Travel is one of my biggest sources of writing inspiration. I don’t always go as far or as often as I’d like, but inspiration can be found even in the most unexpected of places. Although I was generally collecting ideas for Book 4 this July, I didn’t realize I’d find them in Seattle when I visited relatives and college friends. In 2012, a new museum called Chihuly Garden and Glass opened (showcasing the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly), and knowing how much I love art and museums, it seemed like a good sightseeing option.
Boy, was that an underestimation.
This was one of the most spectacular museums–no, places–I’ve ever been. I didn’t know what to expect from a museum full of glass artworks. It turned out to be transcendent.
Words don’t do it justice. The glass itself was eye-popping, but the arrangements and lighting created perfect harmonies, like music, like poetry. There was an ocean-themed room, a Native American-themed room, and a garden of whimsical shapes that felt like something from Willy Wonka’s factory. I couldn’t take story notes fast enough.
There were boats loaded with glass spheres that looked like planets, resting serenely on a black mirror that doubled their images.
There was a handmade glasshouse with a spiral of fiery glass flowers. It’s incredible how such a piece can weigh thousands of pounds, yet create the illusion of weightless fragility.
You could see the Space Needle through the walls of the glasshouse!There was an outdoor garden where natural plants grew among glass pieces, the beds of flowers and glass grouped by color.
But my favorite was the rainbow room.
Glass shapes, again both ponderously heavy and effortlessly delicate, layered a glass ceiling. Lights shining through them created water-like reflections on the walls. I almost burst into tears from so much beauty. The people beneath–even the selfie-taking tourists–turned beautiful in the rainbow light.
It was pure magic. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing some of these inspirations in a book.