When I was a freshman in college I read M. Scott Peck’s most popular book The Road Less Traveled. I was nineteen, out on my own and in my first grown-up relationship (I thought) so I felt very mature and progressive for reading it.
I saw the book on a shelf at home one weekend and for some reason it caught my interest, so I took it back to school. Probably because the word “love” was in the subtitle (…A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth) and I was in love for the first time and anxious to learn all I could about this exciting new venture.
I loved the book and not because of what I learned about love, which was that the relationship I was in was not love but a one-sided naive delusion, but because of what I learned about life. The title and concept of the book refer to Robert Frost’s famous poetic verses, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Dr. Peck explores the impact of choices we make at life’s crossroads. I faced just such an impasse over Thanksgiving weekend.
We were visiting my sister out-of-state and in order to entertain our broods the day before the great gorge, we went to a funky new interactive multi-media art museum in the area. There’s no way to adequately describe Meow Wolf. Yep, that’s the official name. The website describes it as “a unique art experience featuring a wild new form of non-linear storytelling which unfolds through exploration, discovery and 21st Century interactivity.”
I think “acid-trippy” is a better description.
When you enter this psychedelic complex it seems like utter chaos meant only to inflict sensory overload. But there is actually a very clever and intricate story woven into the exhibit and you can search for clues to uncover a mystery.
So, there are basically two ways to approach the experience:
- You can delve into the intellectual plot and research for purpose.
- You can bash around aimlessly dancing in strobe-lit rooms, climbing on a ginormous carnivorous bunny skeleton, and rolling around in a room full of pillows beneath a ceiling of flashing alien eyes.
I, and a dopey majority, chose option two. (Hey, it was a holiday weekend.) A few over-achievers put on their Sherlock hats.
A few hours later when we’d all had our fill of thinking or not thinking, we reconvened to go home. During the drive we discussed our different experiences. The brainiacs described a fascinating tale their meticulous research unveiled. We doughheads felt kinda gypped. We had silly fun, but missed any meaning offered. But then we described all the different rooms, hidden passageways, crazy displays and effects. The nerd herd missed most of that and felt somewhat disappointed their studious pace kept them from seeing more.
Who had the better experience? It’s hard to say.
The important thing is this experience confirmed I did make a good choice concerning love. While I choose to plop in a beanbag shaped like a hand and watch laser shapes form on a wall, I’m glad I have someone who chooses to figure out why the family of physicists was transported into an alien dimension.