Post by omarandruby on Jun 24, 2020 19:55:50 GMT -5
I hope for Fenn's sake it was all worth it. It seemed like he was having a ball, stringing us along, speeding up the chase in spring & then tapping the brakes around fall. I still don't understand how dozens and dozens of searchers never bothered to “unlock the clues". The clues were riddles not just some arbitrary map dot. Forrest told us we could walk right to the box if we could discern the correct clues. Admittedly I started out BOTG several times hoping to find that certain something on-site.
AND I AM glad I did because staying home waiting for the right answers wouldn't have taken me to so many fun places. Places I want to go to again, exploring/ camping all up and down the Rockies. I did some crazy things the first couple of times, could have been snake bit down in NM, could have been bear bit up in Wyoming or Montana.
That’s a great question. It’s almost like the poem has multiple inter-tangled layers and we are unraveling the web of clews tied end-to-end. Then to make things more difficult, each clew is then recycled through the untangling.
Minotaur, good point. Is it just coincidence that you, ancient Crete's bull-man, posted about Theseus' ball of string (i.e. the classical origin of the word clew/clue)?
Note that the namesake charm necklace in Scrapbook 229 Medicinal Mojo Necklace consists of three circular strands of woven "cotton string" with "old and authentic" "medicinal" beads and found items. The "old and authentic" items recall Fenn's almost obsessive collecting described in Gold and More. Furthermore, the woven "cotton string" and round nature recalls the "multi-colored ball" (p.128)--i.e. the clew--that mysteriously disappeared in Gold and More. In the comments to this scrapbook Fenn stresses this connection further as he asks us to admire the handiwork of his "squaw wrap" binding--again string tied together. As discussed in my recent post on that scrapbook, I have a theory that this might be Fenn describing a systematic method to reveal hidden information from within the poem (clues!).
Getting back to TTOTC, the story of the missing giant ball of string from Gold and More is clearly ridiculous. "The ball was so large it couldn't go through my bedroom door" and therefore couldn't have gotten "out of [his] room" (p.128); this is hyperbole at the very least and at most is the result of something magical. That Fenn described this as "one of the great unsolved crimes" (p.128), and as detectives follow clues to solve crimes, this does support the idea that Fenn intended for this ball of string to be linked to the word clew/clue. A clew doesn't need to be tied together, let alone "multicolored" like a rainbow. This tied attribute of the Gold and More clew is related to the woven "cotton string" of Scrapbook 229 and to its "squaw wrap" binding. As I posted in my thread on Scrapbook 209, the creepy fairy doll is a deliberate representation of the Gold and More poem puzzle; I do not believe it is a coincidence that the doll had "woven woolen fabrics" as one of the items of its clothing.
I don't know the mechanics of it, but I was working on a theory that this--weaving together, binding, tying--is related to a systematic method of extracting hidden information from the poem puzzle (as explained in more detail, although ultimately unsatisfactorily, in other posts). Note that we can find in the chapter title Looking for Lewis and Clark, through some rearrangement and deletion, the phrase "Looking for Clark and Lewis." This is what we, the players of Fenn's game, are supposed to be doing. Discovering and "precisely" following the "nine clues" (p.132), which I suspect are both overt and covert.
The Gold and More clew is circular/repetitive in nature, as is the gypsy camp and gypsies dancing in Gypsy Magic. The clew is bound together end to end, partnered like the image of Fenn at the gypsy camp "[becoming part of it as [he] moved back and forth in the sway" (p.43). I hypothesize that circles/repetition and partnering are two key concepts in the systematic method to reveal hidden information in the poem.
These concepts are found in the Important Literature bookstore clerk who "walked away, tossing her thick braids back and forth," in the context of having knowledge--she "knew where every book was in that whole store" and "graduated from a good school somewhere" (p.10). The braid is the partnered element and the tossing back and forth is the circular/repeating element; having knowledge cues clew/clue.
They are found in other variations in My War for Me, as out and back incidents involving things bound together. Fenn quotes a poem, misattributing the (original) author as Evetts Haley: "Far they range and fair they roam, Much they do and dare, While gray-gowned patience sits at home, And weaves the cloth they wear" (p.75). Fenn goes on a bombing run, gets shot down in the jungle, and eventually returned--a recurring circular theme to the stories in TTOTC--to his military and actual family after being attached--tied or bound--to a "240-foot cable" (p.90).
The circular/repeating nature of the bound clew may also incorporate a reversed element. Fenn's mother "was always knitting and didn't seem to notice" that Fenn and his brother were spanked (involving a backside, hence possible reversed)--also described as "switched," also invoking a reversal--by their father in Surviving Myself (p.40). This is directly related to Fenn being hit with the cow Bessie's tail (reversal!), tying her to his stool by her tail--bound or partnered like his clew--and being knocked onto his back side (reversal!) in a cow pie (cue "pi" and hence circles) in Bessie and Me.
We find these concepts, with other possible attributes, in the lassoed (tied!) buffalo in the out and back misadventure (circles!) in Buffalo Cowboys, the students in Teachers with Ropes, and a multitude of fishing references (line and fly tying).
I will conclude this rambling with the thought that perhaps the TTOTC colophon--a double omega--is also related to these ideas. Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is often used as a symbol of the end. A double omega could be read as end to end. Recall the Gold and More clew: "the best saving technique was to tie one end of the new piece of string onto the end of the last one" (p.127-8).
Post by edgewalker on Jun 25, 2020 14:27:05 GMT -5
Or it could just refer to the giant ball of yarn, formerly a roadside attraction in Bozeman Montana. Bozeman is not far from Nye in stillwater county. I had a whole solve at one point related to that area, Wood mountain, Harrison and Ford found on the map just south of that (Indiana Jones of treasure hunter). An area called Arsenic (periodic table AS) nearby. Straight creek at the base by a small landing strip. I can't remember it all but a lot of confirmation bias potential. I think there was a mine off Stillwater called Atlantic and Pacific or something like that (warm water halts at the ocean). I am sure I don't have every reference perfect but my memory is sound on most of that.
I think there is dual purpose for the mention of clew - in the Greek mythology - a string that guides you on your way back through the lush forested vegetation- maybe the forest is so overgrown and the hill is slick and steep that it helps to have a 240 ft rope to use as a handline (especially if you are 79 or 80 years old) think teachers with ropes. The other purpose I think philosophical- maybe Norse mythology related- see the “web of wyrd” symbolikon.com/downloads/web-of-wyrd-norse/