Tanggangzi 汤岗子

This Tang dynasty poetry book was given to me by my Jiujiu (mom’s brother) in 2003 when I visited Beijing for the first time since 1986. It’s mom’s who loved classical poetry. The dog-eared book was published in 1957, cost only 0.70 yuan.

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I treasure it just as much because, this is the only thing I’ve from mom, except photographs. On the title page where mom inscribed her name and the place and time of purchase. The calligraphy was not her usual style, which made me wondering why. Under her mother’s tutelage, she had a sound foundation in Chinese literature that included calligraphy.

Searching Tanggangzi, in 2003 there wasn’t a place to be found on the Internet but nowadays, it surfaces as a top notch spring resort, near Anshan, Liaoning province. Apparently, mom went there in 1958 to recuperate, and made a few friends.

One day mom and her new friend Min decided to go to town. Passing by the book store, they went in. Mom was attracted by the Tang poetry book. She picked it up and began to read, regretting that she didn’t bring her own copy. An hour had passed. Min tiptoed sneaking up and tapped her shoulder. Mom was startled.
“It’s time to go.” Min said.
“Let me read a little more.” Mom said.
“Can’t … we’ll miss the bus.” The resort’s bus had limited schedule.
Mom was debating if to buy. Money was tight for everyone. A yuan could go a long way. But in the end, the book won. Her friend inscribed on the title page.

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Mom’s health had not been great and in late 1967, she was once again offered extended sick leave from the doctor. However, the flame of the Cultural Revolution was burning bright and when everyone was running for cover, except mom, who felt her calling.

Her good friend Auntie Wang went to the hospital with her. After the doctor handed mom her sick leave note, Auntie Wang said, “Take the note and go away for a while.”
“Where can I go?” Mom asked.
“Tanggangzi, for example?”
“Not interested.”
“Why don’t you go to the city and visit your daughter and parents?” The Institute of Zoology was in the suburbs where they both worked and lived.
“What would I do in the city?”
“Play with your daughter, or plant flowers.”
“Plant flowers? That’s so bourgeoisie” Mom laughed and dismissed the idea.

Ignoring doctor’s instruction and her close friend’s advice, mom dived right back in, full throttle. She was soon put under house arrest and committed suicide four months later.

这本唐诗三百首是2003年 我第一次回北京时舅舅给我的。妈妈酷爱古典诗词。该书出版于1957年,只有七毛钱。四角都起毛了。

我很珍惜它,因为这妈妈留下的唯一遗物 – 除了照片。书的扉页有妈妈她名字和购买的地点和时间。书法不是她一贯的风格,这让我想知道为什么。妈妈受她的妈妈 – 婆婆的影响,文学基础非常扎实。 搜索汤岗子,互联网上在2003年还没有,现在是国内一个顶尖的温泉度假村,鞍山市,辽宁省近了。显然,妈妈去那里于养病,并认识了几个朋友。

一天,妈妈和她的新朋友敏决定去镇上。经过书店时,妈妈被这本唐诗吸引了。她进去后就开始阅读,越发遗憾是她没有把她自己的那本带来。一个小时过去了。敏偷偷踮起脚尖起来,拍了拍她的肩膀。妈妈吃了一惊。
“该走了。”敏说。
“让我读多一点。”妈妈说。
“不行… 我们会错过汽车。” 疗养院的汽车的时间表非常有限。
妈妈在犹豫是否购买。那时每个人的钱都挺紧张的。一元需要走很长的路。但最后,书赢。她的朋友敏在扉页上题词。

妈妈的身体一直都不太好. 1967年下旬,医生再次开给她长期病假。然而,文革的火焰高烧,虽然每个人都在躲避,但是妈妈却热情高涨的积极参加。

她的好朋友王阿姨陪她一起去的医院。医生递给她病休条后,王阿姨说:“你正好可以休息一下了。”
“休息?” 妈妈好像不懂。
“是呀, 找个地方好好休息一下。”
“我该上哪儿?” 妈妈问。
“汤岗子,例如?”
“没兴趣。”
“你为什么不进城,看看你的女儿和父母?”中国科学院动物研究所是在郊区。
“我能在城里做些什么?”
“陪你女儿玩,或种花。”
“种花?开玩笑,这么小资的事… ”

忽视医生的指示和她朋友的建议,妈妈披星带月的参加文化大革命。 没有多久她就被软禁。四个月后她自杀了。
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汤岗子温泉引位于辽宁省鞍山以南7.5公里。是中国四大的温泉康复中心之一。占地面积45万平方米,国家AAAAA 级旅游区。是驰名中外的旅游、疗养胜地

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