We took a car trip to San Diego early this month. It's about a 6 hour drive from Tucson, and, with the help of Groupon and Living Social, a few days there can be an inexpensive get-a-way with an ocean view. We took a similar trip in 2013. This year, we returned to Balboa Park, which we love, and saw that the Museum of Man was having an exhibit about the Instruments of Torture. We took a deep breath and entered.
Now, I write paranormal horror, and I put my characters through a lot, mentally and physically. My fictional creations face vengeful spirits, ancient demons, otherworldly powers, and even the devil himself, but what's really scary is the reality of what humans have done and continue to do to each other. Sheesh! Seeing and touching evil devices that were actually used on poor souls, seeing the illustrations of what they did, and reading about the agonies the victims felt and how they died, and knowing it was all too real... My partner and I were both affected by it.
On the lighter side, one day we drove to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, where people work to keep endangered species from going extinct. These are much nicer folks than the ones who dreamed up and used those torture devices, and seeing all those critters surviving happily in such a nice surrounding made us smile. We were treated to tranquil scenes like these.
The day definitely provided more uplifting views than a Judas Cradle or Iron Maiden. At one point in the tour, I was compared to a gorilla. Some folks might have taken offense, but I found it a refreshing change. Usually I'm compared to an ape.