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From: "Nigel Price" 
Subject: (urth) Names, human and divine
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 15:24:17 +0100

Mantis (yes, I checked, it was he) wrote...

>>Me, I just give him the text bits he needs.

And very grateful he is too - especially for today's FCT (see below).

On the subject of who-said-what, the very same Mantis also commented...

>>Nope, not me (not recently, at least).  Somebody else.

Congratulations, or maybe commiserations, Michael. You've made it through to
that inner circle of family members, friends and pets whose names I am
forever forgetting, mis-spelling or simply interchanging at inappropriate
moments. It's bad enough when I call Daughter A by Daughter B's name...or by
that of my younger sister...but when I call either of them by the cat's, or
worse, the dog's, name, then I really am in trouble.

I think I actually meant that *Nutria* suggested the connection with the
Tree of Life, but if it was someone else entirely, please will everyone
accept my apologies. (Including Joshua, who got called "Josha" for some

>>Today's fortune cookie tip: In the text at the end it is capital-G God.

Now this really is interesting and does make the closing lines of "The Tree
is my Hat" even more ambiguous. If Baden is praying to God, rather than to
the god Hanga, is he in fact repenting, having cut off his right hand rather
than risk going to hell with two hands? Listening to the audio, I definitely
got the impression that he was talking (in despair) to the angered spirit of
Hanga, his blood brother, but now I'm not so sure.

There's the question, too, of how we come to read Baden's account. If the
story is taken from the text of journal, how do we know what he said when he
was on the plane unless he wrote it down? If he wrote it down at the time,
then the journal at least must have survived the presumed plane crash which
comes after the story's end. If he wrote it down later, then Baden himself
must have survived the journey and the thunder storm.

How likely is it that a journal would be fished out of the Pacific following
a crash and still be readable? Is the story's very existence testimony to
Baden's late repentance and survival?

Hm. Just when I thought that I had understood this story...



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