Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fan Jinghua: Shoes

  Shoes
   I
On the wedding day, a girl is carried from her mother’s home by the husband,
Over the threshold to the waiting sedan.
Her shoes will be changed with a new pair prepared by her in-laws
Before she steps away on the new path of life. The old shoes
Become her mother’s souvenir, and once she is gone, she is a guest to her parents.
A widow takes off her old shoes and throws them away
At the outskirt of the village by the river,
For no one will keep her broken life except for the running water.
A woman in an affair is called a broken shoe; the more men she has,
The more broken she is. Once broken, such a shoe can never be amended.
I have never been explained why a woman is so closely associated with shoes.

   II
In my sophomore year, I read of Freud, excited over
The claim that a shoe is a metaphor for the vessel of sex.
The next year, I read of Plath’s “Daddy” in which the father became a shoe
For the daughter to live, and her difficulty to breathe in it shows
That it must be a boot, a metamorphosis of something that grows into the legs;
Otherwise, it could have been a punt on the river Cam.
The most powerful swear I’ve ever heard is also about a shoe,
When an almost grown-up girl threatened another, fully grown-up:
"If you get me really irritated, I’ll kick into your pussy
And take it out as a reed-woven sandal."
This may prove that anger can be a real creative power.

   III
My mother used to warn me against picking up any type of footwear,
Saying that will bring extremely bad luck;
The real implication, I understand years later, is
One who picks up the shoes of a dead will be led away,
Out of his life-course or his mind.
She also warns me against stepping into another’s footprints,
For the one who did not make his own way forward would go blind early.
Even when walking on thick snow, I had to shovel with my feet
Some snow into the holes, so that I was walking on my own footsteps.
My mother’s warnings have shaped me
Into a slow walker and a careful looker on the road.
             June 20, 2009


  鞋子

    一
正日,丈夫抱着女子越过她娘家的门槛
向那空着的轿子
进轿子前,她要脱掉鞋,换上婆家人准备的新鞋
走人生的新路,那双旧鞋成为她妈妈的留念
此去之后,她只是娘家的客人
一个寡妇再嫁时,在村头脱去鞋子,扔
在小河边,除了流水,没有人会捡起一个人破残的生活
一个通奸的女人被称为破鞋,男人越多,她就越破,
一旦破了,就再也无法修补
从没有人告诉我为何女人总与鞋子紧密联系在一起

   二
大学二年级,有一天我读到弗洛伊德,兴奋地发现
鞋子是性之容器的暗喻
次年,我读到了普拉斯在《老爸》中将她父亲写成一只鞋子
她作为女儿在里面活憋气
所以我相信她要写的是一只紧裹着腿的黑色高筒皮靴
否则那将是一只平底船,戏水于剑河
我听过的最有力的咒骂也与鞋子有关
一个近乎成人的女孩威胁另一个更显成人的女孩
说:如果你把我真的惹毛了,我一脚踢进你的腿裆
把它拔出来当毛窝子穿
这也许能证明,愤怒真是一种强大的创造力

   三
我母亲过去常常警告我,千万不要捡别人丢弃的鞋子
说那会给我带来极大的厄运
我后来知道了那真正的含义是,沾上死人的鞋子
就会被那个鬼引开活人之路,生怪病或者发疯
她还警告我,走路不可套着别人的脚印
那样不走自己的路就会早早瞎掉
所以甚至在大雪的路上,我每走一步
都要用脚跟向那些脚印踢进一些雪,垫高一些
如此一来,我的脚就踩在自己的脚印上
母亲的这些警示令我成为一个细心而平缓的步行者
             2009年6月20日

注:毛窝子,用芦苇花编成的有沿草鞋,主要是苏北里下河一代冬日御寒的鞋类;通常,毛窝子专指平底草鞋,适用于干爽天或者室内穿着。另有一种则是编织在木屐上的,也有地方称为毛窝子,但是通称木屐或者高木屐。

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