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What would you see through “The Door”?
来源:21st    日期: 2021-12-07
What would you see through “The Door”?
—— The independent perception from an ordinary Beijing high-school girl of the social phenomenon through voluntary teaching


《门》

November seems to represent a month of writers. Ever since the 17th century, this month has seen the birth of great authors, including Voltaire and Schiller, Mark Twain and Ivan Turgenev, and also Ba Jin and Qian Zhongshu.  
 
With the dawn of the 2020s, a new era has come bombarded with videos. However, in such an era when - as Li Dan has suggested - "everyone is capable of the five-minutes talk show", is there anyone who still would like to write? 

There must be someone! Kang Xilang, a seventeen-year-old high-school girl from Beijing, hopes to write a non-fiction of herself and all her friends, which reminds us of what is said by Romain Rolland: “No one ever reads a book, only one reads himself in it, finds himself or examines himself.”

From Yu Xiu’s Flower Season and Rainy Season twenty-five years ago, the publishing industry in China has never seen a shortage of young talents. However, The Door is different. This book, which has taken the spare time of the author’s past two years, keeps a real record of several fragments she has experienced and the relevant thinking afterwards. The author intends to interpret the world independently and also to reconstruct life with her perception. Ever since the voluntary teaching in the poor mountain village in the Hebei province, she has begun to pay close attention to people’s life choices facing different situations.       

The Door, from a certain perspective, is more like a survey report through the eyes of an ordinary high-school girl during her voluntary teaching. It is about poverty alleviation, the village people’s attitude towards poverty in North China, as well as their choices. At least, it is not that gloomy.

In the book, the author does not describe poverty deliberately but emphasizes all the positive attempts and efforts to curb poverty. Those villagers have not become numb or lost themselves because of sheer poverty, which has added temperature and color to the base of poverty. In the meantime, an author has also - in the contact with children in the villages - formed a deeper understanding of the importance of education.           

The author narrates in the book the stories of people living within her life radius who have come to work or start their own business in Beijing, including the door-to-door waste collection man, the SF-Express guy, the delivery guy, etc. Their own stories serve to demonstrate that they have become an indispensable part of Beijing, and at the same time, their attitude towards life are also beginning to change. As especially stated in the book, when the author, an ordinary girl, tries to communicate with those nobodies, she not only starts to obtain a preliminary understanding and appreciation of the complexity of life, but gives more insights into both the shadows and brightness of human nature as well. Those people make unrelenting efforts to present the story about how small ones pursue their dreams of breaking the circles and becoming “us” while exhibiting the positiveness and perseverance in humanity. Equally important, the story of a three-generation family and what they have experienced in times of scarcity, clearly demonstrate the life changes in the new era and the importance of poverty alleviation.                

Despite her child-like innocence, the author Kang Xilang provides a unique interpretation of the world that comes only from young girls, which further demonstrates the kaleidoscopic images of a high-school student.    
 
In the end, the author walks through the “arbitrary gate” and enters the future more than a decade away. When life becomes better, villages become urbanized, and science and technology make our life more comfortable, people who have come out of poverty might experience different kinds of troubles and psychological problems. The author puts forward how to open the hearts and the ultimate thinking about the truth of happiness.  

This book is, in a way, a healing story. In it, the author boldly expresses her ideas and her psychological path. 

For example, “fortune” - apart from money in the real sense - has many connotations: it might refer to ceaseless self-development rather than the destination in others’ eyes - the ranks, and also it might be love and spirit.  

Also, when the author intends to light up the hope in their hearts through voluntary teaching, a conversation during the blackout at night unexpectedly eases the anxiety inside her heart. As to how to interpret anxiety, the author has given her understanding in the book: “There lies no difference between to cure and to be cured, just as no one can tell explicitly whether the book has cured the writer or the reader.”  

The Door represents through a minor perspective the fate and choices of nobodies during the poverty alleviation in China. This book, which covers the author’s high-school life, presents its unique purity when three seemingly unrelated terms - adolescence, poverty alleviation, and COVID-19 - intersect with each other.     

With a door open, whether it is active or passive, different readers look for different information. Everyone faces in his life various doors, the door towards the heart included, just as written in the book: “Whether you are standing inside or outside, who might take the first step to walk through the door and become the counterpart? Who might be the healer? It is hard to tell.” That is the ideology of the book, which will never stop with the publication of the book.

It is Kang Xilang’s first piece of work. As an ordinary girl growing up in Beijing, she tries her best to perceive the world from an extraordinary angle, simply as said by Albert Camus, an author marked by November: “Only if I can embrace the world, what does it matter if I embrace it awkwardly?”  

Introduction: 
Kang Xilang (Evelyn), born in Beijing in the July of 2004, has been living and growing up in Beijing. She shows great interest in literature and charity. She is currently a year-12 student in the International Sector of No. 2 Middle School, Beijing.

《门》

作者简介:

康溪朗,学生,2004年生于北京,现就读北京市第二中学国际部高二年级。热爱文学和公益。本书是其第一部著作。从2019年第一次支教开始,有了公益这个新的人生伙伴,不管是为凉山州的孩子们设计线上筹款方案,还是在公号上写文章为公益发声,三年来的公益历程涤荡心灵的同时,也给她的文字注入了新的感悟与生命力。如果说人生是一段不断体验与沉淀的旅程——对于一个17岁、还在读高中的北京女孩来说,文字就是她在这段旅程中的心灵伙伴。通过公益,让一个生活在水泥森林中的女孩不断打开自己的世界,实现自我内在的改变,而这些又给她的文字提供了独特而精彩的视角——这些从她人生中的第一本书中有感受到她的成长。

附:本书序言

《门》是我的第一部小说。或许也不能完全称之为“小说”,毕竟里面有大量真实经历和他人讲述的部分。我不知该如何更准确地定义此类文本,田野调查?我喜欢这个说法。但它,的确代表了像我一样正处于人生第一个路口——21世纪首代人对生活和世界所产生的迷茫、抗拒、怀疑,及在寻找答案中的成长和被治愈的过程。

这本书,是我历时两年时间利用零散的闲暇时间和各种假期时断时续完成的。最初并没有试图写成小说公开发表,只是想把所经历的若干片段及其在事件中所思所想真实记录下来,权当自己成人礼前的特别存档。所以,当你看到这本书时会觉得,它并不是按照惯常的时间顺序排列,甚至还有些杂乱,但至少书中抒发的情感,是真挚的。 

2019年,我15岁,进入高中生活,正值让所有父母长辈从头疼化为咆哮直至陷入无边焦虑的青春期。这段时间被文学家们美妙地打扮成“人生花季”,社会学家则冷静点评为“多事之秋”,我其实更认同后一种说法。我的青春期其实并没有这么激烈,相反,有些太安静了。但在波澜不惊的表象下依旧会有很多个“我”在心里发出不同的噪声,也总有想做些或逆反或重构的冲动。我开始看不同小说,慢慢的不再满足书上人物所营造的虚幻世界,渴望着去看看外面的真实,特别是自己生活半径以外那个世界中的人是怎样生活的,他们面对生活的生命力和动力,又来自于哪。

于是,我参加了赴河北贫困山村的支教活动。这次支教为我日后关注扶贫及对既有知识结构的破圈产生极大的影响。在我过往的认知中,“知识就是力量”属于颠扑不破的真理范畴。虽然也听说过“知识改变命运”,然而对此却仅仅归于一声“噢”之类的懵懂。直至踏进贫困村我才真切感受到这句话的分量。原来,北师大调查数据所说月入1000元以下有6亿人,是真的;原来,经济学家李迅雷所说中国还有10亿人没坐过飞机是真的;原来,我之前当作笑话的所谓秦皇岛往北十几里的山中,全村只有两台电视,也是真的。要知道,秦皇岛距我所在的北京还不到300公里,我对那里的印象只是“魏武挥鞭,东临碣石有遗篇”的浪漫。

当我第一次直面贫困村庄和当地贫困留守儿童的生活时,我曾想,“如果处在这种场景中我的选择是什么,会像李校长一样仅凭幼时的就读童真之气和年长的不舍,就义无反顾地返回乡村拯救中心小学吗?”我想你们的答案有可能和我一样。因此,李在我眼里成为某种具有英雄主义色彩的人。

外面人的到来显然让孩子们看到一个完全不同的世界的一角,但他们又何尝不是也给我打开了一扇门。这个想法,是在回北京之后才意识到的。

曾经有一档名为“变形记”的综艺红火过一阵,我后来也一直将其视作一场秀。不过当真正来到了他们的乡村,而他们又来到我的城市,角色互换了,谁会默认反差谁又会坦坦然然甘之如饴?

支教的生活是短暂的,可对不同人生的打量却从此开始。千千万万打工人来到北京,他们是否还愿意或者还能不能返回到自己的初始,这真是一个好问题!在这本书里,以外卖小哥、快递员及卖废品的张姐为代表的城市打工者给出了某种答案,但也许在给出答案做出选择之前就和你看这本书时的现在一样,他们都曾问过自己无数次。门里门外,四目对视,谁会先穿过门成为对方,谁是谁的治愈者,很难说清。

就在我支教的这年年底,远在瑞典斯德哥尔摩的2019年度诺贝尔经济学奖得主出炉,一对长期关注贫困问题的美国夫妇成为三位得主中的两个。他们写了一本书,《贫困的本质:我们为什么摆脱不了贫穷》成为诺贝尔经济学奖得奖作品。

2020年,注定是不平凡的一年,估计多年以后都会让人记忆深刻,也或许会出现在未来的汗牛充栋的历史书中。

这一年,处于叛逆期的我目睹和经历了对中国乃至世界影响巨大的两件事。一个是好消息,2020年11 月中国832个国家级贫困县全部脱贫,这意味着我们国家告别了绝对贫困;另一个是坏消息,一场新冠疫情席卷全球,病毒在挑战着人类,以至现在还在很多国家蔓延。第一次,我觉得人在自然面前是脆弱的。

疫情期间在家上网课的我,最常接触到的是收废品的张姐、快递员和外卖小哥这三类人。他们也理所当然成为此书中重点探究的样本。这些来京务工的异乡人,一方面他们为超级城市服务着,另一方面他们生活中也面临着各自的难题。虽然家乡已经脱贫,但梦想和期待仍让他们毫不犹豫地奔赴一个庞大到让人眼花缭乱,复杂到让人胆怯,却又同时给他们希望的地方。是的,知识人不只是在书本上,更多的反而是为了改善生计做出不尽努力的点滴里。所以,他们,也同样是我的老师。

在接触中,他们似乎并不回避“贫困”这个词。其实,相对的贫困在世界任何国家都会存在,这也是全世界都无法避免的现象。或许,就像这场疫情和我们生活中的病毒一样,相对贫困会与我们人类同存,直至某一遥远的节点。只不过,我们可以将那些负面因子的冲击,减少到最小。

高中这两年,我的思考和经历好像并没有把我变成一个脱胎换骨的新人,而是更像自己本该成为的样子。希望在未来不知什么时候,当再次翻开这部书时,仍能治愈那时的我,也能为每个翻开此书的人们带去一种经过轻松的闲聊及看到他人生活后被抚平的平静。

“被人揭下面具是一种失败,自己揭下面具却是一种胜利——”这是维克多•雨果说的。很好,很好。

 康溪朗 2021.8.21
 




 
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