Sunday, April 25, 2010

one fish two fish

The first bite was mine -- utterly unexpected, and the squeal that followed (my brother Marc always referred to it as my Hollywood Scream) was heard across the Willamette. Alas, it was a native and we set her free after what looks to me like a significant amount of suffering. No blood-letting, but still, if you set a hook in my lip and drug me upstream against my will, well, I'm just sayin'.

So, some sunny hours later, we are back home with two fresh salmon and a sunburn. Three in a weekend. Hooray. I do like to fish.

Friday night we had dinner with Vali, my cousin who I met via (see previous posts) at her house. For all of my uncle/her father's idiosyncracies, her small family remained much more intact than mine did. Growing up, I have some memories of my uncle -- mostly that he was a good artist and an activist and Communist when it wasn't cool to be one. I remember his house over on Cleveland in NE Portland, a big craftsman place with a deep front porch. Inside was a fireplace and over the mantle was a painting of a young boy and girl, the boy holding mistletoe, about to kiss the girl, who looked not exactly thrilled about it. Vali had this painting. On another wall (in my memory) was a painting of a woman. Now, I know it was probably something like a hooker, with a streetlamp and signpost, a long narrow painting. Vali didn't have that one, but she had one of a blonde woman in a low cut green dress, a young man in the corner, the woman looking like she was just out of bed, the man just leaving the room. In my memory -- that of a nine year old -- the paintings were photographically real. Now, they are not so perfect. But seeing them, proof that my childhood did happen, was moving. Then, she showed me one of my uncle's notebooks. It is remarkable to me that this man I did not hardly know -- and this is one of my few regrets -- (reading along, you might think I would have many regrets, but I don't, not really, but I do endeavor not to create any as I go...) may have been not only kin, but kindred.

Anyway, during my undergraduate studies, Sociology was my major and Marxism my favorite flavor. That my uncle was a Marxist (not a communist it turns out, big difference) is stunning. I wish I'd known him. I think we would have had alot to talk about.

1 comment:

L. said...

yes, that our childhood did happen. I feel you would have known him, too, no doubt.