2016年6月30日 星期四



雙親在,如何遠遊: How to Handle Aging Issues From Afar

When my family and I moved from White Plains, New York to Raanana, Israel in 2011, my then 74-year-old father had recently been diagnosed with dementia. It was a toss-up as to what weighed more—my mind or my heart. How often would I be able to hop on a plane and fly more than 7,000 miles to San Francisco when I was still raising children?
When, two years later, the diagnosis changed to early Alzheimer’s, I flew back to make sure paperwork and finances were in order and visit memory care facilities—just in case, for later. Eighteen months passed. He lost all short-term memory. I returned home to propose to my mother, one year younger but in good health and now the sole decision-maker for both of them, to move to Israel so my brother, also living here, and I could help in the years to come.
This past fall, during their most recent trip to Israel, the four of us sat around my backyard table with a Chicago-based social worker who runs a U.S. and Israel-based business called Elder Options. We hired them to help facilitate the conversation: where my parents should live and how we can help from afar. The company offered to provide anything from a la carte to full service, depending on our needs.
My brother and I have agreed to coordinate and stagger our visits; we have met and have the contact information for the caregivers; we email and call regularly. Other than that, little is in our control.
Our experience made me wonder how other expats deal with elderly parents while overseas.
Sue Flamm moved from Armonk, N.Y., to Valencia, Spain almost seven years ago. Both her parents suffer from different types of dementia: her mother, 87, with early Alzheimer’s, and her father, 92, with Lewy Body Dementia. A yoga instructor, Ms. Flamm reserves December and July to visit them. When apart, she uses Skype or FaceTime to connect with them daily between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. her time, which is 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. theirs. She takes screen shots and keeps them on her computer so she can look at them often.
Sometimes she only speaks with one of them, other times, both; conversations are short, but even a few minutes make a difference. She might play games with her mother or ask her daughter to practice piano and sing while her parents listen. Ms. Flamm and her brother, who lives 75 minutes away in Connecticut, got them Medicaid and hired aides, who she checks in with daily, to honor their wish and keep them home.
For only child Christine Cantera, living the expat life takes its toll. Now 45, Ms. Cantera has been living abroad for 14 years. Originally from Ocean City, N.J. and now in Europe—alternating between Montpellier, France and Rome, Italy—she only sees her parents, both 72, every two to three years.
Before she left, she made sure they each wrote their wills and living wills, and all legal paperwork, knowing some issues would be impossible to decide or discuss in an emergency from thousands of miles away. She said by email: “I insist on honesty, that they tell me if and when to come home for any reason, including the deaths of my grandparents or other relatives. I can be there within 24 hours.” Ms. Cantera checks in separately with her mother, who has chronic health problems, and then her father.
Forty-six-year-old Pamela Strong, also an only child, works in international development for an American NGO in Cairo, halfway across the world from her parents in Auburn, Washington. Her father, 71, and mother, 83, have had decades to adjust. Since serving in the Peace Corps in 1992, Ms. Strong has moved around: Uzbekistan, U.S., Armenia, U.S., Indonesia, Guatemala, Egypt. Like Ms. Flamm, they get on Skype regularly, which means a lot to her parents because as they age, they’re growing more isolated, getting out less.
She has also researched caregivers for the time when, eventually, her father will need help caring for her mother, who is less well, since he makes their meals, helps her get exercise, gets her in and out of bed, administers her medications, and drives everywhere, including to doctor appointments. Ms. Strong looks for opportunities to combine work travel with getting home to reduce costs. Now that she’s more established cost is less an issue than negotiating time off work. She sees her parents once or twice a year.
Cheryl Schwarz, 55, left Cape Town, South Africa 28 years ago and now lives in Piedmont, California with her husband and three children. She only sees her parents, both turning 87 this year, once annually. Even though she has siblings, they, too, live abroad—an older sister in Los Angeles and younger brother in Israel. Every time she calls her parents, which is often, they’re happy to know she’s thinking of them.
In an email, Ms. Schwarz wrote: “My siblings and I spread out our visits to give them more time with each of us; I usually go without my husband and kids to focus on and spend quality time with them. The three of us tried to convince them to move closer to one of us but finally understood they’re content where they are with their friends and community.” The result was that the family decided that “we need to respect their wishes and try not to worry too much since there’s not much we can do to change the situation”.
As much as my mother appreciated my offer to move closer to my brother and me, they opted to stay stateside. Like Ms. Schwarz, I understand they’re where they want to be, the only place they’ve ever known. When, almost 30 years ago, I first uprooted in my early twenties to work in Paris, my parents supported me unconditionally just as I need to support their decision to stay put—at home—now.

2016年6月29日 星期三

"Fleeting Time", Interview with Sally Quinn

"As one gets older one gets more jealous of one’s time. It’s running out. Suddenly with a shock you think you have 15 or 20 years left, especially if you’ve gone through life being young. . . "
Leonard Bernstein
"Fleeting Time", Interview with Sally Quinn
The Washington Post, 1976

2016年6月26日 星期日

整合醫療門診 年長者疾病一次解決

杏林春暖:詹鼎正推動老人醫學 盼建「烏托邦」
整合醫療門診 年長者疾病一次解決
2016年06月26日台灣逐步邁向老年社會,國內兩家龍頭醫院、台大與台北榮總,同時在10年前率先推動老人醫學,目前擔任台大竹東分院院長的詹鼎正 (45歲),正是當時的推手之一,他說,最好的老人醫學,不是老人病都治好,而是把事情做在前端,助老人少生病、過得好,希望能在竹東打造老人「健康烏托邦」,讓銀髮歲月少病少痛。






2016年6月21日 星期二


  惡夢與轉化惡夢的,是事實問題更是意義問題。正如編者所言,社會頑強地認定老去就是毀壞、昏庸。目下的共識是不知要退者乃社會進步的障礙,衰老該服從福柯說的規劃理念(Regulatory ideals),被關進老人院(瘋人院)避世,遠離社會生產者的目光。然而特輯的作者們筆下所呈現或再現的老人形象,並不蒼白扁平,而是正如查映嵐所言之力量龐大,慾望強橫、挑通眼眉,崇高甚至迷信美。如此日益壯大的退休族群,如果被認定為喪屍(Zombies電影取材於此?)實屬可怕,他們亦不應被看作有待「循環再用」的廢物。
《信報》2016年6月21日 C7 「生命通識」

2016年6月18日 星期六


二,如果不好意思開口,可以去要張捷運貼紙,用指的就可以,再不然,還可以自行下載列印功能強大的【讓座貼紙 2.0】(https://goo.gl/w4OcEa ),好吃好用又好玩。
( 好吧,這篇就是那個膠囊。 )

2016年6月15日 星期三

Juvenescence: A Cultural History of Our Age 返老還童:我們年紀/時代的一部文化史

Juvenescence: A Cultural History of Our Age 2014/2015
羅伯特.柏格.哈里森 Robert Pogue Harrison 著
梁永安 譯:這書名照字面翻譯是「返老還童:我們年紀/時代的一部文化史」。

世界的新新不息要是依賴「新來者」(oi néoi,這是古希臘人用來指年輕人的字眼),因為一等他們準備好照管世界,就可以給世界灌注新生命。「一等他們準備好」一語很重要,因為讓世界得到保存的那種轉化有賴於「新來者」學會何謂變成成年人和願意肩負起對世界的責任——這又等於說教育是關鍵中的關鍵。
Juvenescence: A Cultural History of Our Age
羅伯特.柏格.哈里森 Robert Pogue Harrison 著
梁永安 譯

Letter to Menoeceus


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In this letter, Epicurus summarizes his ethical doctrines:
Epicurus to Menoeceus, greetings:
Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more. Therefore, both old and young alike ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come. So we must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed towards attaining it.
Those things which without ceasing I have declared unto you, do them, and exercise yourself in them, holding them to be the elements of right life. First believe that God is a living being immortal and blessed, according to the notion of a god indicated by the common sense of mankind; and so believing, you shall not affirm of him anything that is foreign to his immortality or that is repugnant to his blessedness. Believe about him whatever may uphold both his blessedness and his immortality. For there are gods, and the knowledge of them is manifest; but they are not such as the multitude believe, seeing that men do not steadfastly maintain the notions they form respecting them. Not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them is truly impious. For the utterances of the multitude about the gods are not true preconceptions but false assumptions; hence it is that the greatest evils happen to the wicked and the greatest blessings happen to the good from the hand of the gods, seeing that they are always favorable to their own good qualities and take pleasure in men like themselves, but reject as alien whatever is not of their kind.
Accustom yourself to believing that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply the capacity for sensation, and death is the privation of all sentience; therefore a correct understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life a limitless time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly understood that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.
But in the world, at one time men shun death as the greatest of all evils, and at another time choose it as a respite from the evils in life. The wise man does not deprecate life nor does he fear the cessation of life. The thought of life is no offense to him, nor is the cessation of life regarded as an evil. And even as men choose of food not merely and simply the larger portion, but the more pleasant, so the wise seek to enjoy the time which is most pleasant and not merely that which is longest. And he who admonishes the young to live well and the old to make a good end speaks foolishly, not merely because of the desirability of life, but because the same exercise at once teaches to live well and to die well. Much worse is he who says that it were good not to be born, but when once one is born to pass quickly through the gates of Hades. For if he truly believes this, why does he not depart from life? It would be easy for him to do so once he were firmly convinced. If he speaks only in jest, his words are foolishness as those who hear him do not believe.
We must remember that the future is neither wholly ours nor wholly not ours, so that neither must we count upon it as quite certain to come nor despair of it as quite certain not to come.
We must also reflect that of desires some are natural, others are groundless; and that of the natural some are necessary as well as natural, and some natural only. And of the necessary desires some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live. He who has a clear and certain understanding of these things will direct every preference and aversion toward securing health of body and tranquillity of mind, seeing that this is the sum and end of a blessed life. For the end of all our actions is to be free from pain and fear, and, when once we have attained all this, the tempest of the soul is laid; seeing that the living creature has no need to go in search of something that is lacking, nor to look for anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled. When we are pained because of the absence of pleasure, then, and then only, do we feel the need of pleasure. Wherefore we call pleasure the alpha and omega of a blessed life. Pleasure is our first and kindred good. It is the starting-point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge of every good thing.
And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatsoever, but will often pass over many pleasures when a greater annoyance ensues from them. And often we consider pains superior to pleasures when submission to the pains for a long time brings us as a consequence a greater pleasure. While therefore all pleasure because it is naturally akin to us is good, not all pleasure is should be chosen, just as all pain is an evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned. It is, however, by measuring one against another, and by looking at the conveniences and inconveniences, that all these matters must be judged. Sometimes we treat the good as an evil, and the evil, on the contrary, as a good.
Again, we regard independence of outward things as a great good, not so as in all cases to use little, but so as to be contented with little if we have not much, being honestly persuaded that they have the sweetest enjoyment of luxury who stand least in need of it, and that whatever is natural is easily procured and only the vain and worthless hard to win. Plain fare gives as much pleasure as a costly diet, when once the pain of want has been removed, while bread and water confer the highest possible pleasure when they are brought to hungry lips. To habituate one's self, therefore, to simple and inexpensive diet supplies all that is needful for health, and enables a man to meet the necessary requirements of life without shrinking, and it places us in a better condition when we approach at intervals a costly fare and renders us fearless of fortune.
When we say, then, that pleasure is the end and aim, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice, or willful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of revelry, not sexual lust, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul. Of all this the beginning and the greatest good is wisdom. Therefore wisdom is a more precious thing even than philosophy ; from it spring all the other virtues, for it teaches that we cannot live pleasantly without living wisely, honorably, and justly; nor live wisely, honorably, and justly without living pleasantly. For the virtues have grown into one with a pleasant life, and a pleasant life is inseparable from them.
Who, then, is superior in your judgment to such a man? He holds a holy belief concerning the gods, and is altogether free from the fear of death. He has diligently considered the end fixed by nature, and understands how easily the limit of good things can be reached and attained, and how either the duration or the intensity of evils is but slight. Fate, which some introduce as sovereign over all things, he scorns, affirming rather that some things happen of necessity, others by chance, others through our own agency. For he sees that necessity destroys responsibility and that chance is inconstant; whereas our own actions are autonomous, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach. It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath that yoke of destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed. The one holds out some faint hope that we may escape if we honor the gods, while the necessity of the naturalists is deaf to all entreaties. Nor does he hold chance to be a god, as the world in general does, for in the acts of a god there is no disorder; nor to be a cause, though an uncertain one, for he believes that no good or evil is dispensed by chance to men so as to make life blessed, though it supplies the starting-point of great good and great evil. He believes that the misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. It is better, in short, that what is well judged in action should not owe its successful issue to the aid of chance.
Exercise yourself in these and related precepts day and night, both by yourself and with one who is like-minded; then never, either in waking or in dream, will you be disturbed, but will live as a god among men. For man loses all semblance of mortality by living in the midst of immortal 

2016年6月13日 星期一

Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Community 養老院慈善機構


這就是我們要的社區~~紐約 春之谷 魯道夫•史代納社區。by 黃曉星


魯道夫•史代納同胞社區 (Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Community)坐落在美國紐約州春之谷(Spring Valley),從紐約曼哈頓往北只需一小時左右的車程。這裡有一條小溪,潺潺的流水繞著社區,春夏之際,溪畔樹上綻放的花朵與滿地的野花相映,落英繽紛。鳥兒們的歌聲從不停息,野鴨、松鼠、梅花鹿和天鵝等野生動物,自由自在地穿梭於社區的樹林之中。地裡的莊稼茁壯成長著,果園裡熟透了的蘋果掉在地上,像蓋著厚厚的地毯。在這裡,雞犬相聞,門不閉戶,汽車也不鎖,人擇易而居,來自五湖四海和各種膚色的人們,在這個社區裡生活,工作和學習,大家相敬如賓,猶如一家人一般。這裡就像晉朝大詩人陶淵明的《桃花源記》所描寫的那樣:“有良田、美池,桑、竹之屬,阡陌交通,雞犬相聞。其中往來種作,男女衣著,悉如外人。”所以,我給這個遠離塵囂、風景優美的社區起了一個名字,叫做“桃花源新村”,後來經過考究發現,這是鯨魚村裡的一個胡同而已。

此社區周圍近2000多英畝的土地,都是屬於魯道夫•史代納三元社會基金會(Threefold Foundation)的財產,早在1920年,有幾位來自曼哈頓的富有、又有理想,同時追求精神生活的商人們,湊在一起買下了這一大片土地,以人智學理念為基礎,實踐BD生機互動農耕。他們一方面為曼哈頓的一家素食餐館,提供安全和健康的食品,另一方面也可以作為學習與研究人智學的基地。他們讓一些認同人智學的人士,低價買下一小塊土地建造房屋,以便在週末和假日裡住在這裡來學習人智學和度假。後來,在這裡又相繼建立了華德福學校、優律思美學校、華德福教師培訓學院、華德福教育研究所、魯道夫•史代納同胞社區、健康食品用品商店、BD生機互動農場、演會中心等等,就這樣,逐漸發展成一個實現理想社會的、有獨特文化的三元社會秩序社區。

魯道夫•史代納同胞社區是這個大的三元社會社區中獨立的一個小社區,擁有約750英畝土地,在法律上以養老院慈善機構註冊。養老院和BD生機互動農場是社區的主要的部分,同時還有幼稚園、醫療診所、陶藝作坊、編織作坊、鐵工藝作坊、木工藝作坊、蠟燭廠、印刷廠和手工藝品商店等等。具體的工作內容有照顧老人、農作、園藝、廚房工作、清潔和洗衣、維修房屋、辦公室、診所、幼兒院、照顧孩子、藝術 治療和教育活動,同時還有各類作坊的工作。



這種工作安排,也給大家創造了機會在各個領域中,學習不同的知識和展現不同的才智,並客觀地迫使他們在工 作中相互學習,因為每一個人都會充當培訓者和受培訓者,領導和被領導的角色。大家在教與學以及合作中互相看到對方的專長與智慧,互相瞭解從而化解憎恨,分 享喜悅。這種服務與奉獻工作的方式給領導能力注入了新的詮釋,領導能力不是權力的運用,而是認識與善用每一個人的專長與能力,起著協調的作用,讓大家能誠 心地合作。社區尊重和維護工作人員來去自由,以及自由地參與社區的決策討論,自發地承擔社區的行政和管理工作。

社區是一個非營利機構,在福利報酬方面,工作人員的報酬方式,儘量做到按需分配的原則。工作人員不擁有私人的房屋和汽車等財產,而是共同分享社區裡的公共資源如:住 房,交通工具,文化設施以及工具等等,社區同提供食物和工作人員的子女在附近的華德福學校就讀的學費。除此之外每月還有一筆生活補貼,此生活補貼的標準不 是以工種、級別、工齡、文憑或技術水準的高低來評定的,也不是根據工作人員對社區貢獻的多寡來定,而是根據工作人員家裡的真實需求來定。所以,工作人員必 須自己制定出每月的生活、學習、醫療和娛樂等支出的預算報表,交給社區的行政和財政小組審定是否合理,再與個人商討來做最後的決定。也就是說社區的生活像 一個大家庭似的,每一個人都互相依賴,互相關照,並一起成長。

同胞社區裡的生活已經形成了特別的文化,人們非常注重教育, 因為很多工作人員到這裡來的目的是為了讓孩子到華德福學校就讀。人們也注重身、心、靈和精神的整體健康,吃自己用自然活力農耕種植的綠色食品,追求豐富的 精神文化生活,關心人文和環境保護,崇尚自然,追求自然的美。人們同時也非常注重人與人的互動關係,真誠相待,相互説明,和睦相處,避免惡性競爭和利益衝 突。在物質主義至上和暴力文化盛行的美國社會裡,這樣的社區可以說是沙漠中的綠洲。

社區的文化活動非常豐富,常年有著眾多 的節日慶典活動,每週每月都有各種學習小組,講座、演出、音樂會、展覽會等都是社區文化的重要組成部分。這些活動不但有全社區的老小參與,住在社區以外的 人也常來參加。這個社區可以算是北美最大的人智學文化社區,不但在本地的社區文化發展中起到了舉足輕重的作用,而且有來自世界各地的學者,在這裡學習和研 究臨終關懷、護理、藝術治療、社區發展和社區文化等等。魯道夫•史代納提倡的教育作為改觀社會的力量,在這裡得到了充分的體現,因為,從幼兒到古稀老人都 能在生活中受教育和進步,實現和完成他們此生的使命。

社區的創始人之一保羅說:“追求人性的覺醒,可以從科學、藝術和所謂 的‘自由宗教’這三方面來看。現代科學的起源其實是有人性基礎的,一般人錯誤地認為物質化的現實是真正的現實,其實,物質化的現實只是精神規律下的產物。 由不斷地思考和尋找自己日常生活關系中緣起的學問,才是有人性的科學。藝術本來是為了顯揚宗教生命而產生的,但藝術漸漸成為一種文化活動,甚至商業行為, 不過,這種現象並不會改變藝術對人的精神所產生的影響。我們很清楚藝術是讓人類認識生命,學習創造和責任的一種工具,只有通過藝術活動和具有藝術性的生活 才能把理想變成現實。所以在這裡綜合了建築、雕塑、繪畫、音樂、演說、韻律舞和社交生活等七項藝術活動。”

“創建這個社區的目的之一,是希望通過照顧老人而學習成長、老化、病苦到死亡自然的現象,讓老人回到精神世界之前,不是在糊裡糊塗中死去,而是全然覺醒地離開人間。如果我 們能認識到“生”是生命由精神世界到人間的‘來’,“死”只是離開人間回精神世界的‘去’,生命因為這一來(生)而變得更豐富;生命因為這一去(死)而使 人生更有意義。那麼我們對待生死、對自己、他人在這個世界上的‘來來往往’就明白了,而且對死亡不會恐懼,對生活更加坦然。在下一世的輪回中,我們就會是 一位更優秀的人,能真正地為眾生服務。”

“創建社區的目的之二是建立一種新的生活和社會關係,我們要把華德福教育和人智學 深入到生活中,讓所有在社區生活的人都在受教育和進步。成人通過日常生活與工作的小節瞭解並教育新一代。孩子跟老人一起生活,學會關懷老人,並從老人走向 精神世界的過程中,學習完全覺醒地面對生死這一關。社區的孩子在上學之余都有不同的工作任務,孩子從小就跟不同年齡的人一起工作和學習生活,是讓孩子充分 地參與生活,並學習如何與不同年齡的人和睦相處。如果他們能與這麼多不同個性和工作方式的人合作相處,長大之後,生活在任何社會環境裡都會適應的,任何人 都喜歡一個合作的人吧!”


在這裡,我有很多學習機會,學習自然農耕、護理、 人智學醫藥、成人與兒童教育、基金會管理、汽車維修、房屋維護、藝術治療、拖拉機和做西餐等等,相信將來一輩子的生活,都將會得益于在這樣有意義的工作中學習到的生活技能和生活智慧。起初,我被安排照顧老人時遇到嚴重的心理障礙,很難完全接受這些工作。後來逐漸發現,雖然表面上是説明了這些老人家,實際上是 説明了我自己。因為,我必須學會戰勝自己,克服心理障礙,挑戰自己最薄弱的地方,逼著自己改變對這樣的事情原來固有的觀點和價值觀。在説明老人的工作中體會最深的是對死的重新認識和坦然,對活的重新認識和思考,的確是一件有意義的事。

這個社區發展了三十幾年,不少的人在這裡工作過,有很多人是在他們的工作和生活之餘來做義工的。有一位叫愛麗斯的女士在這裡做了近十八年義工。有一天,我問她為什麼對這種工作感興趣?愛麗斯說: “如果沒有人細心地照顧這些老人,他們的生活也許會沒有規律,也許會整天躺在大小便中,生活得跟動物沒兩樣,而通過我們的説明,他們可以重新過著人一樣的 生活,所以我覺得這個工作很有意義。”

在這個社區裡,很多老人曾經是各行各業的專業人士,如醫生、律師、政府官員、教師、 作家、藝術家、農業家、金融家和工程師等,也用普通工人和家庭主婦,退休之後以月付社區生活,房租,護理費用的形式住在社區,很多人都自願地義務地做一些力所能及的事。有的也用他們的專業知識和經驗,為社區做出了極大的貢獻,許多為了精神的提升而學習了很多年人智學的老人,也在這裡找到了精神的歸宿。所以很 多老人把自己的財產都捐給社區,或者在去世之後,留下了豐厚的遺產給社區。當然也有些老人雖然為人智學和華德福教育運動付出了一生,但是卻並不富裕,無法承擔這裡的費用,社區就根據不同的情況給予優惠,使他們能在這裡居住。 

社區裡有一位叫瑪麗亞的老人是德國移民,1985 年,在她的老伴去世之後就搬來這個社區的養老院裡居住,當時她才七十八歲。雖然她已經用她的退休金和養老金付了在這裡生活和享受護理所需要的一切費用,按道理她可以過著飯來張口,衣來伸手的生活。但據說,她來到這個養老院之後,一直都是為這個養老院著想,每天都自願參加社區工作,如洗衣服、做清潔、做飯、 園藝和農活等等。

當我來到這個養老院時,瑪麗亞已經是九十一歲的老人了,雖然她坐在輪椅上,但精神依然很充沛,總是微笑著對待每個人。由於她的聽力不是很好,因此很少跟別人談話。要讓她聽懂我們說的話非常費勁,不過工作人員都熟悉了她一成不變的生活習慣,如吃飯前必須告訴 她,她的飯菜是素食,飯後有什麼甜點,然後給她一杯薄荷茶。

在瑪麗亞的房間裡有一個很大的書架,全是跟人智學有關的,有的像古裝書那樣已經發黃了。經常有華德福學校的學生來到這個養老院做義工和採訪老人,並撰寫他們的傳記。當學生們一進瑪麗亞的房間時都會驚歎著說:“瑪麗 亞,你都讀過這些書嗎?”她馬上會很自豪地說:“是的,而且不只一遍。”

瑪麗亞的兒子來看她時候,是她最快樂的一刻,她整 天都會笑眯眯的,逢人必介紹她的兒子。她的兒子每來一次,她都會給我介紹一次,正是這個原因,我對她的兩個兒子都很熟。一個叫魯迪,是電腦工程師,住在佛 羅里達州;另一個叫科爾,是會計師,住在德克薩斯州。兩兄弟輪流來紐約看媽媽。他們每次來,都住上一個星期,每人每隔一個月來一次,風雨無阻。



每個星期四早上是我的值班時間,每次我到瑪麗亞房間的第一件事是拉開窗簾,這時她就會微笑著說:“多麼美好的天氣啊!”當我遞給她假牙時,她總不會忘記說: “謝謝你,又暖又舒服。”(按照她的習慣先用熱水泡幾分鐘再給她)。有一天,她說:“我已經九十三歲了,再過三個星期就九十四歲,黃,我知道有那麼一天,沒法再對你說聲謝謝時,請你不要認為我沒禮貌,我還會默默地祝福你和你的全家。”她剛說完,“嘩啦”一聲,我一不小心把一盆用來給她擦身的水全倒在她的衣 服、床和被子上,頓時,我驚惶失措地看著她,不知道如何收拾這個殘局。瑪麗亞卻毫不介意地笑著說:“看你幹得多麼漂亮呀!”

聽到她講這樣的話,不由得讓我想起魯道夫•史代納寫的書《如何知道更高級的世界(How to know the high world)》,其中有一章提到靈修六步練習方法的第三步,就是練習無論什麼時候,發生什麼事,第一個閃出來的反應,應該是事情積極的一面。瑪麗亞這個時 候能說這樣的話和保持鎮定的態度,顯示出她的靈修確實到家了。

當瑪麗亞病危的時候,正好輪到我值夜班。那晚,社區裡的醫生 打電話來說:“今天晚上瑪麗亞可能會去世,如果你發現了,就把時間記下來,沒必要打電話給我,我明天早上值早班六點鐘就到。”我一放下電話,就去看瑪麗 亞。她躺在床上滿頭大汗,呼吸非常急促,:“瑪麗亞,瑪麗亞,瑪麗亞!” 我輕輕地叫喚她的名字。但沒有什麼反應,她的臉上還是帶著那副慈祥的表情,她的手腳冰涼,胸口很熱。我輕輕地幫她擦了一下汗水之後,走出了她的房間,這 時,丹洛,一位經常來做義工的學生聽說瑪麗亞可能要去世了,特地來看她。


“丹洛,你怎麼還在這裡?” 我不解地問道。

“我也是這樣聽說,也許瑪麗亞今晚還不會去世。” 丹洛說完就走了。



瑪麗亞去世三天之後,社區為她舉行葬禮,瑪麗亞的兩個兒子魯迪和科爾都來了,我也是第一次看到他們兄弟倆在一起。在瑪麗亞的葬禮儀式過程中,由魯迪和科爾介 紹瑪麗亞的生平,兩兄弟搶著述說母親的故事,在瑪麗亞的生活中點點滴滴都充滿著愛。最後他們說到一句話:“瑪麗亞的為人非常好,以致從來沒有任何人在瑪麗 亞的背後說過她的不是,她總是為鄰居和朋友著想。我們兄弟都為有這樣的媽媽而感到自豪。”這時我才想起幾個月前我問過瑪麗亞的一句話:“瑪麗亞,你是如何 使你的兒子照顧你這麼好?”她說:“送他們到華德福學校去讀書,其他的讓我的兒子告訴你吧。” 

走進很多普通的養老院,也許會感覺到像是走進墓地前的等候室裡,沉悶死寂,一片無望彌漫在空氣中。但是,當你來到這個社區的養老院時,會看到另一番景象。孩子們的歡聲笑語,老人演奏的鋼琴曲,工作人員和老人的親切交談,廚房裡散發出的香味,洗衣間裡白髮老人對小嬰兒的微笑,一切的一切都充滿了活力,溫馨和希望。所以這裡的老人都積 極而熱情地活著,安詳而平靜地過世。

在這個雞犬相聞的社區裡,我們家的孩子可以在這裡自由地玩耍奔跑,爬樹、喂雞、做遊戲。孩子竄到鄰居的家裡也會找到晚餐,回來時還穿著鄰居孩子的衣服。他們有時也會把小朋友帶回家,把冰箱裡的冰琪淋吃個精光,鄰居的孩子甚至賴著不肯回 家。而那些老人們更時常説明照顧這些孩子們,講故事,散步,甚至一些老人常用巧克力來博取孩子的心,我的孩子才兩歲的時候,就很清楚哪一位老人家的房間裡 有巧克力,而且也知道放在哪個位置。這樣的社區生活中,老人有孩子生活在身邊可以享受到傳統的天倫之樂,孩子們有一種安全感,也有“爺爺奶奶”的關心和愛 護,還可以看到身邊心愛的老人去世而產生對生命的尊重和愛惜。在這裡可以讓人體會到“老吾老以及人之老,幼吾幼以及人之幼。”的真實含義。

桃花源本來是晉朝大詩人陶淵明通過他的詩來告訴世人,理想社會應該是個什麼樣子,想不到在這裡就出現著這樣的一個理想社會。其實,把理想生活構思變成生活實 踐,世外桃源就在你的心中,無須到外面去尋找。我在美國求學,學習人智學就像陶淵明寫的那位在湖南武陵附近緣溪而行時,無意間進入了一個桃花林中的漁人, 於是我“夾岸數百步,中無雜樹,芳草鮮美,落英繽紛”進入了桃花源新村。 



魯道夫•史代納同胞社區 Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Community

「在光中,尋找無限的愛」紐約 春之谷 人智學社區宣言。



2016年6月11日 星期六

《老年之書:思我生命之旅》The Oxford Book of Aging: Reflections on the Journey of Life

人生的賽跑場是固定的,只有單一條路徑,而這條路徑只能跑一趟。生命的每一階段都分配著恰如其份的特質。──古羅馬哲學家西塞羅(Cicero ,BC106—43)
──20世紀德國詩人赫塞〈論老年〉,收於《老年之書:思我生命之旅》The Oxford Book of Aging: Reflections on the Journey of Life,p.94
湯瑪斯.科爾Thomas R. Cole、瑪麗.溫克爾Mary G. Winkler 編著;梁永安 譯

2016年6月8日 星期三

GO DOWN, MOSES By William Faulkner

"Lucas is an old man. He dont look it, but he's sixty-seven years old. And when a man that old takes up money-hunting, it's like when he takes up gambling or whisky or women. He aint going to have time to quit."

Do musicians get better with age?

At 74, Paul Simon is arguably producing the best work of his career – and he's not alone.

Many musicians find it’s better not to shut up and play the hits, writes Jim Farber.

2016年6月5日 星期日

Sangría 是西班牙最有名的雞尾酒

【西班牙美食 & 食譜 ∼ Sangría】
夏天到了,又是喝 Sangría 的季節啦!
Sangría 是西班牙一種調酒,正確的說,Sangría 是西班牙最有名的雞尾酒,大概也是每個西班牙人從學生時代就會調的一種酒精飲料。
我們以前在學生公寓裡舉辦 party
... 等各式水果,再加上一點白蘭地(或是苦艾酒)、一點碳酸飲料(汽水)、一點香料(丁香、肉桂、八角茴香 ... 等)以及冰塊,就成了 Sangría 了!
基本上,剛剛調好的 Sangía 味道沒那麼好,要等一兩個小時,水果的味道融入 Sangía 之後,才是最棒的!
在這裡附上 youtube 上的 Sangría 食譜:

2016年6月2日 星期四