山飄佇虛無，海泅佇波浪，帶著飄飄浮浮的心蹛入去離機場無偌遠的瑞迪森大飯店（Radisson President Hotel）。外觀的圓形象徵圓滿，好親像箍著蒼穹所有的祝福。中埕雙魚耍水鯉躍龍門的後壁，吐出日月光華回應另外一个空杯，一吐一收的循環創造「統一加拿大集團」多樣化的經營。李總裁佇台灣鹽水大漢，大學畢業了後來到加拿大創造奇蹟，也成就台灣人的榮輝。儒者氣質的伊，事業做大四界走傱，拄位多倫多轉來溫哥華，熱情歡迎仝款是仙「飯店」事業的我的後生。伊一知影我的遭遇，隨提我的經歷佮冊起來讀，然後氣怫怫(phut-phut)講：
日頭拄仔佇伊的出現來上升，希望就按呢添滿我的空杯仔。加拿大的好風好水吸引我勇敢向前，假使講我佮這塊土地是一个大機緣，按呢佮李總裁相遇就是一个大奇蹟。三個月後我提著加拿大永久居留資格（Permanent Resident of Canada）。這世人行來親像集中佇這一刻的出現。生活本底就無簡單，就共生命投資佇美好的代誌吧！
離散的猶太人（Diaspora）延長做漂流文學（Writing Diasporas），是近年來學術界討論的議題。全世界各地攏有因為國籍變換，造成身份認知的困擾。藝術的本質往往對現有的體制不滿，深度靈視抵抗的心路敢是一種漂流？人類生存的原動力等待果陀，精神佮肉體同時咧等待，佇漂流中等待果陀。卡夫卡（Franz Kafka）廿世紀知名作家德籍猶太人，伊的作品上會當代表漂流心聲。「變形記」講著人若一旦失去趁錢的才調，就失去生存的條件，就算親生父母也連鞭變成生份人，這暗藏對資本社會的一種抵抗；「城堡」內象徵一个虛幻的混亂世界，佮掠袂著的現實，人的心一直漂流搖搖擺擺，其實漂流文學存在佇古早佮現在。台灣鍾理和的「原鄉人」和吳濁流的「亞細亞孤兒」也是漂流的具體呈現。伊無法度成做日本人，嘛被排除佇中國之外，伊到底是佗位的人？台灣族群佮國家認同產生強烈的衝突。
有一年秋末阮去亞當河（Adams River）觀賞紅鮭（Sockeye Salmon）四年一擺的生死祭典。「重生」原來會當按呢壯烈無悔。楓仔葉佇深秋變色，紅鮭魚守護卵群的新生，等待家己的死亡。水底分解生佮死，魚的屍體滿四界滋養孵化的魚栽，舊死佇新生中融和。起站也是尾站，尾站也是起站，黃昏的暮色親像黎明的早光。
恬靜的暗暝親像投入母親的胸坎，鬧熱的日時若像囡仔時的活潑，我漸漸習慣應用每一个時節，暗暗仔感覺未來會比現在較好，嘛堅持一貫的理念：「You can do whatever you want to do if you really want to do it.（你會使做任何你想欲做的代誌，只要你真心想欲做）」。我参入大地每一片的楓仔葉，快樂走跳佇寬闊綿長的大地。我的新厝就佇中央公園（Central Park）邊仔，廿一樓的視野，人間是會當遮爾適舒感應地球每分每秒的律動。空氣、日頭、日出、落山、雪景、湖光、山霧、月娘⋯⋯就佇門跤口，親像隨時伸手就掠會著。早期厝裡的人猶末來，後生的朋友Robert寫批予佇台灣貓貓看的親人：「你媽此刻在現實的天堂裡，自立性強，英文也進步神速，請勿念！」以早被English Bay風水牽引來橫渡太平洋，來到每一个季節攏使人驚喜佮愛戀的北美國度。溫哥華秋色這世人第一擺接觸，我真真實實踅佇燦黃橙紅墨綠的每一幅畫中。一季的詩情才會當孵成的楓紅，有四季畫作內底上艷麗的光輝，伊用開放筆觸描寫大自然的祕密佮情景。台灣詩人錦連的詩〈邂逅〉仝時佮我的閒雲野鶴相互輝映：這款風景確實真面熟，位我相著Patterson這个新厝的時陣，絕對者所主宰的這偉大的永久，彼種出現的相遇瞬間，雄雄引起不可思議的前世記憶，行佇雨絲仔佮繽紛落葉織成的網裡，奚幽微熟似的情境，親像前世佮今生的相會，神明的意志所建立的這種敬畏的平和，這時陣若無用全心靈去讚頌，是欲等甲底時咧？
The End as Well as the Beginning by Lee Hsiu
The movement of life comes to rest in its own music. In my case, in my youth, not only did I take a long walk through musical forests as I played the piano, joined a chorus, etc, but I also braved all the hardships in the vast writing sea for a third of a century. Thus a series of dawns, dewdrops, currents of water, pink clouds, bright days and dark nights infused my free time as I rested from business and household duties.
Now as I age, I want to carry into my world something that flourishes rather than fades away. Thus I attempted as a writer to immigrate to the maple kingdom of Canada, one of the most suitable places for living on earth as I began my retirement.
Creative writing results in a series of lifelong struggles. In other words, let’s face it, writing is loneliness, writing is hell. In fact, writing demands the excavation of something from nothing, but also the build up from bare feelings to expressing a good knowledge of esthetics. Unfortunately this kind of work often does not to support one’s family in Taiwan unless you are the author of best-selling books.
I was so shocked when the Canadian immigration officer asked me a question.
“You are a writer. Does your work support yourself and your family?”
“I have a pension from the Telecommunication Company in Taiwan....” The officer interrupted me. She didn’t want to listen to another topic other than my writing, because I applied as a writer to immigrate to this beautiful country.
“Even though I affirm your music and writing achievement in Taiwan, I wonder whether you can depend on writing in the Canadian English world to support yourself and your family.” She kept glancing at my husband at the same time as he unfolded a box full of my varied medals and my eight books to show her my accomplishments.
“I will,” I firmly responded to her question, because my son at all times instills the idea of keeping intention in my mind as I display it.
“How can you prove it?”
“Not only can I ask for any publisher to cooperate with me, I can also teach the piano and improve the community culture.”
“How many Canadian publishers will cooperate with you?”
Seeing no powerful proof, she was ready to reject my application for immigration.
The purpose of my immigration was to pursue a great future. However, when I almost reached that fantastic peak, suddenly a chilly wind prevented me from continuing on my way. But, although I was physically frozen, my spirit moved forward with courage. At this moment, I seemed to hear a strong voice from the past telling me, “Once a Russian musician succeeded in an immigration interview just through his confidence and hope.”
Yes. I couldn’t be argued down from seeking my hopeful way. In fact, I never give up once I diligently track down a goal. Therefore, I sincerely asked her, “Could you please give me an opportunity to negotiate a contract with a Canadian publisher?”
She pondered my request for a couple of minutes, and then she said, “All right, I’ll give you one month to do it.” I was treading with heavy feet but cherishing hope as I left the interview office.
After the interview, the interpreter pessimistically thought that the officer had required something very difficult of me, because I wouldn’t be able to find any publisher to publish my work in only one month in an unfamiliar foreign country. After that we went to Vancouver to look for help.
That night there was a stir among the maple leaves a swell in the sea. Under an unknown sky in my unsettled mood, I checked into the Radisson President Hotel near Vancouver Airport. The hotel owner, Jack Lee, had grown up in Taiwan. Finishing his undergraduate degree, he immigrated to Canada, and then created the business “President Canada Group.” He not only accomplished a miracle in Canada, but also achieved a lot on behalf of all Taiwanese people. Hearing about the process of my interview, he was filled with righteous indignation.
“How could Canada reject you? You who are such an outstanding Taiwanese? Don’t worry! Let me help you.” He said.
Jack Lee brought sunshine into my immigration to Canada. His support was hope in its fullness like a cup of fine wine.
Canada is such a wonderful country that I desired to move there. What can I say about the twin miracles of first finding this beautiful land and then meeting Jack Lee? After three months, I got Permanent Resident status in Canada. My life seemed to be nothing but waiting for the arrival of this moment when I could become a Canadian. Although life at this time was often hard and uneasy, I still enjoyed the delights of life in my dream country. I was full of the joys of spring.
However, the beginning of my new life is a struggle between the extensive old time in Taiwan and going into new challenges in Canada. Indeed, there is an irreconcilable conflict between daily pursuits and life-long pursuits. Entering a different culture with new values, new expectations and new – or at least different – communication styles can certainly create conflict and confusion. This is the so-called “culture shock”. Learning how to survive in a new culture is a big job for me.
First of all, I had a bad setback in Longheed Mall Goldleaf Flower Shop. I am a flower addict. When I saw the flower it was like the meeting of fish and water. I was deeply smelling a lovely flower arrangement and lightly touching it in this flower shop. Suddenly, the flower plate broke to pieces when it fell on the floor and my feet. I was shocked and suffered pain in my feet. At this moment, I hear a sound from the shop owner; in a Guangdon accent, she said, “You must pay the price to compensate for the damage.” It seemed that she only cared about the money rather than her customer’s injuries. In order to melt her knitting brows, I quickly paid the bill. I kept quiet and swallowed the insults. I looked like a criminal fleeing the flower shop.
However, later I couldn’t stop thinking about the incident. There was something unfair about it to me. First, since I paid for it, that potted flower was supposed to belong to me. Secondly, they also had some responsibility to customers for careless placement of their flowers. Therefore, I went back to argue with the shop owner. Unfortunately, not only did I not get the justice I asked for, but they called the police who treated me like a prisoner they had the right to interrogate. What kind of world is this? I heard the rustle of things behind my sadness of heart. I held back my tears as much as I could. Even though glorious scenery surrounded my eyes, I looked into the distance at a mountain as I longed for my dear homeland across the Pacific Ocean.
I was a newcomer in this country. In fact, newcomers frequently experience difficulties becoming integrated into their community and fitting in. Everything feels unsettled. For instance, in the past, I was both a supervisor in an office and a literature tutor at school. I used to be responsible for a myriad of co-workers and students. Now, all that had changed. I was no longer in a position where I make decisions about my job and school. Moreover, I was worried about my parents, who rest in Heaven, and what they thought about my immigration to a new country.
Cheerless was the day, the light under frowning clouds was like a punished child with traces of tears on its pale cheeks, and the cry of the wind was like the cry of a wounded world, even though I knew I was living in my favorite country. Where is all my energy going? Is this the first step of the “Diaspora?” In fact, due to immigration, many people in the world are confused about their conflict between their identification with their new country and their old nationality.
Let’s look at “Diaspora”. To begin with, the term “Diaspora” is used to refer to any people or ethnic population forced or induced to leave their traditional ethnic homelands and be dispersed throughout other parts of the world, with the ensuing problematic developments in their dispersal and culture.
Indeed, the artistic essence is the process of resistance to the discontent with the existing system. In my opinion, it is one kind of Diaspora. For example, Franz Kafka, was a well-known Jewish-German writer in the twentieth century. Some of his work presents a kind of Diaspora. His famous work Die Verwandlung explains when a person loses the ability to make money, as well as losing the ability to survive, even his dear parents also look at him like a stranger. Kafka’s words had a hidden meaning that was one kind of resistance to capitalist society.
Actually, Diaspora’s literature exists in all times and all countries. For instance, Wu Cho-Liu, was a Taiwanese writer, in whose work The Orphan of Asia Diaspora was specifically present. Taiwan was neither Japanese nor Chinese. Which one was its nationality? For this reason, Taiwanese ethnic groups and national approval conflict with each other.
Because of the current dispersal of ethnic populations throughout the world, writing about “Diaspora” is a subject of great interest to the academic world. With the main topic of “writing Diaspora”, the year 2002 conference of Overseas Chinese Women Writer’s Association took place in Vancouver Radisson President Hotel where I was luckily staying when I entered Canada. The Hotel owner Jack Lee, not only courteously welcomed the literary group from diversified faraway countries but also he specifically wanted the others to look after me, a struggling homesick newcomer.
It is true, not only do I have a loving friendship; I have a curious mood that never stops pursuing my studies, such as studying English, creative writing, learning new things etc. Gradually, I was settling down between my old time passing in Taiwan and my new time coming to Canada. Likewise, because the Jews were extremely persecuted by Nazis, they positively established a nation. Thus there is a saying from Hannah Arendt, who was a Judean philosopher, “As well as becoming world citizens, the Jews can also stay loyal to their home country. There is no conflict between them.” Indeed, a great diversity of views gives rise to a well-done article about art; thus the so-called “Diaspora” doesn’t matter.
Being cut off from one’s own familiar land and being faced with a new culture is like being up a creek without a paddle. However, it can be a blessing in disguise. In spite of many frustrations, living in a new culture can help one better understand oneself, which leads to a better understanding of others. In this way, after immigrants really overcome their difficulties, they can learn to enjoy and to appreciate the diversity of people. Each one was born a child; one’s power is the power of growth. The point is making a fresh beginning; then the person has a new life. Having a new life, then the person has a new beginning.
When autumn was coming, we went to Adams River to see the sockeye salmon’s ceremony of both birth and death once every four years. What a heroically magnificent sight rebirth is! Look! Maple leaves splendidly change color in the late autumn; the aged salmon heroically protect their groups of eggs until their babies births and then they wait for death; the river bed decomposition lives with death; the aging corpses nourish the juvenile fish; the old life melts into the new life. Yes, the dusk of the evening looks like the dawn of the morning. Likewise, the beginning is the end. The end also is the beginning.
Blessedly, I gradually adapted to every season in my new country. I also now believe my future will be much better than before. I have a motto, “I can do whatever I want to do, if I really want to do it.”
There are tracts in my life that are curious and quiet. They are the open spaces where my creative days have both light and air. My new home is set near Central Park in Burnaby. The high-rise building provides a series of wonderful sights from my window, such as sunrise, sunset, snow, lake light, moonlight…I seem to be able to grasp all of the moments on the earth. Moreover, buying this new home on Patterson, I felt like I was going back to meet my former days of life; walking in the fine rain, I seemed to be going to a very familiar environment. It’s as if a déjà vu of my previous life and my new life are meeting.
Now I am satisfied that my dream has come true, and enjoys each moment as a new being. However, one night when I was sleeping, the telephone suddenly rang. I picked up the receiver. My five-year-old grandson called me from Taiwan. He babbled, “Grandma! Where are you? ”
“My dear, how are you?” I threw off the blanket and sat up straight
“I am missing you.” I could hear my daughter in the background encouraging his message.
Outside the window it is the beginning of dawn rising. In another hemisphere Taiwan begins the night. Am I leaving behind some precious parts of my life in Taiwan or abandoning a previous life with unfinished duties in Canada? Running water is always inexhaustible. In life, which side is the beginning or the end?
二、 2006英譯 “The End as Well as the Beginning” 選入“The Vancouver Sun 2008” 世界各國移民至加拿大故事集。
三、 2010 改寫台文「尾站嘛是起站」。