Some of the written-word art at Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf, “The House of Eternal Return,” makes you laugh, some makes you think, and all of it enhances the interactive, exploratory art exhibit that allows your imagination to think of time and space as non-linear. So fun!
“Mind-bending, explorable art experience for people of all ages in Santa Fe, New Mexico.”
Have you heard of Meow Wolf? I hadn’t either until my recent trip to Santa Fe. Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return “takes participants on a macrocosmic adventure of seemingly endless possibilities.” It’s art, music, a mystery, a story, and an experience. You walk into a house and discover endless pathways to seemingly other dimensions. Walk into the fridge, slide inside the dryer, duck into the fireplace, climb layers of a tree-house, interact with on-site actors, and explore materials and mediums in ways you’ve never thought of–all of it opening up your mind and sense of wonder.
303 Magazine’s Corinne Anderson describes the one-of-a-kind art installation “by breaking down the main themes that tie the psychedelic smorgasbord of Meow Wolf together.”
It Encourages Curiosity
Using your imagination is almost unnecessary if you just wander throughout The House of Eternal Return because the wildly fantastic environments easily transport you to unearthly dimensions. But within these dimensions there are countless ways to interact and immerse yourself which take at least a little inquisitiveness to uncover.
If wandering around with no purpose doesn’t suit you, then you can try to puzzle out the mystery that was written by five different Meow Wolf writers about the event that pushed this regular house into an irregular rift between space and time. With this addition, Meow Wolf has invented an escape room and fantasy funhouse hybrid that tickles every single one of our senses, no matter our age.
Interaction With the Art is Key
Almost everything is handleable, and if it’s not, it’s clearly marked. Find a piano? Play it. Walk through a fabric corridor? Rub your hands along the walls and see what happens. Encouraging discovery and interaction is essential to Meow Wolf, which gives the installation an unusual spot in the art world.
You Will Question Time and Space
Without giving away too much of the mystery, it is important to understand that the house and its inhabitants have been affected by a fracture in the space-time continuum.The House of Eternal Return is in fact, a house. But a better way to imagine it is as a portal. The portal serves as a kind of transport station to other dimensions. These dimensions seem to have no order, no relation to one another because they exist as memories and feelings of the members of the household.
Meow Wolf has created a completely new style of experiencing art and it’s exciting to feel that as a visitor you are a part of that experience, rather than an onlooker.
In my recent post, “Suburban Watering Hole,” I was unsure if wet paw prints on the back deck belonged to an opossum or raccoon. It turns out they belong to both! How do I know? I happened to witness a raccoon eating from Midnight’s bowl! The bandit was caught red-handed–or should I say kibble-handed?!
Five funny things I observed:
The raccoon didn’t eat from the bowl; instead it scooped up pawfuls of kibble and then brought them to its mouth to eat. So people-like.
When I opened the door and said “hello,” the raccoon paused to check me out. It wasn’t really afraid, but then it was unsure and ran off. So curious.
The minute I closed the door, even though the raccoon could see me through the window, it returned. So determined.
Midnight wasn’t afraid of the raccoon at all! He sat and watched as it ate the remainder of his dinner. And the raccoon didn’t feel threatened by Midnight. So neighborly.
The raccoon was fluffy and many shades of gray. It’s “mask” fit perfectly over its eyes. So pretty.
You never know what you’ll see in the Wilds of New Jersey!
Who knew Midnight’s water bowl would attract so many animals? On any given day, I expect one, two, or even three stray cats to stop by. And sure, Lucy our barking, rambunctious beast (Midnight’s view of her), laps Midnight’s water, but why does she have to inhale the cat kibble, grab the dish, take a bite out of it, and scatter it willy nilly in the yard? Hon, I digress.
Back to the bowl.
I suspected extra visitors when the water in the bowl started, mysteriously, appearing dirty every morning. Who was washing paws or taking a bath in the bowl? Not the blue jays, who squawked and fought for a nibble of kibble during the day. Could it be mice? Chipmunks? Groundhogs? Foxes? Wild turkeys? Our neighborhood coyote?
Then, one morning, footprints were imprinted in the planks!“Aha!” I said, “Raccoons! So, I turned to authorities on the subject–umm, I mean the KidLit Twitter community–and asked,
“Are those footprints more than circumstantial evidence?”
“That raccoon was framed! If the pawprints don’t fit, you must acquit!” answered @BrobergMatthew.
(Hmm…much chin scratching.)
Later that night, I attempted to catch the culprits by flicking on the outdoor light. Who did I see but two opossums circling the food dish?! Not just any two opossums, but one enormous opossum mommy and her joey. The mommy was about the size of a twenty pound dog! Looking up the size of female opossums, I found out females aren’t that big. So, now I wonder…
…Do daddy oppossums take their joeys out for a midnight snack?!
In August 2016 while traveling in Italy, my daughter Morgan and I took a day trip to Tuscany. We toured two vineyards and an olive oil farm, enjoying a lovely meal prepared by the owners of the smaller vineyard. Once we returned to the U.S., we excitedly awaited our shipments of wine.
Fast forward to Spring 2017. In Brooklyn, Morgan’s roommate was enjoying a quiet day when, out of nowhere, POP! SPRAY! SPLASH! a bottle of wine exploded! It was wine shipped from Tuscany. The cork popped out and the wine sprayed all over the kitchen. How very strange!
Fast forward again, to Summer 2017. In New Jersey, our house was plagued by black flies. Not small house flies but big, bluebottle flies. Yuck! We closed doors and windows, cleaned fastidiously, and “disposed” of as many as we could. But they kept on coming. Hubby and I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from.
One daughter who doesn’t like bugs of any kind, wore a hat in the house and hid in her room.
Another daughter who likes some bugs, practically dove into her cellphone.
Our dog Lucy caught and ate some. They wiggled in her mouth! Double yuck!!
Still, Hubby and I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. It was a mystery!
Then, out of nowhere, they were gone.
A few months later, in preparation for Thanksgiving, Morgan was choosing wine and happened upon an empty bottle. “Who drank a bottle of wine and put it back empty?” she asked.
“Who indeed?” I wondered.
Hubby hadn’t and neither had any of my daughters. It was a mystery!
Then Hubby had an epiphany. “Remember those black flies? I bet the cork popped out of that bottle the same way it did in Morgan’s apartment. The flies must have been attracted to the wine.”
We checked the label and, sure enough, it was a bottle from the same winery as the exploding bottle in Brooklyn. Mystery solved, except for one more mystery…
Do you think the flies got tipsy from the wine?
Why would corks pop out of a bottle? Here are some possible reasons:
A cork would start to pop out of the bottle only if the wine or pressure inside the bottle started to expand, and that only happens at temperature extremes of hot or cold.
[Corks popping out of bottles is] more than likely caused by either: (1) not allowing the fermentation to complete all the way before bottling, or (2) adding sugar after the fermentation to sweeten the wine, but doing so without adding a wine stabilizer.