753 – Trapper Keeper Memories
A sideways bedtime journey to enfold you.
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary and my patron peeps. Thanks for keeping the show going, patrons. Couldn't do it without you, and let's get on with the show.
Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, a podcast to put you to sleep. We do it with a bed time story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I'm gonna do the rest. What I'm going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you can set aside whatever's keeping you awake, whether it's thoughts, feelings, physical sensations. It changes in time or temperature or routine.
You might have shifts in the weather, work schedule, whatever it is. Here, I'm taking this safe place. I'm smoothing and I'm patting it and I'm rubbing it down. I'm ruffling it, fluffing it, and pulling it taut. Taut, it's funny, like how do you say what a teacher did today on Long Island? Taught, you say. What did you do all day? Taught. I'm sorry, it just popped in my head when I was thinking, is taut and taught spelled the same way, and then I could hear some of my relatives from Ronkonkoma, shout out from them. So shout out to Ronkonkoma.
So where was I? Oh, where was I? Oh, I have a safe place. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I'm gonna use lulling, soothing tones, creaky dulcets, pointless meanders. Stuff will come up and then I'll get distracted. Even words like Ronkonkoma. That's not the most sleepy word, but it's not a bad word. It has a nice flowing of syllables. Ronkonkoma, and I may not even be saying it right. But what I'm gonna do is I'm here to keep you company. I'm here to take your mind off of stuff, to distract you from whatever it is that might be keeping you up, to give you a friendly bit of banter to listen to.
Now, if you're new, a few things. Structurally, show starts off with a few minutes of business and that's how we keep the show free for hundreds of thousands of people. Then we have an intro. The intros are kind of a show within a show. It's actually part of the podcast. Sometimes new listeners, either they think it's something that's supposed to make sense like a normal intro or that it's advertisement or something. No, it your friend trying to explain what the podcast is, maybe talk about a couple things that were on my mind. You kind of go off topic a little bit where I'm supposed to be introducing what it is.
So a lot of listeners use it as part of their wind down, where they're getting ready for bed, getting into bed. Easing into the experience. For me, I literally have to schedule an hour wind down and now that's not always enough. So this is like a 12-14 minute little wind down. Some people use it, some people fall asleep during it, like 2 or 3% of people skip it, a lot of people, more and more people listen to it during the day, either the intro or the podcast itself to kind of unwind.
So whatever it is, the podcast, oh, that's the intro. So that's the intro. Then there's some business, and then there's the story. Like tonight, it'll be kind of a guided meditation mixed with a little bit of nostalgia. So it's structurally, what to expect. As far as rules or stuff, here's a couple things. I'm not gonna make much sense. So kind of easily consume the podcast. It would compare to chewing oatmeal, and you might say, “Oatmeal can't be chewed,” and I'd say, “Well, it can be. It's just not a … You could have chewy oatmeal. That's a different thing.” But I'm saying I think you know what I mean, and if you're a regular, you say, “Oh, yeah, listening to Sleep With Me is like chewing oatmeal. That was right.”
That was Sleep With Me's catchphrase for 2019, maybe. “It's like chewing oatmeal.” Then also it's like feeling dumbfounded, because you say, but you say even though I don't know what you're talking about, I know exactly what you're talking about. So that's how much listening you need to do and how much sense-making this show is. I'd say it's sensible nonsense, like chewable, and again, I'm not saying chewy oatmeal. Chewy oatmeal's a different story. You'd say, what do you want me to do with this, chew it or mix more milk and then heat it back up or? How come no one makes, this is just a question that just popped into my head, but so you have snowballs, right? And you have oatmeal, two things you might think are unrelated, and oatmeal cookies, and then you have oatmeals.
Well, I guess there's oatcakes. I've seen oatcakes before, but I've never seen anyone throw an oatmeal ball, not that it's a good idea, kids. Don't do it. I mean, don't throw it at another person or anything considered private property. Also ask the internet if birds can eat oatmeal, but maybe throw it at a tree or somewhere where a forest friend could eat it. Because it was just thinking, if I, like the times I've been in a place that serves large amounts of oatmeal to large amounts of people, it can get into that chewy form factor, which is just like ballable material.
I mean, obviously, not if you're gonna be shaking hands with business people later. But otherwise, I think you can picture it with me, and let's do it as a little exercise, if you need a little exercise. Take that oatmeal, and it's just above room temperature, above body temperature, but not, just one or two degrees above body temperature. Oh, it's nice in the hands, and it is that, there's nothing leaking out of it. It's just in a gelatinous state, but it never gets any credit for being gelatinous.
Also, someone remind me in the future that's another podcast c-word, gelatinous, and we're forming it into a ball. It doesn't want to be in a ball. It also is somewhat formless. It likes the position it's in between our palms. We're cupping, you say, what's in your hands? Here's something that the only time this was answered was when a teacher probably asked it to me is, “What's in your hands?” I'm cupping an oatmeal ball. An oat ball, and she says, the teacher said, “I'm sorry, what are you doing?” “I'm cupping oatmeal.” Well, it's not oatmeal anymore. It's an oat ball because it's more … nevermind. I'll just go talk to sister, the head of my, yeah, say no.
But here we are. We're cupping our oat ball. There's an oatmeal ball, just like Ronkonkoma has the right amount of syllables, something about oatmeal ball has the wrong amount of syllables. That'd be something you go to dressed in a gown made of oatmeal, and I would love to be your date to the oatmeal ball. Or if you live in an oats collective, or you live in a culture with an oat-based economy or heavily dependent on oats, you'd say, “Well, yeah. What do you think we have? That's how we kick off the breakfast season. The oatmeal ball.”
Oh, well I was picturing something more idyllic where children chase one another with balls of oats or of oatmeal or something that's made of oats that was once oatmeal. So basically, they cooked oats in water where most of the water has been absorbed. Some of it may as entered as water vapor into the air. Do they chase one another around, throwing them, not at one another unless we can determine that there's a way to do that where it just feels good. It'd probably be good for your skin actually. Now what am I thinking? If you put on some goggles, maybe this is a new thing. Maybe this could be my spa. Scoot's Spa.
I know I've talked about other spa ideas before, and I can't think of any right now, but this could be another thing. It could be really good. If it had, I guess I'd need more of a spring. Spa and natural springs, and you'd say, oh yeah. You can head down, before you head down to the natural spring, we'll have oat ball fun. An oat ball toss, and then make sure that you have it within the designated area and then even maybe I guess we'd have to check with the man, my other partners in this business to see if that's a good idea for people covered in oats to get into the hot spring.
I would say, holy exfoliation when you get in there. I mean, that would be nice. Then you get a loofah or something, you're rubbing the oats in, and then you're rubbing them off, and also your body is now like a bit like a runner's high. You've been throwing oat balls at one another, so you worked it up. Could be, it could also be we have rooms for two, if you catch my drift. If you find throwing oats titillating, probably you're the one for me, I guess. Because they say there's someone for everyone. We could go to the oat ball together. Maybe just an oat themed weekend, and I guess I've gone, I've lost my oats, so where was I?
So see, you don't need to listen to this podcast. You don't need to make any sense of it. There's also no pressure to fall asleep. I'm gonna be here for about an hour to keep you company with a little journey into the past tonight, so, yeah, that's it. The reason I make this show is because I've been there. If it's your first few times listening, give the podcast a couple tries. It doesn't work for everybody. It's a little bit different, but give it a few tries and see if it does, because it's free and it's here to help. So, and I really, truly believe you deserve a good night's sleep without the pressure of falling asleep. I think that's kind of what this podcast is about, and if it doesn't work for you, you could email me. I could give you some other options.
But I really want to help. I work really hard on this show. I yearn and I strive to help you fall asleep. Thank you so much for coming by. Here's a couple of ways we keep the show a-going. All right everybody, tonight's episode is a little bit different. It'll be maybe a little bit of a guided meditation with trending, trapper, trending Trapper Keeper guided meditation I think. Like, well let me explain what a Trapper Keeper is, because not everybody was in school in the 80s.
If you were, you probably know what a trapper keeper is, or if you were a parent of some child in the 80s or if you've watched retro 80s TV shows or movies. But it doesn't really matter, because it can be a nice guided meditation. But Trapper Keeper according to Wikipedia was a brand of loose leaf binder created by Mead. It was popular in the United States, Canada, and parts of Latin America from the 70s to the 90s, and featured sliding plastic rings, which I can't figure out in my mind instead of the standard snap to close metal binder rings. Folders and pockets keeps schoolwork and papers in a wrap around Velcro enclosure.
At one point, it was a snap enclosure, and they had different designs on them which were, that's gonna guide our guided meditation tonight. It was invented in the late 70s by E. Bryant Crutchfield who's the director of new ventures at Mead corporation. I kind of describe my version of memory of it, but it got its name because it was sold in combination with pocket folders designed by Mead called Trappers. So it was folders instead of being vertical, they were horizontal maybe? They differed from other pocket folders because the three sides connected with the bottom, outside edge, and top as opposed to the bottom, outside edge, and spine of the folders. That's what kept them, like your papers wouldn't fall out.
I guess before this there was a rash of, marketing created rash of papers falling out at school. They could go in any three ring binder, the Trapper Keeper folders, I guess that was the Trapper, oh those were Trappers, and the Trapper Keeper was the binder. Let's see, yeah. Three years after it had a Velcro strap and designer series from 80 to 95, even had a deal with Lisa Frank, Garfield, Sonic. I guess it came out again in 2009. 2014, another one came out, Snapper Trapper. Even 2015, so it gets rebooted every once in a while. There's an amazing article by Erin McCarthy over at Mental Floss from … And it first came out September 1, 2017 and I'll to that in the show notes too. Really extensive history of the development of Trapper Keeper and stuff like that, so if you're really interested, you can check that out. I really, really enjoyed reading the article. It talks yeah, about all the ideas and some of the marketing and stuff.
But I'll talk about my personal experience really quick, and then I'll get into the guided meditation part. So for me, I'm the oldest of six kids, right? I remember if you've listened to [inaudible 00:15:40] for a while, you know I wasn't a good student, and I had trouble at school, and also my parents had to buy school supplies for six kids. Now I did have Trapper Keepers. I may have had one or two in my life, and I think I had an original, not the first round, but I remember having a generic blue one, but that may have just been the time, because I don't know if I actually did have a generic blue one or that was just the most prevalent look.
But I'm pretty sure I did have a generic navy blue one. Oh, so I should explain, even though they did it. So it was a very, very, it was a fad. I don't think they have fads anymore. They call it something, they call it going viral now. It used to be called a fad. It used to be called a fad by adults, but to kids, it was just what all the other kids had. So and then Mental Floss already goes and talks about, yeah, your first experience with conformity. But at the same time though, it was actually a brilliant piece of manufacturing and marketing, because here's the thing. You've got your three ring binders. Even my daughter today, she has a regular three ring binder.
There's a couple issues with that. One, for a kid like me, it just will, it's not self contained, so if it's shoved in your backpack, it could easily open and close. Stuff could go in between the binder, where the Trapper Keeper's sealed up like a portfolio. I mean, now you see adults with their, or you used to, with their … There was even a store at the mall that sold this stuff from one of the efficiency experts. But basically, your Trapper Keeper was a binder that closed all the way up.
Here's another thing that I really liked about it now that I'm talking about it was it was one thickness. The other thing with three ring binders is it's not one thickness. It's wedge-shaped, and for someone as unbalanced as me, I don't need any help. I say, thank you, I have nothing. I have my pride. I do have some wedge shaped things on me, but nothing else that goes in a backpack that I know of other than, that is wedge-shaped other than the three ring binder. Because you get books and notebooks and if you have spiral notebooks, you got to balance those. So the trapper keeper was a binder. It had folders that the papers supposedly didn't fall out of. I'll be honest. I'm not even sure I've ever used a folder in my lifetime.
You say, “Scoots, what's the average folder usage in equivalency of human hours for a normal person who grew up in the United States between 1980 and 1997?” They'd say, “Well, the equivalency in human lifetime is I would say 12.5 hours. I spent like eight minutes of my life using folders. It's, what do you need, it just, I guess it was just like friction for me, so we gotta get it in there, gotta get it out.
But the Trapper Keeper did offer some advantages. One, the stuff didn't fall out of the folder, but for someone like me, even though they didn't use the folders, if I did, it was kind of like a, not exactly like this, but it was kind of like a birth protection for your school stuff. Because your folders would be in a Trapper Keeper protected when it went into your backpack. Because for me, anything that went into my backpack that was not hardened material, like they should test stuff. When I was a kid, I could've tested stuff that was going to like the bottom of the ocean or the Antarctic or other planets.
They say, “We're gonna send some school supplies to the outer moons of Jupiter.” They say, “Well instead of quizzing the names of those moons, maybe Io, is that one of them? Correct. We're looking to test some school supplies to send out there, so we were wondering if you could test something, but you seem to have already destroyed them just.” I say, “Yeah, I'm good at that. You gotta make them harder. Do you have any Trapper Keepers headed Jupiter's outer moons?”
So it was a binder that protected your school supplies, and it was supposed to make you more organized. There was notebooks you could keep in there in addition to your folders, because again, I say this was just my school philosophy. If they were handing it out at school, it was crumbling it up, normally. So I wasn't good at, I just didn't have the discipline. Man, this is, I'm making light of it, but I do like retro, like looking back say, “Well, I wish I at least had the discipline to put things in my folder where they belonged, and then to take them back out.” I have started to desire that as an adult, a little more organization and predictability, but I didn't have that when I was a kid.
Also, the other thing was and this was just, this isn't … so I had a lot of trouble at school, and it would be really not the greatest of time when it became report card time around my house, so for me. Because my grades were almost never good, because I just wasn't a good student. So a lot of times it was whatever. We were always looking for solutions. What my parents were hoping that at some point I would become a good student and I was hoping at some point, school would just go away, where we're all kind of hoping, I mean realistically, most human beings thought there would be an easy solution or the things would fix themselves. So naturally, organically, solve themselves.
That didn't always work. So there was always different attempts to motivate me, especially when the report card came. So it would probably regulate my own parents' feelings about this, because I'm sure now that I'm an adult, there's like a large range of emotions you have around this stuff as adults too. I mean, I think my parents were probably clear with me. They say, well, I'm cool with my, I may be your parent but I really don't know what I'm doing other than keeping, I can keep, make sure you get fed and drink water and the rest of it I'm just doing my best.
My parents were doing that at the time, and so I think they were a bit vexed to use a word. So it was vexing on how to motivate their kids. Now you also have six kids without an, and you don't have an unlimited budget so getting kids' school supplies, and every kid wants the cool school supplies. Who wouldn't? I think my parents did the best. Like I said, I'm sure I had a couple Trapper Keepers. I know I had lunch boxes, so while we might not had the first Trapper Keeper or the fan, whatever. My parents did, they tried to help us out. It just wasn't always an early adaptor.
So like I said, I'm pretty sure, I don't remember in grammar school. I don't even remember what year Trapper Keepers were big. I just have a vague, nostalgic memory of them and a couple images, but I do know. So it might not even have been until middle school, but I do have this one very, very specific memory tied to Trapper Keepers that was in grammar school. The memory could go one of two ways is that I already had a Trapper Keeper, but it was getting old, which I definitely have that memory. They were, this isn't a buy once item. It's a buy it once every school year or every other school year.
So I do remember that not just mine, but other kids' Trapper Keepers would quickly wear down and the plastic would start to split and stuff. So let's assume that I had a Trapper Keeper at the time, but it was a, maybe it wasn't brand new. Though it could've been brand new or I may not have had a Trapper Keeper. What happened was at some point, I got the report cards, and usually I don't know what went on behind the scenes when my parents were trying to deal with these report cards, right? But at this stage, I think my dad was trying to turn over a new leaf or something. Just trying to come up with a new strategy, right, to deal with my lack of, what they saw as lack of motivation.
Also like a lot of us or at least me in particular. I'm similar to my father. Like who quests for certainty? What can I do that's within my control that will give us an easy solution here, and something that's exciting and feels good. Like a lot of it was disorganization. One of the big issues I had, so I remember I thought my dad was gonna be pretty upset at whatever it was or that there was gonna be more fallout, but he said to me, “Let's go down to Fay's Drugs.” It was a drugstore by us, F-A-Y apostrophe S Drugs.
It was normally one of the place you went and got school supplies, either Fay's or at K-Mart, right? Yeah, my dad took me to Fay's to get a, he said, let's get a, you know what we'll do is we'll get you organized and we'll get you a Trapper Keeper or something similar. So we went to Trapper Keeper, and this must've been, and I try, I couldn't find this on the internet. Now, I didn't do a ton of digging, but there seemed to be at some point, well yeah, I couldn't find this on the internet. Now this wasn't a Trapper Keeper competitor. I'm pretty sure this was made by Mead, but it was another attempt at the Trapper Keeper market, like a faux competitor.
I don't know if it was called, like I wanted to call it the Magnum. I don't know why, but it was something exactly like a Trapper Keeper but slightly different. This is just my memory, but I'm sure this happened where I said, now maybe we went to go get a Trapper Keeper and I said, “Well, I want the one with this one,” and they didn't have it, but they did have this other version of it. That also helped me because I always wanted to be a little bit different, right? So we got this thing, and we were kind of excited, and maybe it didn't have the Trapper folders. I don't know what the difference was. This was the Endo-Trapper or something. I don't know what it was, but I mean I know there was in my research a Trapper Keeper competitor called Tabs or something. I don't think this was that. I think it was the same branding and stuff, but I could be wrong.
But so we got this thing, and then we said, this is it. This is gonna solve everything, this new thing. I'm gonna be organized. I'm gonna get my work done. I'm not gonna have difficulty with my penmanship or math or teachers or authority figures. I'm not gonna eat anybody's diorama, which I tended to do, and those kind of things. Now, did it work? I don't think it did, but and I can't picture what that one was, but I remember the excitement. I wanted, like it was this effort by my father to take a new tactic and it was somewhat a case of magical thinking, but the magical thinking we all kinda take part in to say, hey, if we can just get the right organizer, we'll be organized, which I fall into all the time, because there partially is some truth in there. So that's why it can be so tempting at least for me.
At least I had something nice to be excited about at school, so I guess that's where my affinity for, I guess my affinity is always like, what is this nostalgia? Nostalgia is such an interesting thing. Maybe for those of you that are younger or a little bit of a different generation, it misses somehow. You might look at this like what an interesting thing. You generation Xers and whatever, all the late millennials or whatever. Early, I guess you'd be the early millennials. You're really like otherworldly beings with Trapper Keepers and stuff.
Yeah, but the one thing about it was they were very distinct. Like I said, first they came in these primary colors, or you could always get them in these primary colors, but you could also get them in a bunch of different colors. So I don't know, I thought we'd take a little journey and see how it went if we went and we kind of had a journey inspired by some of the art on Trapper Keeper binders. So I want you to take a restful breath and say that it's the Keepers. The Keepers of sleep. It's the first stage as we cross over. We're crossing over from dusk into night. We're in, night is the place of the green flash, great green flash everyone talks about that most people miss because you've already drifted across from the daytime to the nighttime and through the evening.
Some might even call it the evening shade. To greet us on that side of the evening shade, to welcome us to this nether, I guess it's not netherworld. New world where dreams are slowly created are three gatekeepers, three puppies, just so cute. You couldn't even, you would squeal and squee at the same time. They're sitting there waiting for us. Well, that's a question I have. They're sitting there waiting, but they're not looking at us as we arrive. That's a great, this is a great legend that I lead you to. The classical legend of the three puppies of behind the green flash, that the green flash is actually a glimpse, because they're in this great green field, but we never see the puppies because it's just a flash and the green is the dominant color, but there's three puppies watching over.
Now, the thing is that they're sniffing everything and that if you need it, they'll be peppering you with kisses. But for most of people, the comforting presence of these three cuties is comforting enough. You say, oh boy, they got that, I don't know what kind of puppies they are, but they have hair that's wavy but not curly. They're furry without being shaggy, and the three of them are nestled together, and they're just looking to our left. You never know why unless you were in a classroom, then they'd be looking at the person to the left of you, seeing what they're doing.
Oh, those three puppies of the green flash. Fredericka, Zonie, and Dechachi, of course. The three famous puppies of the green flash, and that carries us and you always want to think about as the colors change, as the sun is setting, the sky as we drift away into the, it's kind of a purple-y sky, right? It's also mood, this kind of mood where you can hear ocean breezes. You could feel the feeling like the sun is always setting. I don't know if that's a Jimmy Buffett song, but it could be, or if there's a Jimmy Buffett song about the green flash or the moments before it.
But this mood is the green flash, like palm trees or before it. We've crossed over past the setting of the sun, but with the spirit of the sunset, clouds on the horizon, palm trees just swaying. Vacation type spirit, and you say, “I'm gonna head off to those clouds as a matter of fact. I want to get closer to those clouds, where they feel, where I can feel like I'm taking off into the blue sky.” Oh, blue sky welcoming me, calling me in. What do we see when we're up there above the clouds? We see that strangely enough, where we've gotten to, it's not nighttime anymore. It's a cartoony daytime, so sweet and so nice. There's a perfect blue above us, perfect clouds we're now lying on, relaxing.
We feel so grounded and close and we say to ourselves, ROYGBIV. That's what we always say when we first see a rainbow up above, and the rainbow goes so far. You say, are we on one of those rainbow levels on Mario Kart, even? Because I feel like I could drive on this rainbow. But we feel our spirit even buoyed more, like if it was buoyed from helium, and not just any helium. The helium of ROYGBIV rainbow, because as we get closer, we're picking out some shapes at the end of the rainbow. We say, wait, somewhere over the rainbow. We're at the base of the rainbow in the clouds. Where are we gonna go next? Over the rainbow?
What we see at the base of this rainbow, balloon hearts of every color, ROY, red, O, orange, yellow, G, green, blue, and of course, indigo and violet get ripped off and combined into one. We see them there, welcoming us, and we rest on the clouds. Actually, we feel, we've traveled between worlds now, so we curl up in the clouds and rest, feel the puu, puu, pushy, poofiness against our skin. We kind of notice it. We say, well, I was just calling that sea eye blue before, but now that I'm noticing, it's many, many shades of blue. There's even something in that sky that's maybe somewhere between a sea eye blue and a slate blue.
We start to think of it, and we start to think of magazines of the 80s, magazines with heart throbs like, a magazine was called Tiger Beat. We say, why did they come up with that name? But now we see a beautiful, we see first there was puppy dogs. Now there's a regal cat, a T-I-G-E-R looking at us so calmly from afar. We know that we're not in an earthly realm. So we have crossed over, so this is both the metaphorical and real. It's sitting there on a rock. You see, when was this thing? It might be magic hours still up here, because this cat, its oranges are just popping while the sky behind it is a bit cloudy. We look at this tiger.
I don't know, we're just kind of amazed. There's something warm about it. There's something that inspires our safety and our confidence in ourselves where we say, okay, okay. I get it. I like it. I'm feeling good here. I am feeling good. And the tiger kind of waves us along with just a move of her head. Into the gray cloud behind her we travel, and we say, man, this is relaxing, through the gray clouds are gentle on our skin. The temperature nearly perfect. We next just see ourselves looking down on a mossy, mossy ground, and two more beings welcoming us. Two kittens, two kitty cats waiting for us, maybe again, unlike the tiger, but like the puppies, they're not making eye contact with us.
One kitten is looking in the other direction, and we say, well, maybe they were checking, because we were crossing over the threshold to make sure it was just us. The other kitten is kinda looking at our shoes or looking at our feet. We say, wait a second, our feet are now firmly planted on some mossy ground. We take in these two kittens. I don't know what a tabby cat is, but I want to use the word tabby cat just to say it. They have a lot of white fur, very, very pretty kitties if you don't mind me rhyming and saying that. Some browns and grays and dark browns and dark grays and blacks.
Like what are you, almost like a khaki spray on different parts of their white underbellies. We pass them eventually. We go into the green, mossy ground, which again turns into grass. Then we hear a galloping, a galloping towards us and around us of a beautiful, beautiful horse, a horse without a saddle, a horse without reins, a horse, I don't know if it's been through the desert. This is definitely not a horse with no name, for this horse tells me in a whisper, she's the keeper and the trapper, but not just of folders and papers, but of our concerns and she runs around us.
I don't know, do horses have a mane or do they have something else? But she's got a long, blanket tail, and not a colt, but she has that hair. I don't think that's a mane. I think it's called something, but that's black and she's a dark, dark brown. Two out of her four legs are white. The other two, brown to black. She has a white spot of fur, her hair between her eyes. She runs around us and we feel our heart lifting like those balloons on the rainbow. She's carrying them off, all our needs for efficiency, or our ruminations about it are carried away as she trots, trots, trots around us, kind of like she's trot, trot, trotting away with everything that we'd say, well, I'm kinda thinking about this or that.
No more as she trots off and we walk deeper and deeper across this plain where suddenly, the elevation starts to gain. We find ourselves at the edge of an alpine lake. There's big pine trees, and at the distance, it's arising. I don't know if it's a hill or a mountain, but it has some gree trees and some trees whose colors just started to change. I'm guessing maybe it's Autumn up here wherever we are. Beautiful mountain vista. We stick our feet in the water, and it's cool without being cold, and somehow we manage to just take our shoes and socks off and have a towel and find a log without knowing it that we sit there on.
We think about the kitty cats we left behind, the royal, regal cat, to the puppy dogs, the horse, and the rainbow. We wonder what's next. We think about the movie somewhere over the rainbow, and as we start to ponder the Wizard of Oz and our fragmented memories about it or total recall as some people might have. A hot air balloon goes over the mountain and starts to slowly descend towards us, and it's a beautiful hot air balloon. Diamond shapes, yellow and white and then a ROYGBIV, but in a different. It goes like a diamond pattern around its widest circumference. Red, yellow, light green, dark green, light blue, dark blue, a purple, red, orange, or deep orange, deep red. We say, wait a second. Red, orange, yellow. G, and two different color Gs, like a yellow green and then a green. Finally, we see there is a blue ROYGBIV, a blue, indigo, and violet appear on this balloon.
We say, well finally. ROYGBIV, you see that rainbow, you couldn't see it. There wasn't enough shading or gradation or maybe my eyes didn't see it, but I see it here now. The balloon gets closer. We hear that sound we maybe saw where it fills the balloon, a nice sound of warming air. We feel the air warm around us, and the next thing we do is we're stepping into the balloon. We say, “How you doing balloon?” There's a person tending the balloon and they just smile. They are balloon person. It makes sense, you see. Maybe this is a dream. “It's a dream come true,” the ballon person says to us, and we say, “Where are we going?” They say, “Across the other side of the lake, the other side of this hill. The hills are alive up there.”
We say, “Okay. Is that over the rainbow? I guess we're under the rainbow technically, because the hot air balloon is its own rainbow.” The balloon, balloon caretaker says, “You never know.” We head up a mountain and eventually we land at a, see, there's a lot of grass up here. It must've been the 80s, so it was peak grass days, I think. We see mount white, snow capped peaked mountains just beyond us. It is something like one of those mountain based movies, but it's very cartoony around here too. There's the grassy fields leading up, like you'd say, “Well, this feels like Switzerland in the movies or something.”
As we start to climb, we just started walking, we see actually a field of poinsettias or poinsettias, not sure how to pronounce them to our right and we think, huh. Is that where they grow? Do they really grow up on mountain tops? We realize, well, we're not really on a mountain top, and every once in a while, the grassy hill, I guess, that we're on is broken up by little bits of rock sticking up through it. As we go a little bit further on, we see a bush with little red berries on there. We say, “I wonder if those are poinsettia berries, or poinsettia berries.” Just beyond that bush is rolling hills up to the mountain peaks beyond it.
We hear this swoosh of water, not a waterfall, but a series of small waterfalls leading down to a brook or a stream. The stream gently becomes like lazy and gentle after the water falls. We sit there and we breathe in the mountain air and watch the water flow. It's very hypnotic, watching moving water and you start to watch it so long you say, “Is it moving or is it not? Are they just exchanging molecules or are all the molecules moving in a motion?” Well, I don't know, that's a pretty deep question. I really don't know the answer to that question. You see, I'm probably better off not asking it all then.
We kind of just take in and we say, “This is kind of marshy up here. Maybe this is a bit like the highlands.” You know what would make this better? Then we hear some music, some music, a bit like a musical yodel, but nothing like a yodel. Just it feels like a yodel, a calming sound like an undulation of like carousel type music, but done in a yodeling fashion. We say, “Have I fallen asleep here on the grass?” Because the sky opens up like a little bit of a piece of paper, like some mystical force is tearing open the paper and through it, it start to flow giant heart balloons, very similar to the balloons we had seen earlier, but in more complementary colors and the colors of ROYGBIV. Kind of like the complementary colors on the balloon we were just on, like a lighter red, a lighter orange, a pink, light green. The balloons that float all around us.
We think about the love that surrounds us that just needs to be noticed, just like here. The mountain peaks, the grassy hills, the poinsettia type plants, the flow of water. We really start to relax even further, just listening to the floating of the hearts around us, buoying our spirits. But then we hear something else, something nice. It's a meowing, more kittens. We say, “Okay. Somewhere nearby are some kittens meowing.” We can already tell it's three kittens meowing. We say, “Oh, earlier we saw two kittens, I think. Three puppies and two kittens equals cute.” But we hear three kittens now, and we walk a few steps and there in the grass, it's not a tisket, it's not a tasket, it's a basket full of three kittens.
These kittens, two of them are looking right at us and meowing. There's some cute, pink flowers that look like bows growing nearby. The top left kitten is looking to our left, you know, it's looking at plants and forest friends. But these kittens have the biggest, you'd say, even [inaudible 00:50:48] Disney eyes, you probably you could say. But we see our own essence in kitten reflected back at us. We say, “Okay, yeah, there's something cute and vulnerable inside me like this too. Something that would meow.” Then we notice we've supplied with with saucers of milk and the kittens are lapping up the milk as the hearts are still floating around us. The hearts are still settling down.
After the kittens are full of milk, they get in a basket and they cuddle up together. Well, these kittens are actually, they look like they just got blown dry, they're so puffy and cute. We even pet them and they purr. We pet them some more and they purr. Then we hold the basket and we gently move it and they purr together. They also kind of climb on one another to look, and we say, “That is so cute.” When I walk with the basket, they're climbing on each other to look out the sides of the basket.
We tell them where we've been, on an adventure, or more of a journey, I guess. I would say it's a pretty mellow, passive experience. All our efficiencies were trapped and kept by a gracious horse, and we say, “We're pretty happy about that. It really was easy to do.” Then we say, “Well, where are we supposed to bring you, kitty cats?” Then we hear something else that's a buzz, and we say, “Okay, that buzz is mechanical or electric. It's not like the flowing of the water or the meowing of the kittens. It's mechanical in a different way than the heating of the hot air of the hot air balloon.”
Again, we feel the air kind of shift and change colors. Things start to get interesting. We say, “Okay, maybe we are in another world,” because what we see begins to flow in pinks and blacks and sky blues and purples. We just walk towards it. We know we have a basket of kittens with us, and that feels pretty nice, and we're carrying them along step by step towards the buzzing. As we cross the next hill, we look and the sky is covered by giant, neon hearts. Hot pink and buzzing and we say, “Okay, this is pretty good.” We walk towards it with the kittens and we know, okay, this is where these three cute kittens belong, giant neon hearts.
As we walk down, we realize it's like wall, a giant wall not attached to anything, flowing with the power of love against, if Huey Lewis was here, that might be what was sung. But right now it's the power of the kittens and we still hold up the basket of the kittens, and the next thing we know, a kitten hand, a cat hand reaches down, momma cat and scoops up the basket with the kittens in it and pulls them up over and out of our view, into the heart, into the neon heart.
Then the neon heart kind of starts to pulsate, just like it was beating. Then we hear a voice that says, “Thank you. Thank you for bringing the kittens. I hope you enjoyed this journey. Is there anything you would like in return for bringing the kittens here?” We think, well, our keepers were trapped and our traps were kept by the horse. That was very nice, and this was a nice journey here. Really relaxing and calming, but I would like to slide down the rainbow. If I can't see what's over the rainbow, I would love to slide down the rainbow.
The heart says, “Consider it done.” The next thing we know, we're sitting there on a rainbow. We're also secure. We realize that the rainbow, we're not gonna, the rainbow is gonna slide and we're not. Somehow that makes it, I don't know why it's more comforting, but it just is. We being to move with the rainbow. It's more like a ribbon than just a rainbow. We move back and we see the kittens, all five of them playing and climbing on one another to look at us on our rainbow. We see the puppies. We see the tiger. We see the horse, and we see whatever else we met. ROYGBIV, all those things. We slide further and further down and we end up back in the clouds. We land in a bed of rainbow colored clouds with balloons that are like pillows around us.
We snuggle in there. It's so comfortable and so comforted. We get comfortable and we drift off into dreamland. Good night.