I’ve been wanting to visit Meow Wolf these last three years, ever since a writer friend returned from there, and his brain was on fire.
It’s an interactive art installation, but really, words fail to describe this place. My friend said plenty about it, but I didn’t get it. Last week I finally got my chance to see what it was all about when I took a road trip to Santa Fe.
A robot greets you as you arrive.
You line up for your timed entrance, and inside you see what appears to be a Victorian house. You are encouraged to touch everything, to open every door and study everything. The house is full of secret doors and passageways that lead you through seventy something rooms of wild imagination. As another friend very succinctly described this place, “It’s weird”:
It’s like falling through the rabbit hole and wandering lost through Alice’s wonderland. It fires the imagination, reminding us what it was like before reality squelched (or tried to squelch) that uninhibited imagination we typically experienced as a child. How else would a “rational” adult think that a dinosaur’s ribs could become a xylophone? Or that a washing machine could be…well, something more exotic? (I don’t want to give anything away!)
This experience reminded me of a journey into the imagination of our inner child. Going to those places is how writers come up with their stories. Writers are entertainers, and a writer’s mind works something like Meow Wolf. Our minds spin with “what if” as we jump from one idea to another, trying out different ways to show a central premise and different routes to get there. Too often, a little voice nags at us, saying “You can’t do that!”
Oh, but we can. That’s why I think it’s so important to connect with our inner child.
Writers have to fire up imagination in order to take readers on an enjoyable ride that will stimulate their imagination, too.
How do you connect with your inner child?