Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Man missing hand learns to play erhu
斷掌拉二胡 聲聲動人

Chen Lien-chung plays the erhu.
陳連鐘演奏二胡。

Photo: Yu Hsueh-lan, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者余雪蘭

Chen Lien-chung, a 57-year-old bookshop owner who lost his right hand in a milling machine accident at the age of 10, enjoys the touching and beautifully plaintive sound of the erhu, a traditional two-stringed bowed instrument. Two years ago he took the first step in making his dreams come true when he found a teacher and conquered the difficulties of playing the erhu with a severed hand. Now, he performs the touching music of this new movement in his life’s symphony. “I treat every day like it’s my last, making an all-out effort to play erhu until the day I die.”

Chen grew up in an underprivileged family, and had felt inferior to others ever since he was a child. Prior to learning how to play the erhu, he would always hide his stub in his pocket, lacked confidence and never enjoyed getting close to people, but after learning the instrument he finally had the courage to take the stage alone, performing for the disadvantaged and public welfare. Chen currently practices more than five hours a day, so aside from time spent eating or using the restroom, the instrument pretty much never leaves his side.

“Using the wrist of a severed hand to push and pull the bow and the strings is very difficult, so the vitality he displays is even more astonishing.” Chen’s teacher, Chang Chiao-hua, often uses the story of Chen’s learning to play the erhu to encourage students. Chang says that without a right hand, Chen has to play the instrument in ways that are different from others.

Chen relies on perseverance and hard work, finding meaning in life by making up for a lack of talent through diligence. Chang says, “His performances are more meaningful than mine because I can only play music that sounds good, but he plays music that becomes a story of encouragement for people.”

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY KYLE JEFFCOAT)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. to make an all-out effort /tu mek an ?l idiom

拼命;竭力 (pin1 ming4; jie2 li4)

例: The school is making an all-out effort to keep people from smoking on campus.

(學校竭力阻止人們在校園內吸菸。)

2. confidence n.

自信 (zi4 xin4)

例: What she lacks in talent she makes up with confidence.

(她的自信可以彌補其天賦之不足。)

3. disadvantaged n.

弱勢 (ruo4 shi4)

例: There are not enough non-profit groups in the nation helping the disadvantaged.

(國內缺乏協助弱勢團體的非營利組織。)


十歲時磨粉機的意外,讓五十七歲書局老闆陳連鐘少了右手掌,喜歡二胡—兩條弦的弓弦樂器—樂音纏綿、淒美的他,兩年前跨出追夢第一步,找到老師並克服斷掌拉弦的困難,拉出動人的生命樂章。「我把每天都當成最後一天,要拚了命地拉,拉到生命最後一天!」

陳連鐘家境貧困,從小就自卑,總是把右手藏進口袋裡,學拉二胡前,沒自信不愛接近人群,接觸二胡之後,勇於上台且獨當一面為弱勢、公益表演,現在每天練琴超過五小時,除了吃飯、如廁,幾乎琴不離手。

「用斷掌的手腕推、拉弓弦,是那麼困難,展現的生命力更驚奇。」老師張巧驊常以陳連鐘學二胡的故事鼓勵學員。張巧驊說,沒有右手掌,陳連鐘拉二胡的方式與眾不同。

陳連鐘靠著堅持與努力,「勤能補拙」找到生命價值,張巧驊說:「他的表演比我表演更具意義,我不過是拉好聽的音樂,他卻拉出可以鼓勵人心的故事。」

(自由時報記者余雪蘭)

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