【明報專訊】A few weeks ago, I received a writing assignment about Lion Rock. Little did I anticipate the stress this would entail due to the complexity of emotions attached to the subject. Over the years, the lion has claimed its throne among Hong Kong's icons, topping the must-see list of eager visitors. A symbol of endurance and success for older generations, Lion Rock has invited mixed reception from youngsters who grew up in a society more polarised and less rewarding in many ways. To write an ode to Lion Rock felt arbitrary. To decipher its entangled fibres would require colossal effort. As the deadline approached, my page was scattered with mundane sentences-safe on all fronts, inspiring on none.
The solution came on my little excursion to Kat O, the largest island in the Northern District bordering Yim Tin and Sha Tau Kok. As the ferry went through Plover Cove and Crooked Harbour, passengers watched in awe the wonderful weathering features lining the coast. A dutiful tour guide on the ferry explained,“to your left is the Devil's Fist-can you see the small rock with a thin bottom and rough top?. She was referring to one of the most sought after features in the area. Eager faces turned in the direction she pointed. From our distance, however, every rock was the size of a dot, marginally resembling a fist. People gestured towards the coast. Many couldn't even locate it.
“If confused, count three rocks from your right,”instructed the guide. But where should we even start? Amid some messy counting, the ferry advanced, leaving behind the haunted coast. Everyone settled with a different conclusion about the Fist. Some started to call it One-Punch-Man's Fist, Resistance Palm and other creative names.
Then I thought of Lion Rock. Why was it named this way? Contemporary visitors are obsessed with finding the best angle to photograph the lion's head, but I've always thought it resembles an alligator from a different angle. Further research shows that it was once called Tiger Head, Camel Hill, Eagle Beak and many others in different points of history. Just like any weathered features, it embodies the active imagination and fabrication of generation after generation. Realising this took some of the weight off my pen-forget about the Lion Rock spirit for a second. The mountain might not even have agreed to be called a lion. It just did not have a chance to protest.
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Mona C. has a strong appetite for stories. Feed her enough.
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