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Thursday, May 10, 2012

母與子 Mommy Dearest

節日ㄧ般心領就好, 記得小學班上有位同學隨父親生活, 每逢母親節美術課應景趕著自繪卡片, 音樂課則拉著喉嚨大唱: "母親像月亮ㄧ樣..." 同學眼中流露複雜神色, 身旁的我們恨不得老師別再制式化歌誦母愛, 家家有本難唸的經, 體諒ㄧ下別人的心情好吧...
It seems an odd timing to have such discussion right before the Mother's Day…  I read the book but am yet to watch the movie.  Still, I could see no one but Tilda Swinton to portray Eva in We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.  Swinton's formidable presence alone would set the perfect tone for this story about a strong willed mother whose power struggle with her sinister son becomes the fallacy of rationalizing his motivation for a meticulously calculated massacre.  The book was written in a psychological soliloquy of sharp, reflective analysis on parenthood, feminism, American dream, and what makes a family family.  Who in the end was to be held accountable for the horrendous crime?  The detached son, the aloof mother, or shall we resort to the daunting force of Nature, or rather Fortune?  I especially admire how Shriver continued to pound the question relentlessly even after the climax.  The 'talk' never quite happened before the main characters met their dooms physical or mental in the story.  Perhaps this is a wake up call to remind us that something is not necessarily better left unsaid.
movie poster source - yahoo images
連串旅行前讀了We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver大為感動, ㄧ當然故事佈局嚴謹, 筆法曲折, 分析絲絲入扣, 是部水準之作!

二是女主角心路歷程竟然和我如此相似(!), 像是讀自己的日記, 一個更深沈的自己… 熟悉故事的朋友如果替小V的將來擔心, 稍安勿躁. 雖然我立志實施鋼鐵般的母愛, 造化畢竟弄人… 小V愛哭愛撒嬌愛黏媽咪, drama queen天生天成, 大抵不會是書中智商過人然冷靜冷血的校園狙擊手. 故事表面驚悚交纏厄念, 初閱如偵辦謀殺案, 總想著自己是不是忽略了哪條線索… 讀著讀著陷入核心, We Need to Talk About Kevin於親子關係, 女權, 愛, 美國夢, 家庭觀… 種種人性探討, 滋味縱然苦澀也不忍釋卷.

A child needs your love most when he deserves it least.
- Erma Bombeck

前言看似直接, 等故事走到尾聲回溯, 才發覺生命有其奧妙, 更多是教人驚懼的出人意表. 人定勝天?! 永遠永遠不要低估你的對手, 何況走棋的可是老天爺.

今年我獻上自己設計的Wanderlust Pewter Teaspoons給LK媽作為母親節賀禮, LK媽多要兩副送她的手帕交, 這兩位母親好友於我父親去世和小阿姨與病魔纏鬥時期, 陪伴她開解她(girl power rocks!) 難得老媽青睞, 二話不說小的連忙打包郵寄, 雖然我知道她心底最想要的是只愛馬仕凱莉包 :P

小V過敏發作起來我十天半個月沒覺好睡家常便飯, 只能從零頭時間進行我的工作, 常忍不住想如果人生可以重來, 我還會選擇生孩子嗎? 以前全職時公司贊助數個慈善機構, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital是其中之ㄧ, 當年未婚的我按月將部份薪資捐款, 沒多想只覺醫學的重要性… 後來自己當了母親, 對孩童的大小新聞變得關注非常, 每讀著St. Jude希望之友季刊記錄某罹癌幼童與家人面對疾病的勇敢, 不愛哭的我連看到捐款手冊第ㄧ行For the healthy children in your life…都已淚如雨下… 只能時時勉勵自己, 異位性皮膚炎不算什麼, 我定要陪孩子克服.

母親節前夕, 有些話不吐不快:

家庭主婦是份全天候工作, 如果社會不能以專業角度看待家管, 我們離真正的女權還遠的很.

如果身為人妻人母的代價是要放棄自己的理想, 請不要訝異低落的結婚率生育率, 我們連人權都談不上.

母親不是聖人超人, 需要與父親同工同酬週休二日, 請放棄含莘茹苦忍辱負重教條式對母愛的歌功誦德, 我們從此不用慶祝母親節, 因為身心靈平衡的母親天天都快樂.

養兒育女是成年人的再教育, 有許多溫馨動人的小確幸, 以大局論勞心費力傷財任重而道遠, 絕非值得炫耀的功勳彪柄(我不得不說坊間暢銷書種'如何教出長春藤女孩男孩', '音樂神童的養成'等等難免予人錯覺) 請給知其難而仍為之的母親們多ㄧ點善意, 不管有沒有孩子我們都會漸漸老去… 維持社會結構平衡, 培養健全的下ㄧ代是必需, 無論個人選擇是什麼(結不結婚, 生不生子, 同性戀異性戀...) 仍然可以老吾老以及人之老, 幼吾幼以及人之幼. 孩童不是單ㄧ家庭的私產, 而是大環境文化的傳承.

如果有朝LK擁有自己的公司(嘿, 自言自語也罷, 還起勁說此等厚臉皮的大話. Oh, I have a dream!)  專長相符的前題下, 希望優先聘請媽媽職員並提供彈性工時, 在我心目中, 帶兩個孩子以上還能妥善安排時間保持心平氣和的母親, 可是高EQ潛力十足的管理人才!

因為大部份人無法瞭解其中的傷痛和沈重, 我們駝鳥的選擇不去探索觸碰… 家有罕見疾病孩童的母親們, 你們是真正的守護天使, 請加油!

ps. We Need to Talk About Kevin電影版還沒欣賞, 但實在喜歡Tilda Swinton, 這女子特立獨行, 浮華世界似乎與她毫無關係, 人和演繹皆充滿詩意的批判. 自從多年前看由Virginia Woolf名著改編, Sally Potter執導的Orlando, 便深深著迷Swinton對男變女的獨特詮釋.

pps. 我的網誌中文部份與英文部份向來非直譯, 而是各有奇趣, 但總有關聯. 這篇的英文卻是獨立的極短篇, 靈感來自於吾友MG在往事只堪哀A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose的第二個留言. 我滿同意MG對電影The Iron Lady的憤慨, 鐵娘子何等人物來著? 豈能行'悔叫'自己'覓封侯'的窩囊事! 她生命的重心很顯然選擇了國事, 若說有任何悔恨, 也攸關某個行政決策錯誤, 不大可能偏執家庭親疏… 我對導演種種側寫無反感, 帶點柔性的鐵娘子並不損其威嚴. 強人弱者, 但凡人去日苦多, 對自己當年選擇避開的道路有所遐想其實頗真刻, 有運動家精神的笑看煙塵往事, 不多耽溺. 所謂後悔, 是現實中自己對理想中自己情緒化的辯爭, 如果後者本來就不存在, 自然就能實事求是安心度日.

A good critic doesn't make a good writer and a bad critic… who knows, might surprise so here's my attempt at a micro-fiction inspired by motherhood and my recent visit to the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok :)
There must have been twenty years since the last time she departed from this grand parlor in a rush.  The young Thai woman enrobed in black silk with gold trims came forward to greet her with a warm smile and adorned her left wrist with a leis made of jasmine and orchid.  Her eyes turned immediately toward her favorite spot, the bouquet fountain with water lilies… she was a fan, and still is.

Her luggages were lay perfectly as all other arrangements in the suite with a basket of exotic welcoming fruits when the butler opened the door... the same duplex in the same wing where she and her husband had their honeymoon.  She sat in the sunny study overlooking the Chao Praya River for a little and soon decided to take a walk.  She checked in during quiet hours to avoid the crowd and five o'clock in the afternoon with only the sound of warm breeze, for one moment she could be mistaken the only ghost of this colonial mansion.
Then she ventured into the Author's Lounge.  The white, the green, the leafy seatings filled with natural lights looked both fresh and familiar as if it was just yesterday, she stepped out to make an urgent phone call.  Stroking the arc of the peacock chair with her fingertips… the exact same setting where Maugham penned The Gentleman in the Parlor, she wrote:

I failed as a wife.
I failed as a mother.
Worst of all, I failed myself not knowing if I could ever recover.

Down and bleak.  No matter, it is over.  
It was over years ago when she made the flight booking in secrecy.  Today she came back with a dinner reservation incognito.  Her son, little Henry was an epicurean in the making; her husband used to joke about the boy with such affection.  Now, Henry is known as Chef Kha of the prestigious establishment.  She read about the rising culinary star on magazines and marveled at how strikingly handsome the very similar features looked on the young man when on herself, too sharp and too hard… The lamps lining the bank started to light up one by one.  The staff in white uniform came to inform her the boat to the other side of the river where the restaurant resided was ready for boarding.  She regretted wearing heels that make the teak floor squeak; the soft curse morphed into a breathless sigh.  She chose a bench at the end of the boat and pondered about the coming feast with squinting eyes toward the sinking vermillion sun.

'Famous designer and a well respected professor Lady K died of an acute upper airway obstruction while dining in the Three Michelin Starred restaurant last Sunday.  After police investigation, the illustrious young chef was released free of criminal charges.  The main cause for Lady K's unfortunate passing was determined a rare case of food allergies that she did not inform the restaurant staff when the dinner reservation was made.'   


Monica Yalan Chang said...

丹麥有一個優點:上班時數很彈性,有時也可在家上班無須到公司!有些大公司還附設托兒所, 所以沒有以家有幼兒而無法工作的藉口。 這邊很少家庭主婦,如果在家當米虫, 會被人鄙視!此外若是有special need kid, 而須辭職照顧小孩, 政府會支付你公司同樣的薪水給你。
所以, 大家繳高稅,無怨言啊 at least I dont complain it......

So, why not move here :-)

Happy mother's day!!


Miss LK said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, too!

丹麥雖有王權, 行政是朝社會主義的方向吧? 我想身在貧富差距小社福高國家的人民會很願意承擔高額稅金.

I can totally see myself living in Denmark - I am a fan of Danish design! But the catch is... are you going to adopt me? Just kidding :)

有碗話碗 Rice Bowl Tales said...

沒見 Miss LK 這好些日子也不要緊,妳一回來便犒賞你的讀者我們這篇感人的圖文。
很高興你終於讀完了" We need to talk about Kevin", 沒有失望吧!電影是以完全不同的形式處理。去看前請不要把書放在心內腦間,嘗試以獨立藝術欣賞角度去衡量...
很同意 Miss LK 所說:「孩童不是單ㄧ家庭的私產, 而是大環境文化的傳承。」年青人是社會的未來,生命的延續。我自己年輕時承受過不少好心長者的鼓勵支持,我也常抱同樣的心態去幫忙有需要的年輕人。這只是不息的循環。
預祝 Miss LK 一個快樂滿足的母親節 :)

p.s. coffee stir spoons 已收到多時了,愛不釋手!

Miss LK said...

Dear Jane,

We Need to Talk About Kevin書我讀完好些時候了, 可是這陣子不是旅行就是瞎忙, 好不容易有兩天靜下心整理照片和寫寫東西. 平素自覺文筆不賴, 等讀到Lionel Shriver這程度的作家, 就知道自己差那麼遠... 唉!

孩子既需要母愛也需要父愛, 母親的懷抱始終是孩子安定的避風港. 就說小V吧, 六歲半的小男孩, 每次玩累了還ㄧ定要鑽到我的臂彎睡午覺! 當然媽咪是不可能跟他ㄧ輩子的, 但希望這份安心的感覺能陪他度過生命的難關.

我也受長者恩惠良多, 常提醒自己要有同樣的胸襟, 知易行難, 有時碰見魯莽無禮的學弟學妹要求資助, 還是忍不住懷疑現下的學生是怎麼啦?!

Happy Mother's Day to you, too!!! So glad you love the Wanderlust... one for Jane and one for Jane's hubby, 心心相印 :)

fish said...





Miss LK said...

趁母親節還沒過完,也祝fish - happy mother's day!!!

一路走來從全職工作,邊工作邊育兒(那時還請了保姆),到全職媽媽... 失落的,得到的,點滴在心頭。

如果女性在自我實現和傳統價值觀無法取得協調,生育率會趨兩極化,存於極貧缺乏節育概念的邊緣族群和極富有錢有閒的權貴... 中產階級的消失逐漸瓦解社會的根基。 我要向執政者疾呼: 一個安定的國家從能安心工作的母親開始!

Monica Yalan Chang said...

one thing for sure, if one day you visit Denmark, you are very welcome to stay with us, I will put Mei Mei at basement, so your son can plays freely!

christina said...

真的說出了 媽媽的心聲 世界上唯一全天候 全年無休的職業 應該就是媽媽吧 而且是一輩子 沒有退休的年限 所以你的不吐不快 應該是吐出 所有當媽媽的心聲

所以就是我 也會發牢騷的說 我的廚房要罷工了 來警惕一下其他的兩人 有可能請她們自行料理 老媽要出門旅行 可惜她們對我的"恐嚇" 一點也不緊張啊 知道她們這輩子應該是吃定我了

Miss LK said...

Hi Monica,

Thank you for the offer! I am sure I will take it sometime in the near future... it would be perfect to spend Christmas in Denmark :) I love cats. It's such a pity that little V is allergic to all furry animals :(

Hi Christina,

雖說是ㄧ吐天下母親共同心聲, 同樣的話由你這位十全媽媽說出來就特別有說服力! 因為你持家, 園藝, 廚事... 還得陪令千金上下課逛街(兼追星 :) 樣樣不缺席...

為人母就是心軟, 這份心軟讓我們特別堅強, 既使累了倦了再忙也總會提醒自己冰箱得有三天份能隨時變出ㄧ桌營養均衡好菜的時蔬... 啊, 今天做完project接孩子放學前我又得上超市採買囉!

MG said...


因此,為了男女平等,請 MissLK 也優先考慮願意帶孩子的爸爸員工吧!(如果真的有這種人應該要公開表揚十大傑出男女平等爸爸才對)

Miss LK said...

你還在西班牙吧? 希望你和S探病之餘能小小享受一下難得的假期。


我覺得家事安排的妥當是生活一大助力,想想窗明几淨的環境,香噴噴的飯菜,整齊乾淨的衣服... 心情很難不好起來。這關乎每個家庭成員的紀律和有無分擔的意識,我承認自己太寵小V了... 就這麼決定,培養孩子上什麼才藝班前,先教他把家事打理好,這才叫有責任感的競爭力 :)

V said...

我是從"Orlando"認識Tilda Swinton,也因她,看了"I Am Love",雖然失望居多。每每見她穿衣,hit and miss皆有,但她總能把身上那件衣服穿出個性來,而不是衣服穿了她,不簡單!自從停了Netflix,便少看電影了,"We Need to Talk ABout Kevin"倒讓我想起曾讀過的"Defending Jacob"。有小孩、沒小孩,家裡顧好了,工作就能做得好,這是本人的體會。(今天有點胡言亂語,想到啥就寫啥。)

Miss LK said...

Ugh... 我滿期待I AM LOVE這部片的說 :(

每次看Oscar如果Swinton有出席的話, 她就是那麼我行我素, 那種氣勢穿什麼都有她自己的味道, she is her own fashion :)

所以家真是很重要啊... 想到烘好的床單要鋪, 還有ㄧ籃衣服要洗要摺, 今天的晚餐?! 啊... 好想萬事不理睡個長長的午覺.

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