A skeleton in plain sight.

Sometimes I lie awake in the middle of the night, thoughts tumbling through the darkness. Sometimes an uninvited notion enters my skull.

You, too, might share this uncomfortable realization.

I recently published a short story. It’s titled Skeleton Forgiveness.

You can read my very short work of fiction by clicking here.

Lingering in sunlight at the edge of an ocean.

Today I found myself walking through Coronado.

The sunshine was strong. I settled on a bench facing a margin of white beach and let my mind wander.

I and many others were sitting, relaxing, playing, speaking, thinking, soaking in one more summer at the edge of an ocean. A canvas of wide blue unrolled into the distance. Tiny glints of light beckoned from very far away.

My eyes were drawn irresistibly to a mystery beyond the horizon.

As our eyes rise to peer beyond life’s ebb and flow, we drift to strange places beyond our reach.

My photographs have been altered slightly. You might recognize Point Loma, Mexico and the small, rocky Coronado Islands that jut from the ocean a bit southwest of Tijuana.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

To read a few small stories that I’ve written, wander over to Short Stories by Richard.

That moment you see inexplicable magic.

There are moments when this world seems suddenly, inexplicably transformed.

New light.

New perception.

New understanding.

A short story came to me yesterday while I sat in Balboa Park across from a splashing fountain. My eyes were resting on the broad scene.

So many people, engaged in every sort of activity. So much humanity. And at the center of it all, that everlasting fountain.

Shimmering and shining like magic.

I took out my pen and wrote down a few inspired words.

They might form a short story, or they might form a poem–I’ll let you decide. Read it here.

A favorite garden, so close to perfection.

Today I enjoyed one of my favorite places. I took a slow walk through the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

Beauty is cultivated and revered in this very special garden.

It’s almost like heaven–so close to perfection.

After strolling along the clear stream in the Lower Garden, I headed up out of the canyon and paused for a few moments in the Exhibit Hall. I sat on a bench, near a window overlooking the Dry Stone Garden. Several participants in an afternoon Japanese Tea Ceremony were quietly practicing.

Refinement and elegance.

Deeper meaning.

A joy for life.

So close to perfection.

This afternoon I also enjoyed a visit to Balboa Park’s lush Botanical Building. When I got home, I used my computer to convert photographs of plants and flowers into colorful oil paintings!

You’ll find those images on my other website Beautiful Balboa Park. To see those unique “oil paintings” you can click here!

Do smartphones make people more shallow?

I probably shouldn’t post this blog. I share some of the guilt. After all, I’m a producer of internet content.

During my walk through Balboa Park today, I felt creeping despair.

Balboa Park is an amazing, wonderful, special place. Lifted eyes see a world that is infinitely interesting and beautiful.

About one third of the people I observed had their eyes absolutely fixed to the tiny screens of their smartphones. They were too obsessed to notice the vast world around them. Nor other people around them.

Of these, many were grown adults searching for a virtual Pokemon, a game fit for the simple mind of a child. At least these people looked up from time to time.

Yes, I know some people were busy communicating with friends, or perhaps looking up information, or a map of the park.

I also know that our lives are complex and so is human psychology. Everyone is different. I, too, have my silly, simple pleasures. It’s hard to draw firm conclusions. Technology changes. The culture changes. People change. Fads come and go.

But it does appear that humans are powerfully drawn to stimuli on isolated screens.

And, of course, the wonderful thing about smartphones is they can make life so much easier. Eye-to-eye politeness is no longer required. The potential for vulnerability in spontaneously spoken words is thankfully avoided. Problem solving is automatic. Critical thinking is less and less necessary. Simple and self-comforting ideas flood social media. Self absorption is made as easy as pie. Narcissism is rewarded.

I often wonder, as virtual reality becomes increasingly prevalent, whether people will permanently insert their whole selves into shallow, shrinking virtual worlds. The Matrix, of our own calculated making.

If it feels good, why fight it?

School children remind people to be kind.

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.
No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.

Children at a private school in San Diego applied chalk to a sidewalk, reminding people walking by of the importance of kindness.

This simple wisdom makes our lives much happier, and more meaningful.

Smile.
Smile.
Happy Kindness Week!
Happy Kindness Week!
Remember BHAK. Be Happy And Kind.
Remember BHAK. Be Happy And Kind.
Have a nice day!
Have a nice day!
BeYOUtiful.
BeYOUtiful.
If you are kind you will have a happy life!
Two statements of deep wisdom in one heart: If you are kind you will have a happy life! Smile every time, be kind.
Spread love.
Spread love.
Choose kind.
Choose kind.
I hope you have a day as nice as you!
I hope you have a day as nice as you!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Downtown visions and the passage of time.

A few dead leaves cling to branches that frame a new skyscraper in downtown San Diego.
A few dead leaves cling to branches that frame a new skyscraper.

The days pass by.

Memories gather . . . slowly fade.

Whenever I walk downtown, I see visions right and left of what is old and what is new. It’s often hard to remember how and when those visions first appeared.

I suppose the passage of time makes every walk a completely new adventure. Always new surprises, new mysteries, new beauty to discover.

Here are a few photos of my walk through downtown San Diego this morning.

Every time I walk near Seaport Village, my eyes pass different buskers and an ever-changing vision of art.
Every time I walk near Seaport Village, my eyes pass different buskers and an ever-changing gallery of art.
A beautiful feather and I meet for a moment.
A beautiful windblown feather and I meet for a moment.
Removing what is discarded and unwanted.
Removing what is discarded and unwanted.
A fountain near the entrance of San Diego's Old Police Headquarters, now a destination for shopping and dining. I visited the building decades ago in the 1980s. I suppose the fountain is original, but I cannot remember.
A fountain near the entrance of San Diego’s Old Police Headquarters, now a destination for shopping and dining. I visited this building decades ago. I suppose the fountain is original, but I cannot remember.
A colorful bird painted on a utility box near Pantoja Park seems just as alive as it was when I first saw it years ago.
A colorful bird painted on a utility box near Pantoja Park seems just as alive as when I first saw it years ago.
Dying leaves turn to the same color as new paint.
Dying leaves turn to the same color as new paint.
A sculpture titled Flame Flower stands in front of the Westin Gaslamp. Years ago, an obelisk once rose here--5 or 6 or 7 years ago. I can't remember exactly.
A sculpture titled Flame Flower stands in front of the Westin Gaslamp. Years ago an obelisk rose here–5 or 6 or 7 years ago. I can’t remember.
Old bricks of a Gaslamp building have been patched.
These bricks of a Gaslamp building appear to have been patched long ago.
A once fashionable and new car turns to rust.
A once fashionable car turns to rust.
Every so often entrances to the Gaslamp's subterranean clubs are painted with intriguing new artwork.
Every so often entrances to the Gaslamp’s subterranean clubs are painted with intriguing new artwork.
The building on Broadway that was home to Superfly West Tattoos is being demolished to make room for a new downtown high-rise condo development.
The building on Broadway that was home to Superfly West Tattoos is being demolished to make room for a new downtown high-rise condo development.
The front of the YWCA building on C Street has remained unchanged since its design in 1926. The ornate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was made popular by the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
The front of the YWCA building on C Street has remained unchanged since its design in 1926. The ornate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture was made popular by the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Shoveling weathered stones. Wheeling them about.
Shoveling weathered stones. Wheeling them about.
Another walk through the city as time moves forward.
Another walk through the city as time moves forward.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.