A gloomy Sunday. Our plans to go hiking in Malibu Canyon are not materializing — it might rain any minute. My friend says: “I wish we could go somewhere completely new and unfamiliar.” Oh! That sounds good. I am all for infusing experience with a dose of surprise
And that’s when I remember “Jurassic Museum.” I’ve heard some good things about it over the years, but never went. I look it up. It ‘s called The Museum of Jurassic Technology.
We agree on this destination without having any idea what to expect. We’re willing to explore. No preconceived notions, we’re “prepared” to be surprised.
We park nearby and walk up to a two-story, inconspicuous, nothing remarkable, in the middle-of-the-block, modest sign, and simple banner type of facade.
We enter a cramped dark space which functions as a gift shop, lobby, and a ticket booth. Attempting to make light of the situation, I crack a joke: “Enter through the gift shop.” We have to make a decision; once we pay for admission, there’s no turning back. We hesitate.
But aren’t we here to cultivate richer life by infusing experience with a dose of surprise?
Yes. That’s the idea. We can’t turn around without finding out for ourselves what this peculiar place is all about. We are here because we want to incorporate spontaneity into our daily life. Period. We will endure this unconventional place, no matter what!
A dose of surprise it is! It turns out to be much-much more that what we could’ve expected. It is the most intimate museum I’ve ever been to. Labyrinths of small galleries packed with curious, very unusual installations all focusing on “mysteries of life” related to natural history and history of science.
Behind every corner, there’s more. Here is a small gallery that houses one of The Museum’s longest standing exhibitions entitled: “No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again: Letters to Mount Wilson Observatory /1915-1935.”
Right before we get to the Tula Tea Room that serves complimentary Georgian black tea and cookies — hot water is poured out of an old samovar — we find an exhibit titled “The Lives of Perfect Creatures: an Oil Portrait Gallery of the Heroic Canines of the Soviet Space Program.” Can you imagine?
Another flight of stairs brings us to the roof garden (of Eden). It’s just so unforseen! Doves walking around. Music from an ancient nyckelharpa; it’s performed by a member of The Museum staff. We strike a conversation and learn that a toddler playing nearby is his grandson.
No wonder it feels so intimate! What a revitalizing experience. It teaches us to:
- Feel more at ease with unfamiliar;
- Trust our gut;
- Be comfortable with not knowing the outcome;
- Cultivate and act upon new opportunities.
And that’s the moral of the story. Infusing experience with a dose of surprise offers us a richer, more adventurous life. Wouldn’t you agree?