Raburesu wrote:Earlier on, during Underwater and a Maple with a Name:
Then, near the end, during Proof of Existence:
Interesting catch. I totally missed that. But it makes perfect sense to me. It's a tad hard to explain, though. I'll try anyway. But it's going to be a long post. A really long post. I just hope it's not boring.
1. Rin, experience, words, and conversation
Basically, Rin is all about experience. Talking is hard, because talk is - in itself - an experience, and the experience you talk about takes the backseat to the experience of speaking itself. The result is a slow aliantion process, as Rin gets into the experience of talking and forgets the experience she's supposed to be talking about. All that remains is a thread of words, and Rin starts to worry about meaning and truth.
Now, Rin would like to be understood. But that is not a matter of understanding the meaning of her words; rather, it is a matter of sharing an experience. Talking is different: Talking about an experience suspends it, and divides people into two parties; one who has a speaking experience, and one who has a listening experience. To Rin this is confusing, because she automatically attempts to share the listening experience, too. ("You probably don't want to hear this, or maybe you do, but even if you don't, it doesn't matter..." - quoting from memory, so it's not verbatim)
So: in addition to having an experience-vs.-words problem, Rin has a speaker-vs.-listener problem. With her paintings, she hopes to by-pass this: in theory, both people could have the same experience when looking at the painting. (In practice, that doesn't work, because Rin has memories that are triggered, and others don't. I suspect that Rin knows deep down that this can't work, but she clings to it, because it's the only chance at "connecting" she sees.)
2. Rin and Hisao
Rin is very slow to open up, and very quick to close down. Hisao gives her the impression that he might one day understand her, but he's never quite gets there. Take the scene near the beginning, where they talk about the clouds, or a bit later when they talk about the sky. Both times, he gives Rin a new perspective on the topic (so in a sense they connect), but then he goes back to being down-to-earth Hisao, with his need to classify experience to make it real (the cloud-explanation is better "because it's true"; Rin is not the sky). In both cases, Rin ends up agreeing tentatively. She's sort of humouring Hisao, when she does this, but not quite. "Truth", for example, falls into the word realm rather than the world realm. (For the record, I think the thought of all the people's water joining in a cloud is a sort of connecting experience for Rin; much like Rain.) And "agreeing" is a speech act (also a word-experience). It's really
hard to explain this.
It's this sort of back and forth that makes her nervous. I think she wants
to explain herself, but can't do it in words. She knows that Hisao wants to understand her, but it's equally clear that he's much more involved in the realm of words (categories), and this is where she's uncomfortable. There is a bitter irony in the alienation experience Rin has when she tries to talk about herself. Maybe she can get Hisao to understand her explanations; but she herself wouldn't necessarily know what they mean, and whether they really apply to her. Because the words are removed from her experience.
She has opened up significantly to him by the time she tells him about the worry tree.
3. Does Rin talk to trees?
So, when Hisao asks her whether she talks to the worry tree about her problems she reacts as your screenshots indicate. I do believe that she doesn't
talk to the trees about her problems. That would be a way to direct approach for her. But I don't consider it impossible that she strikes up some sort of "relationship" with the trees - so that she might imagine they're there for her. A sort of "connection". Trees won't ask her to explain.
When she's talking about talking to trees, she's talking with Hisao, and it's quite clear to her that - even if did on occasion use language towards trees - that would not constitute talking about her problems in the way that talking to Hisao "now" does. That is the experience of talking to trees is substantially different to the experience of talking to people, and in that sense, it makes sense to say that she doesn't
talk to trees.
But then she starts to drift off. She starts to worry that she might have accidently insulted Hisao (if he
were the type ot talk to trees). And by the end, when she says that people might think you're weird if they spot you talking to trees, she might have slipped from an internal experience of "talking to trees feels different from talking to Hisao" to an observer experience of "talking to trees might look a lot like talking to Hisao (except that trees don't talk back)", and thus she might be talking about herself as well as Hisao - but she's no longer in the moment.
To re-anchor herself in the moment, she needs to lie down. And crucially, Hisao follows suit. While what we
get is a swarm of words from a Hisao who thinks too much, what Rin gets is the experience of lying side by side in silence, and that must be calming.
Basically, this scene has a nervous and upset Rin talking about experience rather than experiencing.
The scene near the end has Rin already in it's-okay-to-be-me mode (her words tend to lag behind her mood). Thus it's okay to greet trees, and it's okay if Hisao sees her. No more pointless talk and complicated differences and similarities. Just the here and now, and a couple of calming habits and non-angry, accepting company.
So, basically, I think Rin did change: especially her experience of their relationship. Understanding is no longer a prerequisite for connection at that point. Thus to what extent one could say that she talks to trees and whether that would then be weird or not is no longer important. She can now connect to Hisao and trees at the same time (and in different ways), even if Hisao might not share the tree connection. That would have been impossible, earlier.