去超山。

超山位於杭州北郊的塘棲鎮,距離市區二十多公里。路程似乎不長,但交通頗為不便,要先坐地鐵一號線到餘杭高鐵站,轉乘786路公車至公管所或道古寺站,再換乘319路到跌馬橋站,全程約需兩小時。

天氣預報早說過當天會下雨夾雪,但清早從杭州出發時只有微雨,也不太冷,只是感覺溫度明顯低於前兩天。到餘杭高鐵站登上巴士後,雨點打在擋風玻璃上,瞬即結成一條條細長的薄冰,被雨刷不停推到車沿兩側。望向窗外,雨點在空中逐漸化成一片片亮白的雪花;但落在地上時,依舊難以凝結,汽車的輪胎和廢氣早把雪片溶為水點,把馬路壓得濕漉漉的。誰知愈近超山,雪下得愈大;等著換乘319路的時候,車站旁邊的花圃已鋪上了一層薄雪。抵達超山所在的跌馬橋站時,雪更大了,連馬路對面的超山景點正門也模模糊糊的。

買好了票,走進園中,只見漫天飛雪,滿眼迷濛,連山峰也被鉛雲掩蔽了半邊。徜徉於石板鋪成的寬敞曲徑,花圃裡銀妝玉琢,梅梢上冰綃與霞帔互相輝映,好一片疏影橫斜、錯落有致的梅林。好容易才忍住振臂歡呼的衝動,以免驚擾了眼前如詩似畫的景致。

走近細看那些恣意曲折、奇巧絕俗的梅枝,若非瓊苞欲碎,便是螓首低鬟,默默承受著飄絮似的細雪,彷彿誓要與風刀霜劍決個高下。然而包裹著那刻苦堅毅的錚錚傲骨者,卻非雄赳赳的金戈鐵馬,而是粉嫩嬌媚、晶瑩溫潤的纖纖弱質。那強悍而不失溫柔、嫵媚而不減豪情的模樣,最令人心折。打著傘站在路旁,不禁瞧得癡了;連傘面、背囊堆起了一層薄雪,也渾然不覺。

循曲徑緩緩上坡,走走停停,肆意賞覽,最後在半山的小茶館歇足。待風雪略緩,踏著積雪的棧道登山,分花拂柳,幾經迂迴,直抵山頂超峰的玉喜寺。一路上人蹤杳然,鳥獸絕跡,彷彿整座超山--甚至天地之間,就只剩下我和小妹兩人。

小妹是運動健將,身手敏捷、步履輕盈,雖是一步一步的慢慢走來,卻如凌波微步似的,不費吹灰之力。我身材本就粗笨,而且背著一部單鏡反光相機、兩支鏡頭和其他裝備,只得遠遠的跟在小妹後面。無論我多麼努力地搬動雙腿,始終難以與她並肩而行,倒勞煩她不時停下來等我。

諸位看官切莫誤會,我沒半點嗔怪之意。人人資質不同、體格各異,無法強求。尤其到了這把年紀,無論我如何苦練,也別指望比得上身經百戰的小妹。儘管腳程不快,我素來喜歡爬山,除了喜歡鍛鍊體能、挑戰自我的暢快淋漓,也極享受沿途精神上純粹的沉著與放任。腳掌踏在山路上,不論平整或崎嶇,那觸感總在提醒我生命的活力和質感,猶如慈母撫慰懷裡的孩子一樣,親手摩挲著這片我所珍愛的土地。身體承受著山野的尖鈍與緩急之際,腦袋固然要小心應付腳下的挑戰,同時也可以將息片刻,集中精神思考一些平日難得費心的事情--

例如距離。

距離是一個似近還遠的概念。時空上的距離,並不難懂。例如甲地與乙地相距多少公里、某朝某人與今天相隔多少年等,我們大致能明白。然而人與人之間的距離,卻難以用度量衡單位來計算。即使真有這麼一個量度單位,也無法準確測量,因為人與人之間的距離,絕非一成不變的。就算親如兄弟、夫婦,雙方的距離感也可能由於各種原因有所差異。

但人的距離不單指親疏厚薄,也不是長短優劣,最重要的是,可以幫助我們觀照他人、躬省自身,坦然面對自己的不圓滿。

我倆一前一後的爬上超山,沿途沒有太多交談,大約一半路程,只是默默的冒雪而行。走得汗流浹背、氣喘如牛之際,瞧著小妹數十米外窈窕的背影,心裡卻感到久違了的踏實與安寧--我甚至已經忘記,到底自己是否曾經擁有這種毫無顧慮的安全感。

多少年來,「安全感」三字,是自立、自強、自信的表現,是親朋好友足堪告慰與信賴的標誌,卻不是衡量人際關係距離的單位。我總是小心翼翼地照顧自己和身邊的人,盡量揣摩他們的感受和想法,就是不想給任何人帶來困擾,更不想人家來找我麻煩。內心深處,我知道自己欠缺安全感,也不指望任何人可以給我安全感;只有藉著付出,給自己累積一點肯定、一點腳踏實地的感覺。除此以外,我可沒有想得太複雜,例如施與受的地位不平等之類。我深信有能力付出,本來就是一份得之不易、並非理所當然的福氣。

安全感的前提是信任。沒有信任,一切免談。即使親如父母、兄弟,也是一樣。血緣只是一種與生俱來、無法擺脫的人際關係,卻不能保證親人之間的信任。歷史上骨肉相殘的事例罄竹難書,便是明證。

剛看完日本三浦紫苑的小說《強風吹拂》,主角之一藏原走在參加「箱根驛傳」接力賽跑時,有一段內心獨白,讀來頗有觸動:

「灰二哥,你說『信心』這個字眼不足以表達你心裡的感受。我也這麼想。因為任何說出口的話都有可能變成謊言,而百分之百的信任只會自然湧現在心裡。這是我頭一次明白,信任自己以外的某個人,是多麼崇高的一件事。

「跑步跟信任很像,不需要理由和動機;它也跟呼吸一樣,是我活下去的必要手段。」

不是說我不肯信任身邊的人,而是可能我思慮太多、太杞人憂天,彷彿每個人都有讓我操心的理由,包括老媽在內。儘管小妹的本事比我強得多,她一直努力不懈地追求自己的理想,付出了多少心力和血汗,也不是不令人心疼的。然而即使咱們之間橫亙著那可望而不可即的距離,彼此還是朝著同一個方向在努力跨步,正是「吾道不孤」的欣慰與篤實,心情自然沉穩得多。因為我知道,她總會在前面給我領路;相信她也知道,總有我這個不成器的老姐默默跟著,給她殿後。

也許真正的信任和安全感,就是這麼一回事吧?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

杭州賞梅記(三)

旅程的第二天,雨勢似乎減弱了不少,但感覺更寒冷些,而且天空仍是晦暗的,不見絲毫陽光。清早起來,帶小妹走到體育場路的杭州劇院,才發現這幾天沒有越劇演出,於是沿延安路折向南行,直抵湖濱路、南山路,把杭州鬧市逛了個遍;再左轉入吳山腳下的河坊街、南宋御街步行區,買了一些烤餅邊逛邊吃,然後在茶館歇腳,一邊翻看從慶春路圖書中心新買的書、一邊品嚐「九曲紅梅」。

茶館的裝潢、陳設仿照清代的格局,木桌上的高腳盤子擺了各式果點,甚是精致,連茶博士也頭戴小圓帽、身穿長衫,有點置身古裝片場的錯覺。我們坐下沒多久,其中一名看來很年輕的茶博士來給我們溫壺烹茶,又教我們品茶之法。據他介紹,「九曲紅梅」屬於全發酵的紅茶,是該茶館正在推廣的新品種。難怪以前沒聽說過,點茶的時候純粹因為名字吸引罷了。慢慢喝將下去,「九曲紅梅」的味道近似鐵觀音,但濃香四溢,齒頰留芳,喝罷連杯底也瀰漫著馥郁餘香,頗得「莫恨香消雪減,須信道,掃跡情留」的韻致,別具一番情趣。

茶飽食足,休息了一小時多,再沿南山路轉上萬松嶺,去看傳說梁山伯與祝英臺同桌而食、同書而讀的萬松書院是怎生模樣。

其實梁、祝的故事,早在唐代就有記載,但以「上品無寒門、下品無世族」的東晉為時代背景。萬松書院卻始建於初唐貞觀間,原為佛寺,至明代弘治年間才改為書院,所以應該跟梁、祝的民間傳說沾不上半點邊兒。不過那也沒關係,民間傳說只是增添遊興的佐料,半點認真不得。何況萬松書院頗負盛名,據說王陽明曾在此講學,連清聖祖、清高宗也為之親題碑文,還是值得一遊的。

時近黃昏,走進萬松書院,仍是靜悄悄地,除工作人員外,不見遊客影蹤。只是沒料到書院裡也種有不少梅花,令人喜出望外。

雖說萬松嶺與吳山山麓的鬧市相距不遠,畢竟隱於蔥蘢的山巒之間,遠離塵囂,清幽可讚,確實是個修心、讀書的好地方。更難得的是,觸目所見,周圍既無玻璃幕牆的新式高樓,也沒有電力塔、通訊桿之類的現代建設,放眼盡是樹影婆娑、重嶂疊翠,更覺清新可喜。

然而半山梅花圃旁的「雙照井」,實在令人啼笑皆非。小妹一見,頓時大叫:「有無搞錯?如果梁山伯和祝英臺是一人照一井,怎會是『井中雙影隨水盪,又好似一男一女笑洋洋』?」各地梁、祝戲文的曲詞雖有差異,「雙照井」的情節卻是相同的。那景點設計師似乎連梁、祝的戲文也沒看過,就望文生義的造了兩口井,忒地辜負了這一片孕育梁、祝傳說的如畫江山。我看在眼裡,耳聽著小妹發牢騷,只笑得直打跌。

賞完梅花,從品字牌坊拾級而上,依次參觀了十多年前仿照明代書院樣式復修的建築和大成殿,又從「萬世師表」的照壁右側蜿蜒上山,依山勢繞了一圈,可惜通往南宋皇城所在鳳凰山的道路給鐵柵隔絕了。途中看見一條粗壯、黝黑的樹幹橫亙空中,像藤蔓一般糾結扭曲,筋節分明,渾身透著一股詭異之氣,不禁想起《倩女幽魂》裡道行深湛的樹妖姥姥。倒是好奇,為甚麼在莊嚴清幽的書院之中,居然長著一株偌大的百年藤樹?是野生的,還是人工種植的?據說盛極一時的萬松書院荒棄已久,重建竣工不過十餘年,這「百年名木」是書院荒棄後長成的嗎?抑或書院尚在時已經傲然挺立了?只因它看來實在與周遭的氣氛格格不入,所以憋了滿肚子無法解答的疑問,耐人尋味。

繞過古藤樹,戰戰兢兢地踏過碎石鋪成、滿布青苔的山路,一無所獲,只好折返照壁,再循原路下山。半途忽見左側有條小路上坡,原來坡上正是「梁祝書房」所在。進得門來,只見一座題有「獨立石」三字的假山、一樹紅梅,還有一幢兩層高的仿古房子,稱作「毓秀閣」。然而裡面卻毫無陳設,不知跟梁、祝有何關係。若說聊備一格,總也得煞有介事、似模似樣才行啊。

參觀萬松書院,純粹出於好奇,何況已到過杭州好幾遍,總想逛一些較少人熟知的地方;同時也想避開鬧市的人潮--儘管這次到杭州,市面平靜得出奇,西湖的遊人也不多,甚至可能不及平日的一半。傍晚沿湖濱路徒步回酒店時,更是靜悄悄地,沒半點人間煙火氣,半晌才遇上一、兩個行人匆匆而過。雖說天氣欠佳,寒雨不斷,照說也不應如此寥落。不過對於像我倆愛靜不喜鬧的遊客來說,不必受到噪音干擾,可以靜心欣賞眼前的景致,讓紛亂的思緒沉澱、讓躁動的心情緩和下來,倒是難得的舒適寫意。