When I was a kid I loved building models: the old-fashioned plastic kind you made with airplane glue. I started out with the usual Harriers or P-38s and it was enjoyable enough, but I found them to be so lifeless just hanging from the ceiling as they dangled on their invisible threads.
Then one day in my dusty little town I went on a school field trip to the local Folk Art Museum. There was a particular diorama entitled Heaven and Hell. It was comprised of two worlds divided by a cleverly inserted mirror: one world was gossamer, shimmering, glorious, and expertly lit; the other was gritty, muted, wicked, twisted, and glowed nefariously. Both were populated with what seemed like hundreds of lovingly crafted figures, and as my eyes traveled through the mirror they transitioned from their regal postures in the clouds to abject prostration amidst a translucent haze of orange and red. This was heady material for a secular eight year-old perhaps, but it held me transfixed for the entire duration of the trip (and I have loved miniatures in museums ever since).
Sometimes when I’m in Manhattan I feel like I’ve been shrunk to 1/28 scale my actual size and have sneaked into one of those dioramas, slipping back and forth through the mirror. Honestly, it’s all a delight.