夏日三蓮

 這個夏天很巧,遇見三個名裡有「蓮」字的女子。

 以蓮為名在華人世界並不稀罕,但巧的是,這三名女子都是我多年前就「該認識」,但到這個夏天才得緣相見;而且,她們都有雙特別的眼睛。

 第一個遇見的是李寶蓮,人稱「梨山阿寶」,那個獨自在山上種水果、復育山林的中文系女生。好幾年前張老師出版社寄了她的書稿<女農討山志>給我,要我寫序,可惜我實在抽不出時間,但從那時起,我開始注意到她的人生選擇。

 遇見她時,是在嘉義的「農村願景會議」。她在當晚餘興節目上,邊擊鼓邊用台語吟唱她自己寫的憫農詩,漆黑中,那有點微弱但極其莊嚴的音調,扣人心弦。會後,我們有多一點時間談話,我發現她總是很專注地直盯著人看,那對眼睛銳利似孤鷹。

 我們談到寂靜,她說:「山上的寂靜不是你們想像的那種寂靜。」

 第二個遇見的是葉寶蓮。她是優秀的竹編藝師,朋友有次與她偶遇後,便向我大力推薦,而後我也曾在草屯的手工藝中心欣賞到她的作品,對她磅礡大器的竹藝印象深刻,但一直還沒去拜訪她。這個夏天終於見到這位國家工藝獎一等獎得主。她住在鹿谷鄉的一條小巷尾,家裡沒有特別的工作室、展覽室,看起來普普通通,但是她整個人古典清靜的氣質卻非常脫俗,眼睛溫柔澄澈,彷彿明月。

 葉寶蓮因家貧,國小畢業就去當剖竹篾的女工,而後成家生子,中斷竹篾工作二十餘年,十年前因緣際會參加竹山鎮舉辦的竹藝課,沒想到老師把她的處女作送去參加國家工藝獎,就此一舉得名。

 葉寶蓮的話很少,除了一句「我想這樣,就這樣做了」以外,對自己那些令人嘆為觀止的作品,她都別無詮釋。「我金憨慢(很笨拙),所以什麼都只能選擇放手、退步,一直退、一直退,退到只有自己的竹編天地,能做竹編我就很快樂了。」葉寶蓮的先生說她個性太柔弱、不知道「堅持自我」時,她只是這樣輕輕地笑著自我解嘲。

 但世事弔詭,葉寶蓮繁複纏繞、充滿力與美的作品,其實「自我風格」非常鮮明飽滿。不愛出名、賺錢,覺得得不得獎都好,也不以為自己對竹藝傳承有任何責任的葉寶蓮,竟只當竹藝是她「最喜愛也最拿手的一項消閒娛樂」而已。不過,也許這正是她的作品能那麼用心、那麼純粹感人的秘密吧?

 第三個遇見的是薛金蓮。薛金蓮是位瑜珈老師,就在我約莫十年前重逢瑜珈老師洪獻宗時,她也正好在那前後到嘉義蘭潭去向洪老師請益,而後我曾輾轉聽說她相當聰慧,在瑜珈體位法的練習設計上創意不斷。這個夏天去拜訪洪老師在高雄古嚴寺後山搭的小竹寮,沒想到第二天碰巧她也來了。

 和洪老師及其學生從旗津吹海風回來後,才發現她已抵達。看到她的第一眼是打坐的背影,那種尊貴挺拔,在暮色中更顯美麗,讓我很好奇想看她的臉。她旋即起身,才見她容貌清秀,身形簡潔俐落,用武俠小說的話來說──一看就知道是個練家子。我們聊了許多,知道她有段曲折的來時路,而後能堅心矢志投入瑜珈修練,精神可佩。

 薛金蓮的眼睛像古井,有一種深深的吸納人的力量。她有個口頭禪是「我們瑜珈的孩子」,每次她這樣說時,我都恍若看到古老的原住民巫婆,不過不是可怕的那種(呵)。

 這三位蓮字女子在我看來各有不凡蓮心,她們對自己選擇的工作那種絕對的相信和愛情,在這個夏日給了我另類清涼。

13 Responses to “夏日三蓮”


  1. 1 bp 2008/9/24 at 2:16 下午

    有閒可以去梨山阿寶的家-寶蓮園坐坐.
    不是女農討山誌嗎? 誌=志?

  2. 2 silas 2008/9/28 at 12:40 下午

    「山上的寂靜不是你們想像的那種寂靜。」

    怕是誤解的「懂」,能不能多陳述一下?

    你沒一起去
    山上倒是發生一些好玩的事

    像是冰在溪水裡的肉老被黑熊偷走
    把肉藏起來不給牠偷
    半夜竟然猛撞山屋的牆強索租屋費
    開門用燈照牠
    對峙許久才悻悻的離去
    害我們從此以後晚上都要開燈才敢睡覺

    熊不來
    還會有鹿啊老鼠啊光臨
    不然總還有飛蛾吧

    熱鬧的ㄌㄟ
    一點都不寂靜

  3. 3 武龍 2008/9/30 at 5:48 下午


    一陣子沒來
    一次看三篇真是過癮
    祝瑞紅姐工作順利喔

  4. 4 little-pig-bone-bee/Catch-22 2008/10/9 at 7:50 上午

    得石 排長

    長/培養了壹顆石頭(4mm)…;
    這讓我憶起 那位 叫 得石 的 排長 來…
    遇到 得石, 是 在 國小一年級 快結束的時候, 因打架的關係, 不得不 被迫 轉學到另一小學. 第一天上課的第一堂課, 就是 考試, 加減乘除 全上了. 這下子傻眼了, 不要說 乘除 根本沒學過, 就是 加減 也是 蠻陌生的^^

    正杵在那兒時, 耳邊忽然飄來一句溫馨 同情的問候: 「很難厚?!」
    轉頭一看, (真衰◎ 又是一個婦女界的寵兒/小帥哥). 他見我在看他, 忽然 冒出一句無里頭的話來,

    「你知道我是誰嗎?」

    (真是欠扁 我管你是誰) 見我一副茫然狀, 不識得他這一號人物; 祇好 自報萬兒,

    「我是 排長!」

    (真衰◎ 還真不是普通欠扁的小白痴;p)
    後來得知, 他的名字叫 「得石」; 是隔壁排的 “排長".

    -Wish all of you have a great long weekend!

  5. 5 CHL 2008/10/10 at 7:25 下午

    [1/3]

    Ms. Hsia says
    “這個夏天很巧,遇見三個名裡有「蓮」字的女子。……
    第一個遇見的是李寶蓮,……"

    bp says in Response 1:
    “有閒可以去梨山阿寶的家-寶蓮園坐坐."

    (1)
    The several figures mentioned in Ms. Hsia’ article
    are truly respectable.
    Sometimes one has only to live one’s own life
    as fully as possible and
    that is enough to inspire people without words.
    (桃李不言,下自成蹊.)

    The brief words of Ms. Hsia on the first character,
    Ms. 李寶蓮, reminds me also of an exotic mathematician,
    Alexander Grothendieck (80 years old this year).
    He built up the modern language
    (“schemes", “coherent sheaves", and implicitly
    “stacks" as well)
    of (commutative) algebraic geometry
    almost single-handedly in the whole 1960s and
    part of 1970s.
    He had a dream of building a math-skyscraper.
    Yet after spending more than a decade, he found
    that he had just barely finished the basement.
    Facing such a hopeless task within his life-span,
    he completely abandoned mathematics and chose to be
    a shepherd(!!!) on a mountain somewhere in France.
    I never know why he made such an unusual twist.
    Yet occasionally, I would like to imagine that
    such a down-to-earth way of living makes him
    closer to God and is his another way of continuing
    his work of creation.

    While particle physicists at the frontier
    are attempting to read God’s creation/mind
    through mathematics and experiments in labs,
    after quickly browsing through the website of
    Ms. 李寶蓮 bp in Response 1 kindly provides,
    I wonder whether Ms. 李寶蓮 is indeed even closer
    to God’s creation/mind.

    With my special respect/salute to her.

    =================================
    REMARK: This is 1/3 of a full response.
    Somehow the platform wordpress.com
    does not seem to take a response over 200 lines.
    I thus try dividing it into three sensible groups
    so that each one is not too far from 100 lines.
    Apology to Ms. Hsia and the readers.
    — Sincerely, CHL.

  6. 6 CHL 2008/10/10 at 7:35 下午

    [2/3]

    小徒弟 said (2008.9.16) in Response 4 to the article
    牽蜘蛛絲的部落格 (2008.9.15):
    “別忘了下個月10月12日是直報週年慶,……"

    (2)
    This article is likely to mark the end of the third year
    of this blog.

    This year we observe that this blog is a little bit bumpy.
    A few issues raised either directly from Ms. Hsia’s article
    or readers’ responses to it triggers heated debates,
    making part of this usually warm blog a bit war-zone-like.

    I am not feeling negative about such debates at all.
    After all, the community of readers of a blog
    is like a miniature of a society:
    there are definitely variations/diversities.
    But we are all attracted to this blog,
    this should indicates that, no matter what,
    we shall still have some common ground.
    All these major figures involved in the debate
    have some characters I have respected.
    Their points,
    though not completely agreeable when put together,
    are all well-based on partial truths and
    their own observations or experiences.
    Once a point is made based on one’s own experience,
    no one else can really deny its (at least partial)
    truth/reality.
    For such issues, the difficulty is that we do not
    (and will likely never) know what a complete/perfect
    truth should be. (Too involved!)

    (Readers old enough may recall the two(?) great debates
    of two major Chinese economists, Chiang versus Wang,
    on the economic policies/directions of Taiwan
    around the year 1981.)

    Furthermore, besides these ecology, economics,
    resource/energy, food, and population issues
    inherited from the previous century,
    this century we are facing several new issues ahead
    due to the advancement of bio-physics, bio-chemistry,
    and bio-engineering.
    For the very first time in history we are facing
    the very question:
    What /defines/is/makes a human?
    Is bio-enhancement
    (cf. the “cyborgs" in the Star Trek TV series)
    to a natural human moral/ethical thing to do?
    What about cloning?
    (cf. the ethical issue behind the movie: The island.)
    These science-fiction-like themes are becoming
    more and more real.

    None of these can be easily answered and
    such technologies may even turn out necessary
    for humans to endure/survive the coarse/harsh environment
    for a long-range space travel and
    building a human colony elsewhere.
    But, will we do it? Who sets the rule?
    Are we leading to a progress of human civilization
    or an extinction/termination of it?
    (cf. The ethical issue behind the movie series:
    The terminator.)

    Understanding these, I cannot help
    but feeling both respectable and sympathetic
    to those sitting on a spot to make crucial decisions
    for human/society issues
    — particularly when they are asked to give
    an immediate effective answer to the issues
    (as, of course, there is no such answer!)
    We can only keep on our try-and-error cautiously
    and hope that
    we are not too mis-led and
    nor do we yield to human weakness.
    And, if we have to learn a lesson the hard way,
    hope that the damage we make is minimal and recoverable,
    and that those who are sacrificed through such mistakes
    are remembered and we don’t make the same mistake again
    (e.g. the two world wars).

  7. 7 CHL 2008/10/10 at 7:47 下午

    [3/3]

    (3)
    Actually, ignoring the abusive part due to humans’ own
    weakness, natural science and religion may not be that
    different/far away from each other at all.

    There are always things in both side that we have to
    take as a most fundamental principle and stop asking
    what is prior to that principle, if anything, at all,
    due to the limitation of our own reasoning/ability.
    Such a choice of a base-point to begin with is necessary
    so that we can start to do real work,
    instead of just keep questioning/suspecting endlessly.
    Furthermore, there are always beautiful results
    at the frontier of natural sciences
    that somehow always work,
    but essentially we do not know why they have to work
    at the fundamental ground
    and, hence, cannot help but looking at them
    with a sense of religious awe/humbleness/amazement.

    Accepting such similarity of the two
    (of course, readers who do not agree DON’T HAVE TO)
    enables one to pursue natural sciences even more
    solidly and cautiously, yet with a humbler mind.

    Social sciences (including economics) involve fuzzier
    logic/reasoning and empirical laws than natural sciences.
    One has better to look at them with an even humbler mind
    and to proceed with a cautious manner.

    (4)
    I came to this blog first as a quiet reader
    through the recalling of Ms. Hsia’s childhood
    in her other blog Xletter in China Times website
    that is so touching and provoked lots of my own memories.
    Her words speak and, later, her last article in that series
    somehow drove me to sum up enough courage to respond
    to her in this generally quieter blog she hostesses.

    I do not have a precise simple word to describe
    what this blog has meant to me.
    Despite being often merely a quiet reader
    — due partly to my default preference to stay quiet,
    partly to the necessary intensive focus on projects
    that keep me constantly extremely busy,
    and partly, of course, to my own ignorance —
    and
    while understanding that
    there are rarely things that can be eternal,
    one thing I am certain:
    should this blog be closed/terminated someday,
    I would definitely miss it a lot
    partly because of the beautiful wordings
    in both the main articles of Ms. Hsia and
    readers’ hearty responses to them,
    but more because I would then lose a mirror of life
    and a constant source of inspirations
    from Ms. Hsia and responding readers’ words
    that are based on their true life experience
    and are very worth pondering.
    They provoke thoughts while constantly reminding me
    of my own weakness and dark side.

    Blessings to this blog;
    with my best thanks to Ms. Hsia and her readers.

    Thanks to 皮卡丘 , who once helped set up this blog.
    Special blessings to
    (from responses in this blog I happened to run into in the past
    and are still, hopefully correctly, in my memory)
    JC’s younger sister,
    the father and his troubled boy,
    the kid of a friend of Ms. Hsia whose eyesight is deteriorating,
    the recent 怡芬,
    as well as whoever came to this blog to seek courage/
    inspiration/momentum for their troubled life/soul/mind.

    — Sincerely, CHL, 2008/10/09; midnight
    a mild reflection during a break between projects
    on the occasion of the approaching of a special day
    of this blog, reminded to us by 小徒弟.

  8. 8 瑞紅 2008/10/12 at 10:14 下午

    CHL君
    您用心的留言
    於我是寶貴的贈禮

    感謝

  9. 9 九印一章 2008/10/14 at 1:30 下午

    If one has nothing better to say, one should simply listen and keep silent.
    But, I am more fortunate than that, because I can quote CHL’s warm, wise, and wonderful words as follow.

    “[S]hould this blog be closed/terminated someday,
    I would definitely miss it a lot
    partly because of the beautiful wordings
    in both the main articles of Ms. Hsia and
    readers’ hearty responses to them,
    but more because I would then lose a mirror of life
    and a constant source of inspirations
    from Ms. Hsia and responding readers’ words
    that are based on their true life experience
    and are very worth pondering.
    They provoke thoughts while constantly reminding me
    of my own weakness and dark side."

  10. 10 persprospectives 2008/10/15 at 12:46 下午

    to CHL,夏主編 and 九印一章 etc.,

    you guys are all sincere,considerate and thoughtful. what a wonderful blog this is. and the hostess.

    very best wishes to all of you.

    hope Ms. Hsia keep her cool and enjoy her work. keep it up, madam!

  11. 11 遇見自己 2008/10/23 at 9:47 上午

    每月的最後一個週六,日
    高雄古嚴寺有舉辦二日禪
    瑞紅有想來參加嗎

  12. 12 遇見自己--分享 2008/10/23 at 9:54 上午

    關內飛絮—美慧

      來古嚴寺閉關,前後共有三次,長者為期4個多月,短者十幾天。每次閉關,隨著關期的長短,人世際遇的變遷與對佛法知見體悟的深淺,皆有許多不同的感受與收穫。雖然每次閉關靜修的主題、目標與體悟的層次各異,但在各個階段所處的人生旅途中,都是一個十分寶貴的轉捩點,無形中牽引了我下一段旅程行向的航路指標。關房內的所思所得,對我的思想體系的建立與人世真理的探究,乃至於自我心性的認識種種,實有莫大的助益。

      閉關之於我,最重大的獲益倒不在佛法教理的鑽研或學理思想的探索上。而是在一個與外世隔絕的密閉空間裡,靜下心來反觀自照,把自己的本來面貌,心性明暗,思念起伏看得清楚明白。這一迴光返照,方知相處了大半輩子,對自身的了解原來如此的粗糙陌生,這兩隻看遍大千世界五光十色的眼睛,原來如此疏於回過頭來,反觀自己,看自己起心動念如何在一天24小時裡,一刻也不曾止息地在貪愛、瞋怨、愚痴的無明習氣裡,奔竄跳躍……更糟糕的是自己竟毫無所知,猶如自家中養著一隻隨時嘰吱亂叫、四處碰跳騷亂的猴子,而主人卻兀自昏睡一旁絲毫不覺!

      覺知與觀照,覺知當下一剎身行何事、心處何方,從行住坐臥,語默動靜中觀照紛飛起落的思緒,這一覺一觀便是兩道穿破無明烏雲的亮光,引導我們走回清淨明澈的自性老家!

    http://www.guyan.org.tw/main1.htm

  13. 13 瑞紅 2008/10/28 at 10:13 下午

    遇見自己 君
    感謝分享


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