Friday, October 5, 2007

The Boy with the Eels

I went and saw a play with Angie, Paul, and Kristina on Thursday night. It's called The Ghosts of Celilo. It was put together over many years by the guy from 80's band Quarterflash which you may remember for their synth-ballad, Harden my Heart. Anyways, I went to the play thinking it was about the 1957 damming of a big river in Oregon that eliminated historic and sacred indian fishing grounds. Unfortunately, the play was narrated by ghosts that are drowned under the water and tell, in melodramatic singing fashion, about the tragedy from the point of view of two indian boys and the white girl with the heart of gold whose love bridges the divide. It was pretty painful to sit through.

What is it about a bad play that makes the observer so embarrassed? I internalized the cheesiness and it made for my queasiness. Cringingly heavy handed. Sure, yes, nice to learn about the history. But ufda, it was a crappy narrative combining two of my least favorite plot devices: the pygmalion thing and magical spirit narrators.

The one super cool thing:
I visited Portland with Mari for less than a day in 1997. We went to a junk shop and I found a photo in a box of loose prints that I liked. I stuck it in a cheap little frame and it has hung by my desk wherever I work ever since. Its the boy with the eels, he's my muse, and up until thursday night I thought it was just an old photo from a junk shop, unsigned, unknown, but a really cool picture.

Imagine my surprise during the opening of the play when they had a multimedia slide show and there's the boy with the eels projected as big as a giant.

I still don't know who took the photo but it is apparently from the celilo fishing grounds.

Tomorrow I am going to see Billy, Canup and Daniela in Seattle and I get to ride the TRAIN. It leaves early so I will sadly miss Bartoons.

1 comment:

katekatenegotiate said...

you are finding people in portland from your photo collection. how annie proulx!