台文戰線聯盟

欲去叨位走揣失落的情歌 Where I Can Find My Lost Love

阿爸! 汝愛等我, 汝干單活到一百零六歲,彼時我嘛七十歲了。
Father! you should wait for me. Because you are going to live to be one hundred

and six years old, and at that time I will be seventy years old.


得著第16屆府城文學獎台語散文佳作作品:

台英雙語散文


眾星相轉踅,日月交替照明,風雨輪迴施化,致使宇宙一切欣欣向榮,天地是萬物的主宰;我嘛是佮萬物透濫佇天地之間,是父母予我充滿天地之氣,是父母成養我的心性,予我大漢成人,當然父母是我的主宰。
宇宙萬物循環,有禍有福。日頭遇著雨水,所激出來的七彩長虹,是萬物幸福的歌聲;假使雷電交擊,破壞人類、畜獸,按呢就是萬物的禍害矣!
我,一个遮爾渺小的我,難免佇禍害佮幸福起起落落,會當永遠圍佇父母身軀邊,每工哼唱親恩的情歌,這是我的幸福。不而過二十幾冬前,母親予我失去一半的幸福,如今父親閣帶走我另外一半的幸福。
古早時陣有一个孝女,伊老父是炎帝,過海的時予水淹死。可憐的孝女暝日吼袂煞,一心欲佮海結冤仇,毋過目屎流盡血嘛焦,身軀死了後化做鳥仔,名叫做精衛,嘴含西山木石,拼勢欲佮海填予平,通好為父親報仇。但是呀!海抑未填成,氣力已經盡磅矣,終其尾煞抱恨含冤,哀啼長逝。
我捌按呢流目屎將這个故事講予汝聽,阿爸!彼當時汝苦笑對我講:「已經做人的老母,閣敢若細漢囡仔仝款,汝真正飼袂大漢。」
「啥物攏無需要解釋,干單汝愛會記得等我就對矣,」我是認真咧講我的心聲。
「天下間那有這款代誌,」汝一爿食薰,一爿憂頭結面咧想代誌,這是汝若遇著困難的時陣慣勢的動作。
「汝干單活到一百零六歲,彼時我嘛七十歲,會使佮汝做夥轉去揣阿母矣。」 我嚨喉莦(sau)聲(想到生死問題,就愛哭),並且強扭汝的手指頭拍勾仔表示一種願力,這个時陣汝才斟酌看我這個悲劇成性的愛女,大大吐一口氣。汝恬恬無話,敢是就代表咱有約束矣?阿爸!汝袂使無守信用,假若二十幾冬前,汝捌答應我欲佇阿母的大厝邊仔起一間低厝仔予我蹛,無者我嘛袂赫簡單著隨恁落山,放阿母家已一人蹛佇山頂。彼款悲苦的情景,汝應該袂赫緊就放袂記得!
汝閣佮朋友表示過,汝必須堅強活落去,無者這个永遠飼袂大漢的查某囝,予人真袂放心。知女莫若父,爸!按呢就對矣,汝是前世人欠我的債,汝必須予查某囝佇有生之年,會當位老父的身上討著親情甘露。阿爸!汝就認命吧!何況古聖先賢嘛有遺訓:大孝,終生慕父母。講來女兒的要求並無過份。
隨著年歲的增加,見識愈曠闊,對世間的人情世故佮花開花謝的自然現象,有一點仔覺悟。毋過看向奚(he)搖搖擺擺的樹林,雖然了解萬物的無常,但是猶原無法度接受彼款割人心肝的暴風雨!樹欲靜但是風無欲停,這是怎樣的一款心情?敢講「情」是一葩野火,專門燒斷「愛者」的心弦?
發現彼款學習體認的結果,終其尾是理智,這份有囝兒序細的掛念,猶原仝款割腸擘肚。目睭金金看汝漸漸衰弱的身軀,叫人愈驚惶死神來挵門。阮細漢時予汝疼惜的情景親像眠夢相像,毋過受父母疼惜的溫馨是永遠的透心刻骨,足想歲月會當倒頭紡,不而過敢有可能?
汝倒佇病床的期間,嘛時常唸著一句話﹕「人生在世,好比草木一春」,行到人生的尾站,汝是毋是嘛有感受著生命的無奈!
有時汝痛苦滾絞了後,會喁喁唸:「我會使轉去矣!」我嘛知影經文內有按呢的文字:「我已經爭戰好的爭戰!」但是,阿爸!汝愛會記得,汝閣欠我的!汝袂使喝走就按呢無聲無說就家已走去,汝毋是講欲等我!
有幾若遍攏赫拄好,我知影汝實在已經盡最大的氣力矣。兄哥講見若我出遠門,汝就出狀況。這款父女連心,叫人對天命增加無限的憂愁。照理說,您病重,查某囝無應該去遠路才對。但是會記得汝的教示,我若共份內的代誌做好,就是有孝,所以我猶原去辦我的代誌。
第一遍是綴汝的外查某孫去臺北考術科。往北的自強號車頂,雄雄聽著廣播講李秀的厝內有急事,叫我愛趕緊轉去。飛馳的列車,雄雄受到意外的脫輪,瞬間天昏地暗。
事後聽兄哥in講,彼時一大陣後生、新婦、孫仔攏守佇汝的身軀邊,一切出山的代誌攏款好勢,壽衣(一個月前四嫂就為汝準備好,我差一點受氣欲罵伊破格)嘛穿好矣。唯一獨獨欠一个汝的不孝女,自按呢汝袂放心,閣再慢慢仔、淡薄仔喘氣起來。
佇我家己的解釋是阿爸生命力足強,三年前的重大車禍,終其尾攏會真四序,這遍破病應該是無啥要緊。那會知有生死離別的時刻,我絕對袂隨便一遍閣一遍離開阿爸去辦家已的小代誌,減少守佇身邊侍候的機會,造成後日仔的遺憾。
第二遍嘛是去臺北,綴汝的外孫欲考光仁學校的音樂班。聽講這遍較嚴重,醫生已經宣告阿爸無生命的現象,逐家看汝愈行越遠,吼到淒慘落魄大聲對汝喝:「阿公!您袂使走,阿姑猶抑未轉來!」等送入去加護病房,已經折磨兩、三點鐘,有歲壽(八十三歲)的汝,氣接袂離赫爾久,但是我堅強的老父,竟然心跳閣漸漸恢復起來。雖然汝的意識,無法度完全清醒,但是等我趕轉來,汝清清楚楚呼叫我的正名:「李秀!」 閣伸出焦瘦的手,曾經為全家抵擋風雨的手,想欲掠著啥物。日光燈!白損損直射過來。目屎!親像矇矇矓矓映出一齣電影的情節,佇彼个斷木的山路頂面,彼个父親的半爿面流著血,卻用另外一爿清氣的面貼著攬抱中的查某囝,失散真久的父女團圓,終其尾團圓矣。彼隻命運的狼徛佇斷崖頂俯看人世閒。捌拆人心腹的劇本,現此時絞纏印入佇我家己的身軀頂。
「好了,現在不是探病時間,請你們趕快出去。」如幻的狼,變成冰冷的南丁格爾。我欲向高雄民生醫院請願!加護病房的護士是毋是會當佇藥物之外加敆(kap)一帖人情味?
第三遍是輪到我家己的考試。考試了後,我順續到西港神通的所在請求一寡秘方來幫助我親愛的老父。但是地球抑未轉到四分之一的時間,前暗所求的一線生機,透早就傳出使人捶心肝的歹消息,好親像欲硬掩人的頭面,然後強迫人去看清生死之間的濛霧界線,昏沉到親像夆拍無討的,叫人欲按怎會當了解,如何承受雄雄日蝕月烏的暈暗?
彼款頓肝斷腸的時刻,正是「韋恩」凌遲澎湖的風颱期,奇奇怪怪彎彎曲曲位西南方正正正,罕見的意外直直鑿入澎湖的心臟。一座充滿父女情愫的島嶼,咱每冬一定愛轉去探望一遍的故鄉,等袂到天光,就全然破碎,全然崩去矣!
天命雖無常,冥冥之中閣有定數。汝軟弱無心氣的身軀,那會堪得彼場狂虐風雨,撲殺佇參汝血肉相連的島嶼頂。汝嘛等待查某囝辦好代誌了後,停止最後搏鬥的莊嚴氣息。留落來規遍蒼茫星散的海面。只是日後呀,阿爸!湧絞船漂何處會當予我避免危險,日蝕星沉的歧路啥人會當來點我的光?
涼月、孤星、冷風、寒露,守佇靈前的漫漫長夜。棺木前,青煙絲絲,節哀順變的安慰,欲按怎化解咱年久月深的恩情綿綿?
佇淒迷的大地,四位兄哥手牽手捧著汝的神位,俯頭跪哭佇汝的墓前。道士手提淨鈴,噹噹音響,響出棣萼對樁萱永恆的孝思。
父親在天之靈,看著這个景緻應該通好安慰矣,悠然手揭仙拐,遨遊天外四海。翠竹秋蟬親像透露西方悠然的消息。不而過人間的凡俗,卻是點滴佇查某囝的心肝頭!
凡俗的世間是久病無孝子;款待老大人的責任,會當予手足之情,變成水火不容。好佳哉財產的問題汝老早就安搭好勢,袂予in有任何紛爭。但是慈悲為懷的汝,到晚景破病,嘛是難逃俗情。
彼年,差不多位秋天開始的代誌吧!
汝佇三兄的厝裡蹛將近二十幾冬,一直到有一年,汝的腦智慢慢惡化,惡化到三嫂逐擺見著我就講:「恁老父,我已經盡力矣。」我了解伊的心情,兄弟四人,為啥物攏愛三兄一家口仔咧擔。三兄嘛捌講過「厝有一老,親像有一寶仝款」。有可能伊家己身體無界好勢,漸漸嘛出無啥力。
到春尾,汝開始踏入坎坷的晚年,離汝過身干單六個月爾爾。假使三兄若知影汝赫爾早就離開世間,伊是毋是赫堅決欲愛兄弟來分攤艱苦。阿我巴結的對象,嘛開始隨汝的形影轉踅,因為我無法度時常跟綴佇汝的身軀邊,需要靠兄嫂逐家的耐心加孝心 (二十幾冬前無親像現此時的臺灣有外勞通倩(tshiann3), 而且彼陣嘛毋知汝的病就是號做老人痴呆症)。
聽講汝欲走出彼間蹛慣勢的所在,就毋甘搐搐咧流目屎。我就知影,無才毋敢去接汝做夥出門,偷偷仔匿佇厝內大吼,汝的囝婿替我去處理這个困難的時刻。怎樣會堪彼个病重的身軀,閣愛面對彼種生離割人心腸的悲慘!
頭一站是二兄的所在,汝雖然頭神袂清楚,但是懷舊的意念真深,無時無刻就按呢做「我欲轉去」的動作,啥人攏無法度阻擋,二兄二嫂感覺真頭痛。其實,日時有倩專人照顧,暝時眾孫輪流看顧。但是汝人佇叨位,叨位濟少會受著干擾。這款勢面予我感受真深,阮細漢的時父母為阮包尿苴(tsu7),心甘情願;等侯父母需要阮為in包尿苴的時,就無像父母對阮的彼種心情矣,這款對待敢有公平?敢有天理?
每遍去探望汝,看著二兄目頭結結的形體,我的心肝開始五四三。四兄安慰我:「小妹!毋免煩惱,阿爸的代誌,我會好好安排。」但是兄弟間為著照顧病重的父親,卻發生袂少的摩擦佮冤家。
敢講生存是一項真悲哀無奈的大代誌?
汝的囝婿,驚阿爸汝有任何的差錯,拼命褒唆(無論精神上抑是物質上)照顧汝的人。講著伊,我有一種奇妙的想法,恁兩人前世人一定有過「親子緣」,所致這世人伊對汝的敬愛,並毋是親像世俗所講,想欲得著啥物好空的,伊確確實實是一種位內心發出來的自然現象,嘛按呢予我愈增加愛伊的心。
大兄,捌予汝怨慼的孽子,自頭到尾無想欲見的不孝囝,到尾仔,經過三分之一世紀的歲月,汝講汝足想欲見伊,是矣!伊佇汝上需要照顧的時陣,白髮蒼蒼,抱著見笑的心,俯頭來到汝的面前。可惜汝已經袂認得伊,不而過汝會佇戇眩戇眩的時,定定呼叫伊的小名,父子連心?這款的相遇,是美好?抑是悲哀?
醫生、護士、仝病房的患者,欣羨汝有一大堆囝孫的孝心,講汝真有福氣的人。爸!這是欲按怎講才好?有孝佮不孝,幸福參不幸,干單隔一線爾?抑是我傷過苛頭、傷過理想化?感覺兄弟仔無應該為著服侍老大人有任何意見才對。不幸的,咱厝裡竟然有這款代誌發生。
生命是啥物?位產房到太平間,干單幾步的距離而已,為啥物幾步路的人生,著愛行赫爾久、赫爾坎坷?生命好親像予每一个人家已講家已的話,講到悿阿,逐家攏走去歇睏,世界一切假若恬寂寂矣,但是一睏頭閣再聽著一陣紅嬰仔的吼聲,然後閣再重複每一个人家已講家已的話 …
人的生命親像後湧搡前湧,起落之間干單是海湧佮泡花爾爾。但是大海敢會記得伊的表面有偌濟起起落落的海湧佮泡花?看著兄哥、兄嫂逐家赫爾謹慎咧辦汝的後事,雖然「祭而豐,不如養之薄」。但是親像汝捌講過,人非聖賢,孰能無過?利用這款想法來減輕痛苦,嘛是無歹,嘛才袂因為汝的過身,予我艱苦著兄妹的感情,受著某種的誤解來消失去。
兄弟逐家為著慎終追遠,同時為著完成汝的心願,阮將阿公、阿媽、阿母,位覆鼎金徙來深水,予恁會當閣鬥陣做夥,享受天倫之樂。
倚山疊塚的深水後面,就是敬老院。位深水行到仁愛之家的路程中,山區初夜的烏沉佮飛行奔走的車陣,親像欲共生佮死的距離,纏閣較密仝款。一班一班的客運,載滿一个一个明暗袂清的面容,逐个各有所思走傱佇世間的道路,佇in趕緊緊的過程中,思維浮沉的是掛慮著生佇世間的種種問題,真少人想著有關死亡的問題吧!
不而過彼種微弱的生存參滿山的死亡,是遮爾貼近,分袂清界線的存在佇驛站的後面。敬老院內的二樓亭臺頂,幾位老人坐散散,一葩昏黃的燈火,無力咧吸引著成群漫飛的蠓蟲,卻是按怎嘛舞袂走沉悶崁罩的秋夜。
暗暝的蟋蟀聲,親像吼出in心內的淒涼。日時看著一批一批殯列來來去去,想著一座一座新墓造起,in的生存無依是何等孤單。爸!汝按呢遁入道山,一大陣的俊彥囝兒孫圍佇汝的墓前,參敬老院遐的孤單老人,是毋是感覺較欣慰!
但是人活咧,是一種實實在在的感覺,一種如歌的彩虹佇血脈內趒(tio5)跳的感覺。現此時汝的查某囝視力大大減退矣,身心悿到足欣羨彼一條一條扶入去火葬的聖靈,因為我意悟著按呢才有法度接近汝。無者今後我欲按怎揣著汝?佇澎湖?佇壽山?逐遍照汝以前所走的路線想看會當揣著汝無,但是汝的形影到底是佇叨位?
汝恬寂寂走矣,留落來傷痕滿四界的澎湖,留落來汝少年的時,捌佇外垵海邊抾過的獅螺仔殼予我;汝恬卒卒溜走,叫我欲按怎去撫摸獅螺仔殼的虛空?外垵的水天,仝款是以前鬱藍的色水,但是如今看起來,,爸!鬱藍甲予我忍不牢悲哀起來矣……

Where I Can Find My Lost Love

All things on earth cycle between disaster and happiness. One of the happy things in the world is when the sun shines bright and warm and then the plentiful rainwater smoothes the soil. However, one of them becomes disastrous in the world when the thunderstorm sudden flashes at you and attacks all night. As a result, this natural calamity in the universe rips at your soul and body.
And me, I feel so small. I have to deal with moving between the disaster and happiness that always surround my life. What gives me the most happiness? Of course, I wished my parents would have longevity so that I could hum my love forever to them. Love’s joy sings like the sunny quiet of the morning upon the lovely garden whose colorful flowers are finished. In fact, I adored my parents so much that I couldn’t stand losing them forever.
Unfortunately, twenty years ago my mother deprived me of half my happiness, because she suddenly ended her life. And now, my father has left me forever. Love’s pain sang around my life like a knife with many blades.
In ancient times, there was a devoted daughter. Her father was drowned in the ocean. Thus she not only cried endlessly day and night, but she also swore wholeheartedly that she would avenge her farher’s death in the ocean. Even though she died before the fulfillment of her aspiration, she became a bird and she continually carried rocks in her mouth to fill up the ocean to end its existence. Of course, she failed in her attempt at revenge because her tiny form couldn’t carry enough rocks to fill the huge ocean.
Once I tearfully told this daughter’s story to you, Father! At that time your forced smile was saying, “Although you are already both a wife and mother, you still never grew up.”
“So long as you wait for me, everything will be perfect.” I said seriously.
“Wait for you to do what?” You were worried.
“Of course, you should wait for me. Because you are going to live to be one hundred and six years old, and at that time I will be seventy years old.” Touching the issue of death, I started to sob.
“How on earth can it happen?!” You objected to my impossible demands.
“In that case, I consider living to this age is sufficient. I can go with you wherever you go even if it is a place of hell.” I not only rejected your objection, but I also hooked our fingers together to seal the deal with you.
At last, you were silent and gave a deep sigh, after you carefully observed your mournful daughter. In fact, your silence showed me that we had made a promise to each other.
Wasn’t it a deal Father? You couldn’t break your promise, like you broke your promise twenty years ago when you promised to build a hut for me to live beside my mother’s grave. Otherwise, I couldn’t easily follow you to come back home and let my mother live alone in a desolate mountain. That sorrowful scene is still distinct in my mind. You should not be able to forget.
You often talked to your friends about my unusual action. You were serious that you strongly needed to live, or else. It was true, knowing your daughter, Father, you knew that you owed a great deal to me. You had to let your daughter enjoy your long-lived love. You had no choice but to accept it. Moreover, a Taiwanese Saint also left us a lesson, “Adore your parents forever.”
As I grew older, even though I became more open-minded and I came to a better understanding of the variability of things in life, I still couldn’t stand any heavy wind and rain. For example, the tree wants to remain quiet, but the winds won’t stop; the child wants to give back the parental love and care she received, but the parents aren’t alive. What happens to this mood? Is love a wild fire that burns out the loving heartstrings?
When you were bedridden Father, you often said these words, “All flesh is grass that has either grown up or fallen down.” Coming to the end of your life, did you feel helpless?
After you struggled with painful sickness, sometimes you would mutter to yourself, “I have lived in this world enough, I could go.” But Father! Didn’t you remember promising to wait for me until we could go together? You shouldn’t go anywhere without me to accompany you.
However, there were several curious coincidences; I knew that you already did your personal best. For example, if I went somewhere far away from home, you would have trouble. Sadly, this kind-of-hearts-together father and daughter relationship created a cruel destiny of heartbreak.
In general, I didn’t go too far away from home when you were seriously ill. But I am reminded about your words that I should complete my own duty, which was my filial obligation. Therefore, many times I went somewhere to take care of my business even when you were dangerously ill.
The first time I brought your granddaughter to Taipei for her musical examination. On the train, I suddenly heard a message, “Lee Hsiu, your family has an emergency. Please go home as soon as possible.” My response was like a train running at full speed. I imagined the dreaded possibility of being impeded by a horrible accident, and I being one of the victims that was crushed by it.
Afterward I heard that you had almost no breath and also were wearing a shroud. There was family all around your sickbed, but only your daughter was absent. Therefore, feeling my absence, with great difficulty you found breath enough to wait for me.
Although you were in a serious car accident three years ago, you still could turn danger into safety. Because of this, I supposed you had strong vitality. If I knew one day you would leave me forever, I wouldn’t have focused so much on my children instead of attending to you.
The second time, I went to Taipei to take your grandson to another musical school. This time I heard the situation was more urgent than before. The doctor had already announced that you were almost lifeless. Your sons - my brothers – shouted at you sobbingly, “Papa! You cannot go. Ahtsu (my nickname) hasn’t come back yet. You need to wait for her…”
Even though you were delivered to the intensive care unit, you suffered through a terrible ordeal of oxygen deficiency for about three hours. However, my courageous father, your pulse still miraculously beat. Surely, you were not fully conscious, but you clearly called my full name Lee Hsiu when I appeared at your bedside. You stretched out your bony hand to hold me - the skinny hand that had ever resisted the strong wind and heavy rain to protect our family from harm for a long time.
Gloomy was the day, the light under frowning clouds was like a punished child with traces of tears on her pale cheeks, and the cry of the wind was like the cry of a wounded world. I wanted to wait for the morning and wake up to see your face in the bright light because I always trusted that you would be fine.
As the days went on, I was still going away to do my business. The third time, I went to take a university examination. After that, I went to a temple to appeal to some magical power to help my sick father. However, the earth hadn’t even turned to the next day when suddenly I received the heartrending news that forced me to take a look at the line between life and death. How could I understand and accept this sorrow that felt like an eclipse of the sun and the moon at the same time?
Even though destiny as a rule is ever-changing, it can imperceptibly arrange something for the future. For example, Penghu is the island where you were born. While you were taking your last breath, this hometown was attacked by the havoc of typhoon Waian and completely destroyed in one day. Undoubtedly, your weakened condition couldn’t endure those tyrannical winds and rains on the island which was as close as flesh and blood to you. You waited for your daughter to finish her duties, and then you stopped struggling with your illness.
Cool moon, lone star, chilly wind, frosty dew, how can a person live in this universe without the sun and the moon? Even though my father died just as the spring silkworm dies when his silk spinning comes to an end, our everlasting love continues forever.
On a chilly morning, my four brothers together carried your tablet and bent down in front of your grave. The priest’s bell rang out in his hand; its sound expressing the eternity of filial duty. I hoped this ceremony would comfort Father’s spirit and enable him to roam him freely in heaven. But the suddenly barren world on earth was actually a sadder tale for my family.
There is a saying, “Long illness doesn’t have the loyal children.” Indeed, sibling rivalry arose from the responsibility of looking after Father. Fortunately, you arranged your property very well so that there wasn’t any dispute. Even though you were so lenient, you still were difficult to run away from during the melancholy illness in your later years.
Another time of misery began one autumn day. You had been living with your third son for more than twenty years, until the last year your senile dementia got worse. You lost control of your bodily functions and totally lost your memory. Often you wanted to see friends even as late as midnight. But actually those friends had already died many years ago.
When I met third sister-in-law, she complained tearfully to me about your deteriorated situation. I did understand her mood. You had four sons, why did all the responsibilities of looking after you fall only to the third son? Of course, it was unfair. Moreover, third brother had these words, “There is a senior in our family, and likewise there is a treasure in our family.” His words gradually disappeared as he grew more tired from always looking after Father.
Until wintertime that year, you started to walk a rough life when you needed to live with different sons to look after you. I wonder if third brother had known you would pass away after six months, would he have insisted on his other brothers sharing the responsibilities for you?
I complimented the brothers, who gave consideration to you, and I followed you each time you moved to a different brother, because I was a married daughter who couldn’t be beside you at all times and places. You really needed your sons and daughters-in-law to be patient and have filial piety.
When you must leave the place where you were living for a long time, you feel anxious and unwilling to go to another place. My dear Father! How could you deal with going to a different place while struggling with your extreme illness?
The first place was with your second son. Although your mind was clouded, you still had to constantly go back to your original place in your mind. Actually, you were looked after by a special nurse in the daytime and your grandsons took turns taking care of you at night. However, peace was often disturbed at the place where you were living, because you couldn’t settle down anyplace except at your third son’s place. Thus, second brother and sister-in-law lost their patience. Moreover, they even argued with you about the portion of property they would receive after your death.
What on earth is this world coming to? Our parents willingly diapered us when we were kids, yet we are unwilling to diaper our parents when they need help. Sibling rivalry arose from attendance on your severe illness. God! Can you please tell me if our survival is such a crushing burden for you that my father had to rely on his sons to stay alive?
My husband, your son-in-law, admired my brothers who gave so much attention to you. How much my husband adored you was good for you – he was so kind to you that I had this marvelous idea that you and he were father and son in a previous generation.
My first brother, your first son, left you so distressed and furious that you weren’t willing to see him again after he foolishly lost a lot of money gambling and didn’t care how this hurt his family. But finally even though your mind was dim you realized you missed him. In fact, he came back in front of your sickbed with his gray hair, still ashamed of his wrong action when he was young. You didn’t recognize him, but you could still recall his nickname. This kind of father and son meeting - is it happy or miserable?
In the hospital, doctors, nurses and other patients all envied your good fortune, because of your descendants’ filial piety. Father! What did this say? What was the difference between filial piety and unfilial piety, fortune and misfortune? I think only a very fine line separates them. Perhaps I did ask too much of my brothers because of my extreme idealization of you?
Indeed, in the hospital, there is not much distance between the delivery room and the morgue. But, why do we need to walk such a long time and find it so difficult to take the few steps of life? Was it as you said, “The most distant road is inside yourself.”
It is true, the idea of reincarnation is a puzzling issue. Thinking about how everything recurs as we have already experienced it, we can see that the recurrence itself will repeat forever. For example, in most lives, people argue with each other about their ideas until they grow weary of defending themselves and their lives come to an end. At this time the world is becoming silent. On the other hand, we can already hear the crying of babies yet to come into this world. These babies will argue about their ideas, thus repeating the cycle.
In general, you will suffer if you are a person of inflexible willpower. The more persistent we are, the more suffering we undergo. The more suffering we experience, the more helpless we feel. If you studied Buddhism, you would learn to accept suffering, and then be better able to solve your problems – you would be resolving one the biggest trials of life.
So we must accept suffering because it is inevitable; we must solve suffering, because accepting suffering doesn’t mean being weak or frail; we tolerate suffering, because we have gained great wisdom from compassionate strength.
Even though you had a decent funeral which was arranged by my brothers, I thought it would have been more important for them to give you more love and attention while you were alive. Now they offer you so much food that you don’t need any more. Indeed, when you were alive, you couldn’t have a happy life while you were ill, so there was nothing useful about gifts from your sons after your death.
However, even as you said, “No one can be a saint or sage, so no wonder everyone makes mistakes.” Surely, your words gave me not only a way to resolve suffering, but also a way to forgive my brothers for their neglect of you.
Going through the funeral rites for parents and the worship of ancestors, my brothers decided it would be good to move our grandparents, and mother’s tomb from Fu-Ding-Jin to Shen-Shui where buried, so you could enjoy family happiness.
Behind your cemetery ground of Shen-Shui was an elders’ home where several old weak people lived together low-spiritedly under the dark light. They sat there helplessly among mosquitoes and flies. My dear Father! In comparison with these lonely old men, you were luckier because you had a lot of descendants revolving around your grave. On the other hand, even though these old people are so lonely, they can breathe, they can feel, they can touch, they can love. But you can no longer keep in touch and I miss your love.
Now that my vision is decreasing and my body is exhausted, I really adore each person who dies and is cremated, because I feel it brings me closer to you. Otherwise, how can I find you? How can I keep in touch with you?
You disappeared calmly leaving a scar on the Waian Penghu Island where you had picked up the sea shells for me; you disappeared calmly, but how could I fill the void of the sea shells which you gave me? The Waian of water and sky are still blue and gorgeous, but Father! I feel the sadness of the color blue…


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