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我們相信的 — 給同伴梁穎禮

2018/2/5 — 19:07

梁穎禮,圖片來源:梁穎禮 facebook

梁穎禮,圖片來源:梁穎禮 facebook

【文:N@德昌里2號3號舖】

按︰ 因反對東北規劃入獄的禮將於2月7日星期三保釋等候上訴,這是幾個月前寫起,給他的家書。 (please scroll down for english version)

親愛的禮︰  

廣告

不太確定要用怎樣的語言給你寫這封信。矛盾的是,我們彼此都打從心底裏知道我應該用的語言,就是政治。在這幾年的日子裏我們建立了一套不屬於你或我的語言、聲音,它孕育自許多共同經歷和集體的思考練習。這語言聽起來讓人透不過氣同時安然自若,沉著卻充滿渴望,尖酸又溫柔。這聲音愛慕着言說的行為,愛慕着話語和靜默間的轉換,愛慕着所有嗶哩巴啦與吱吱噚噚。那是一把彷彿神志不清的聲音,極其純粹地作為聲音而存在。那你明白嗎?不是我不確定要用甚麼語調去寫,而是不確定其他人是否願意耐心聆聽我們花一生去做的音樂。  

是的,我很怕。我怕這世界窒息於噪音的籠罩。我怕震耳的啼哭和吼叫在每個街角埋伏,每把聲音都在爭取你的注視,讓你不曾注視自己。我怕我們注定要追逐這極速、快閃的人生。在這條快線上,話語像子彈般連發,像炮彈般轟擊要你不得不注意。這是你我都想要逃離的地獄。不死人在無眠的煉獄,溺沒於資訊的恐怖襲擊,身體每秒透出令人虛脫的狂躁和緊繃。我很怕,因為知道就算只是想寫一封信已經一腳踏入包圍我們的這場戰役。漫天烽火,警號不斷鳴響,我實在不敢想像還有誰願意聆聽純粹作為聲音而存在的聲音。  

廣告

但這不是宣揚痛苦、悲傷的聲音。當這世界充滿不公,這聲音會吸引到義憤和感傷的人。不公把呼嘯堵在喉嚨,讓人咬牙握拳衝上街與其他受難者並肩而行。這樣的不公使人們如一群受創的筋肌、受辱的群落般走在一起,以良知作和聲。每次有善良者無辜受害,我、你、我們的眼淚都關不住。如果說沒有因為你要坐牢而哭過,肯定是騙人的。有幸跟你成為朋友的人都清楚知道,那些你曾身處的場景,當我們分開從此就不一樣。  

我知道你想告訴他們我們藐視的東西,還有你、我和一眾同伴一起培植了反抗的土壤,使生命、文化得以滋長。今日人們談論「文化」時都像談論一種財產,是隨時會被偷走的寶藏、神聖的地下泉水。但「culture」這個詞彙從來沒有讓我想起哪一個人或國家民族,我想起的是植物的生命,發酵和細菌的文化,所有野生、肆無忌憚、偏離中心地蔓生擴散的不受控制的生命。四年前在觀塘前巴士廠搞的「吽到發生多霉體派對」我們不是已經自覺或不自覺地宣示了對於「文化」的理解了嗎?「文化」是萌芽的過程,有序與無序互動,在深埋的泥土下、在腳邊的水泥裂縫中生長、感染。那是一個永不屬於何人何物的過程,但所及之處卻滋養着某種關係的建立,某種行事的風格。騰出空間讓差異、可能性、一切無以名狀的得以安放,讓觸得到的自由能被分享。既然黴菌和細菌這種生命形式能從物種滅絕中存活下來,如霉菌一樣的「文化」在奄奄一息的人類文明裏必然也可以吽出求生之法並將其擴展出去。  

這些日子以來人們不斷談論甚麼?死亡,死亡,死亡,死亡,孜孜不倦地宣佈此城已死或危在旦夕,而這些預言則為整個「文化」產業製造出消極與恐慌。可悲的是,每當人們沉迷死亡,以至於對死亡的恐懼演變成創傷,繼而癱瘓我們的精神和想像力。死亡,死亡,死亡,死亡,到處冗陳的調子,到處被恐懼包圍,你被電視螢幕吸附出神,處處都有人們以恐懼淹沒你,迫使你給誰或不給誰投一票,去支持或反對這或那,去訓練自己迎接逼近的世界末日……  

事實上,在死亡成真之前,它已是一個活生生的現實。對於此城已死,你我並無異議。反正我們早已經行屍走肉般活在這個城市。這正是我們為何遇見對方,我們一直這樣等待着遇上對方,我們命中便注定要找到大家。失散的鬼魂在死城中遊盪,明明是沒有活過的人生,卻有模糊的記憶,被一種我們從未感知、經驗過的快樂纏繞、牽引。很奇怪,周圍的人談論死亡,卻無人談論生命本身。很奇怪,周圍似乎無人抗議我們被判處的生活是連續的假釋,一個困於罪疚和債務的無期徒刑……很奇怪,人們全神貫注於一切最壞的可能,而從未騰讓半刻去想像最好的。假如我們是真正活在一個富裕、文化繁盛、知識豐異、技術充沛的時代,為何身體、心靈、生存的貧瘠是可接受的命運?  

朋友,我知道我又開始換用我最想避免的悲觀的語調。或許正在讀此信的人,那些有天可能成為朋友的人,經已被我冒犯,或悶死。但我想告訴他們,我們在匯豐銀行地下所過的那些夜晚,時間像地毯般在我們面前展開,玻璃幕牆下長出關於革命的對話。我想告訴他們,我們在佔領彌敦道、在公園、在渡輪碼頭搞的音樂會,同一群人如何在警察面前捍衛這些空間。我想告訴他們關於我們在油麻地落腳的那條街道,我們六年來視之為家的地方。我想告訴他們我們與碼頭工人朋友分享過,至今仍然飲酒歡笑的晚上。我想告訴他們我們去過的工廈band房,這些人們逼不得已創造的空間吽出幾多場自發的音樂會。我想告訴他們我們一路走過的抵抗與掙扎,二、三、四十人一點一滴地築起、拼湊的生命,彼時此刻事物如何崩解散落,即便是你和我之間。有關所有我們必須經歷過方能縫合這一切的心碎和痛楚,這由友誼、憤怒、愛所建立的生命,然而我想,其中最為重要的,是信念和信任。  

「信念」聽起來是如此過時,像是應留在教會和清真寺的遺俗。人們說信念是跟理性、證據、常識相矛盾的,是扭曲心靈的失智和狂熱,讓人苦苦追求不可能和不可見的事物,進而類比盲信、迷信。然而,我知道是信念使我們保持堅強、清醒和平靜,是信念使我們一直不被恐懼和歇斯底里所動搖。它讓我相信我們有時間,去呼吸、言說和被互相聽見,互相照顧;有時間建立一個我們得以療癒和容讓未知的快樂滋長的空間。因為你和我,我們嘗過不可能,並每天將之活着,這些我們一起創造的,屬於友誼和生命的奇蹟和甜味。  

你永遠的朋友
(此信原文以英文寫成) 

圖片來源:作者提供

圖片來源:作者提供

***

 Dear Lai, 
  
I'm not sure how to begin this letter because I'm uncertain as to the register that I should employ. Or rather, I know very well about the form of address that I should use, that you would have me use, because you know as well as I do that style is political. Because we know this, we have spent years developing a voice that is neither mine nor yours, that emanates and derives from shared experience, from a labor of thought that is collective. It is a voice that is, at one and the same time, breathless but composed, calm yet stricken with longing, caustic but full of tenderness. It is a voice in love with the act of speaking, in love with the alternations between speech and silence, of mouthing and muttering sounds at varying volumes, of breathing in the intervals between utterances. A voice delirious with the mere fact of being a voice, just a voice. You see, then, that it's not that I don't know what tone to use. It's rather that I'm unsure as to whether anybody else will have the patience to hear this music that we've devoted our lives to learning.   
  
Yes, I'm afraid. I'm afraid of this world smothered in a shroud of noise. I'm afraid of a world where deafening shrieks and howls ambush you at every corner, where everything clamors for your attention so that you have none left for yourself. I'm afraid of all this haste, of the unbearable acceleration of this life that we are condemned to chase, at this speed words have to be shot at you like bullets, hurled at you like bombs for you to notice them at all. This is the hell that you and I have been trying to escape, the hell of sleeplessness, the mania and nervous exhaustion of the undead, constantly assaulted by the terrorism of information. I'm afraid because I know that I am writing this letter in the midst of this war that is taking place all around us, I tremble at the sound of sirens blaring and shells exploding, I don't know if anyone has the time to hear a voice that is just a voice.   
  
No, it is not a voice of pathos or mourning, it is not a voice that wails or accuses or advertises its pain to all that will listen. Doubtless that would appeal to those who are full of indignation and lamentation, whose eyes brim with unwept tears. Of course our world is full of injustice. It is this intolerable sense of injustice that chokes the throat with stifled screams, that makes you grit your teeth, clench your fists, rush to the streets to solemnly march and chant slogans alongside fellow sufferers.  This injustice unites us as a mass of bruised muscle and humiliated pride, a chorus of conscience. Certainly there is a part of me, of you, of us, that cries every time innocence is wounded. I would be lying if I said that I didn't shed a tear when you were sent to prison. Those who have the honor of calling you their friend know painfully well that the climate and the atmosphere of a room is palpably different without you in it.   
 
I know, however, that you want me to tell them about our defiance, about the disobedience that we have cultivated together, me and you and our friends, so that it can give form to a life, to a culture. 'Culture', so many people these days want to treat it like a property, like a treasure that is at risk of being stolen, like a sacred fountain from which identity springs, but the word 'culture' in English never makes me think of a people or an ethnos, it makes me think of plantlife and germs, of yeast cultures and bacterial cultures, about the wild, unruly, decentered sprawl of dispersed, uncontrollable life. Isn't that why we named that party that we threw in an abandoned bus depot two years ago 'Fungal Bloom'? Without knowing it, we had declared and demonstrated our understanding of what 'culture' means- 'culture' as a process of germination, a process of ordering that is at the same time always in contact with chaos, a contagious growth that takes place in the hidden depths, between the cracks of the ground on which we walk. A process that can never become a property of a subject or a people, but that rather creates the environment in which certain kinds of relationships, certain ways of doing things can take shape. A space that would produce and give room to differences, possibilities, unpredictable shapes that could not be given in advance, a materialized freedom that could be shared. Just as fungal and bacterial forms of life survived extinction events, 'culture' as fungal bloom would invent and spread solutions, practices to survive the slow, torturous death of human civilization.   
 
Isn't that what they keep talking about these days? Death, death, death, death, all those who tirelessly announce that the city is either dead or poised precariously on the edge of the abyss, whose prophecies have produced an entire cultural industry of doom and panic. It's always sad when death becomes an obsession, to the point where the fear of death develops into a trauma, paralyzing the spirit and the imagination. Death, death, death, death, everywhere a litany of death, everywhere the state besieges you with fear to keep you spellbound by the television screen, everywhere other people deluge you with fear to compel you to vote for them or not to vote, to be for or against this or that, to train yourself for the apocalyptic war that is approaching.... 
  
...The truth is that death has everywhere become a lived reality before it has become a physical fact. Me and you, we have no problems at all with the announcement that the city is dead. For us, life in the city was lived as a living death a long time ago. That's how we found each other. That's why we had always been waiting to find each other, why we were fated to find each other, lost ghosts wandering the city of the dead, both haunted by a vague memory of a life that we had yet to live, of a happiness that we had never known. Strange that around us everybody spoke of death, but nobody spoke of life. Strange that around us nobody seemed to protest that the life that we were condemned to lead was a life on continuous parole, a suspended death sentence, mired in guilt and debt...Strange that everybody remains so preoccupied with the worst, while never sparing a moment to imagine what the best might possibly be. If it is indeed true that we live in a time of immense wealth, wealth of culture, diversity and knowledge, wealth of technique and skill, why is physical, spiritual, existential poverty an acceptable destiny? 
  
I know, my friend, I am starting to assume the pathetic, tragic tone that I wanted to avoid, I should know better. I know that there are perhaps people reading this, people whom I could one day embrace as friends, whom I have probably offended or bored to tears at this point. I want to tell them about the conversations that we had about revolution under the stars when we spent our nights in the basement of HSBC, nights when time seemed to unfold like a carpet before us, I want to tell them about the shows we played together in occupied Nathan Road, with hundreds of people in the park, in ferry piers, how these same people defended these spaces against the police, I want to tell them about the street that we inhabit in Yau Ma Tei, about the street that we have called our home for six bittersweet years, I want to tell them about the evenings of drink and laughter that we shared and still share with our dockworker friends, I want to tell them about all the bandrooms in industrial buildings we've played shows in, the spaces people create when they are compelled by necessity, I want to tell them about the struggles we've been through, twenty, thirty, forty of us, building this life piece by piece, about how things fall apart every now and then, even between me and you, about all the pain and heartbreak we've had to go through to put them back together again, this life that we've built from friendship, rage, love, but, I think, most important among these, faith and trust. 
 
'Faith' seems like such an outmoded term, a relic of a word that should be left in churches and mosques. They say that faith is that which contradicts reason, evidence, common sense, a passionate madness that unbalances the soul and afflicts it with a hunger for the invisible and the impossible, pushing it towards fanaticism. And yet, I know that it is faith that keeps you strong, sober and calm in there, it is faith that has always kept us from being unsettled by hysteria and fear, faith that we have the time, the time that we need to breathe, to speak and be heard by one another, to take care of each other, to build the space we need to heal and for an unknown happiness to flourish. Because me and you, we have tasted the impossible, we live it every day, the miracle, the grace and the sweetness of this friendship and this life that we have made together.  

Yours as always, 
Your Friend 

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