芳心何處歸        阮群芳  

與芳芳甫認識,就會知道她對畫畫的投入和喜愛,不但拉著人就作品侃侃而談,平日也會花很多時間於繪畫寫生。拿著素描筆的芳芳總是開開心心的,畫畫畫就一個下午,只要不講起往事,她就似一個無憂無慮的畫家。

近期的一幅滿意之作,便是一幅「滴著眼淚的女子」。芳芳邊指著作品邊說:「百分之一百係我手筆畫出嚟……(畫這幅畫)嗰日老師鬧我,無講理由就鬧我,我又無做錯。」以為她喜歡是因為畫作反映了她當時的心情,但原來這是天大的誤會,她是因為「好欣賞啲頭髮」而視之為佳作,看芳芳的畫作就會知道她花很多心思在頭髮方面。現實上,芳芳也很緊張自己的頭髮,對髮型的嚴謹反映芳芳的愛美天性。 

除了畫畫、扮靚,芳芳也喜歡跳舞。她會參加社區中心的跳舞課堂,又會自己帶著播音機,落街練舞,心情不錯又遇見朋友,就會硬拉人去看她跳舞,音樂響起她便隨之舞動雙手雙腳,投入旋律之內,樂在其中。

談畫畫、講扮靚的芳芳,都是面帶笑容的說過不停,惟觸及昔日的種種,本來開開心心的芳芳就似被記憶撕裂,仿如被夢魘纏繞,精神狀態也隨之惡化,情緒開始失控加眼淚不斷。

芳芳十七歲已有精神病,與病共存近三十年,讓她腦內充斥著各種的欺凌和痛苦記憶,但這些記憶有多少是真,多少是幻想,卻沒有人知道。在芳芳的眼中,這世界沒有人對她好,她很早便結婚,因丈夫有婚外情而離婚收場,父母已逝,有兄弟姊妹但極少來往。

據說,芳芳對男士特別熱情,每每見到就會纏著不放手,這可能源於她心底對情愛的渴求,就如她喜歡的歌曲──李香蘭的《只有你》,翻看歌詞,有一段是這樣的:

我怎麼能夠這樣的漂泊東西

只有你,你永遠在我心底

只有你,你把我放在心裡

你知道,我受不了痛苦的分離

你知道,我禁不起相思兩地

只有你,只有你,我想你不會把我忘記

(節錄自《活一生人》攝影文集


Forget me not   Yuen Kwan-fong

Anyone meeting Yuen Kwan-fong for the first time would soon know that she loves to draw. Kwan-fong, or Fong-fong as she’s usually known, talks about her works to anyone who would listen. She spends a lot of her time with a sketch pen in hand. That’s when she feels happiest; when she’s working on the canvas, not dwelling on the past, she looks like a regular artist. 

A recent favourite work is one titled, A Woman In Tears. “This is 100 per cent my creation,” Fong-fong says. That day, she says, “my art teacher scolded me for no reason, when I didn’t do anything wrong.” But if you think she likes the drawing because it captured her feelings at the time, you would be wrong. It turns out she likes the work because she is happy with how she had drawn the hair. 

It’s clear from her drawings that Fong-fong pays a lot of attention to the hair. In real life, too, Fong-fong fusses about her hair. The care she lavishes on her hair tells you her love of beauty. 

Fong-fong loves to talk about beauty and fashion, and she also loves to dance. She takes lessons at the community centre, and practises around the neighbourhood, using a portable music player. If she’s in a good mood, she’d seize on friends she meets along the way and insist that they watch her dance. As soon as the music starts, she’d sway and wave her arms about, lost in her own world. 

As long as the topic of conversation revolves around art and beauty, Fong-fong is chatty and cheerful. But when she thinks about the past, her demeanour changes. The bad memories draw her into a nightmare of mental turbulence; she becomes emotional and starts to cry. 

Fong-fong was diagnosed with a mental illness when she was 17, and has lived with it for over 30 years. Her mind is filled with memories of the harassment and bullying she had suffered; it’s hard to tell which were based on real events and which were imaginary. 

Fong-fong thinks no one in this world treats her well. She married young, but the marriage ended after her husband had an affair. Her parents are both dead, and she does not keep in touch with her siblings.

I’ve been told Fong-fong likes the company of men, and quickly becomes attached to any man she meets. This probably reflects her longing for romantic love. Not surprisingly, her favourite song is Only You, a pre-war torch song by movie star Li Xianglan that speaks of passion and loss. Part of its lyrics says:

How can I drift like this, from the east to the west

Only you, you’re always in my heart

Only you, you have me in your heart

You know I cannot bear the pain of separation

You know I cannot stand the yearning when we’re apart

Only you, only you, I think you will not forget me

(Excerpts from the book Life and Times)

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© 2017 Dustin Shum via Visura