The author L.M. Montgomery wrote, “There is such a place as fairyland, but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life.” Montgomery goes on to say that only a few folks retain the route throughout life and we now call them singers, poets, artists, and storytellers.
Surely, the House of Eternal Return is a modern day fairyland, and Meow Wolf, the DIY arts production company responsible for it, are architects of awe reconnecting the world to wonder.
Because holy effing S, stepping into the House of Eternal Return is a mind-bender. It’s a psychedelic selfie heaven where every inch – all 20,000 square feet of ’em – is a breath of Neverland and a strut down Fascination Street.
I have a best friend. She’s the most beautiful, smartest, funniest best friend in the Multiverse and, after she aeroplaned from Chicago to Durango to visit, I asked, “Dude, wanna drive four hours to Santa Fe to see a gonzo art exhibit? We can go to Trader Joe’s after. Then drive home. One day trip. You in?” She squawked ascent in our secret language of Muppet noises, and off we went. GD always up for adventure, that one.
Meow Wolf’s assault on normalcy begins outside. Gargantuan sculptures – a robot, a wolf, and a spider – stand sentinel in the small-ish parking lot. (Don’t worry, there’s plenty of free street parking, just watch out for signs and private drives.)
We’d bought tix online, stopped at the lobby desk to get wristbands, and ZING, we flung ourselves through space and time into the House of Eternal Return.
The short of it: You need at least two hours to get through this infusion of over 100 indie artists’ imaginations.
The long of it: A Victorian house resides inside Meow Wolf. The Seligs lived there – until they disappeared when an experiment went awry. You, constant reader, get to wander their abandoned abode. Make one turn too many, and FWANANANA (obvs, that was totally a sound of space-time-travel), you end up in a different universe.
There are secret portals aplenty, so open every door. You never know if you’ll end up in front of a furry, towering monster, the musical bones of a behemoth, free arcade games, an enormous neon fish tank, glitter trash, white lab-coated scientists, faux taxidermy, a wigged-mop bucket waterfall, Baba Yaga’s chicken-legged hut, or a retro travel trailer.
Side note: Mmy favorite portal involved the laundry ...
And dudes, you’re going to want to stop and take pictures. Like everywhere. All the time. And, usually, you can snap a pic that looks like you’re the only one in the joint. On mid-day on a Saturday, there was a crowd of folks traipsing through but the House of Eternal Return is so massive that there’s always a smidge of space that can become completely your own.
The House of Eternal Return, and Meow Wolf’s general vibe is of radically inclusive art that people of any price point and knowledge-level can enjoy. You don’t need a dang art degree to decipher what’s here. It’s a collection of rad rooms that represent other worlds in the most charming, spectacularly over-stimulating way. Hail Eris and all that’s chaotic, the House of Eternal Return brings deep, attainable beauty and mega fun to anyone who goes in.
So, of course, I bought a mug in the gift shop on my way out.
End note: My best friend wants you to open the refrigerator ...