Beauty is everywhere, simple, seldom perfect.

Every moment in life is beautiful. Simply see it.
Every moment in life is beautiful. Simply see it.

I was struck by the strange beauty of these two photographs. Both had been forgotten. They’re just small glimpses of the world that were stored in my computer; I don’t recall where or when I took them.

What is perfection? To be perfect is to exactly match a defined ideal. So it’s illuminating that in a world where almost nothing is considered perfect, beauty can be seen everywhere. At every moment, throughout life. Age, wear, a wrinkle, a missing petal: and the beauty persists, flourishes. For beauty to be seen, just open eyes. Open them wide. This world’s beauty is even more simple than a lifeless ideal. And more substantial.

Sticking together. One easy way to add a few petals.
Stick together. An easy way to add a few missing petals.

Enjoy random observations and fun photos! You can follow this blog on Facebook or Twitter.

Before I Die: chalk street art dreams in Hillcrest.

People walk down a Hillcrest sidewalk past chalk street art desires.
People walk down a Hillcrest sidewalk past chalk street art dreams.

Human dreams are wildly varied and ever-changing. I saw proof of this in Hillcrest. Dozens of desires have been documented at a street corner on University Avenue, written in chalk on what appears to be a very large chalkboard. People passing by have paused for a moment to write what they would like to accomplish before they die.

This dynamic neighborhood, just north of downtown San Diego, is youthful and worldly. Those who’ve chosen to contribute to this participative street art have listed many dreams. Some are crude, some are desperate, some are erased.  Some are possible, some are impossible.  Some are profound. The absurd and the serious mingle together. Some dreams are mere whims, other dreams are ambitious. Some are selfish, some are unselfish.

Before I die I want to... Hunt mud ducks. Feel I am worthy.
Before I die I want to… Hunt mud ducks. Feel I am worthy.
Save the world. Make love. Visit Paris. Meet my biological parents.
Save the world. Make love. Visit Paris. Meet my biological parents.
Publish a book. Drink one more drink.
Publish a book. Drink one more drink.
Find hidden treasure. Find Waldo.
Find hidden treasure. Find Waldo.
People walk toward Alibi as they review reasons for living.
People walk toward Alibi as they review reasons for living.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Quotes on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Walking past a plaque which is engraved with one of many important quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.
Walking past a plaque which is engraved with one of many important quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.

I frequently walk along the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in downtown San Diego. Whenever I do, I like to randomly read some of the historic MLK quotes that are engraved in plaques along the long pathway. I’ve never counted the number of quotes. There are easily dozens. Every quote on every plaque is important and powerful, and reflects the intelligence, energy, optimism and wisdom of America’s great civil rights leader.

Here are photos taken at different times of a few of Dr. King’s quotes…

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.
The deep rumbling of discontent that we hear today is the thunder of disinherited masses, rising from dungeons of oppression to the bright hills of freedom in one majestic chorus.
The deep rumbling of discontent that we hear today is the thunder of disinherited masses, rising from dungeons of oppression to the bright hills of freedom in one majestic chorus.
Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.
Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.
We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the Earth like brothers.
We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the Earth like brothers.
Two people walk side-by-side down the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in downtown San Diego.
Two people walk side-by-side down the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in downtown San Diego.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
The democratic ideal of freedom and equality will be fulfilled for all--or all human beings will share in the resulting social and spiritual doom...
The democratic ideal of freedom and equality will be fulfilled for all–or all human beings will share in the resulting social and spiritual doom…
The greatest victory of the civil rights period was something internal...We armed ourselves with dignity and self-respect...We straightened our backs up...
The greatest victory of the civil rights period was something internal…We armed ourselves with dignity and self-respect…We straightened our backs up…
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Any law that uplifts human personality is just, any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
Any law that uplifts human personality is just, any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Breaking the Chains sculpture, by Melvin Edwards, reminds people on MLK Promenade of the positive legacy of a great civil rights leader.
Breaking the Chains sculpture, by Melvin Edwards, reminds people on MLK Promenade of the positive legacy of a great civil rights leader.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Perfection contained in a long, leisurely walk.

Walking on the beach north of the Imperial Beach pier.
Walking on the beach north of the Imperial Beach pier.

Nothing feels more perfect than a long walk. A long, easy walk to anywhere.

No matter which path feet follow, which direction your head turns, to walk is to feel refreshingly alive.

With every step, the world’s infinite complexity is revealed page by page. When eyes are open and the mind is keen, the strides are through endless wonder.

That first step. That deep, expansive breath of new air. The stretching out of limbs. A touch of warmth or chill on your face. Eyes lifted to the horizon, expectant.

Joy mounting with every stride as senses register a million familiar proofs of the world’s essential beauty.

The smells from near and far.  Mown grass, the salty ocean, rain-wet asphalt, piney hills, a jasmine bush on a corner, sun-baked dirt, perfume from a cafe.

Kaleidoscope visions through which you simply, happily flow. The infinite detail of reflected light, dazzling your eyes. Patterns of leaves. Patterns of shadow. Patterns of neighbors and bustle and streets. The patterns of humanity.

And every gradation of daylight. Every blue and every green that nature supplies. A complete riot of color on painted things. Rainbows on buildings, signs, cars, jackets, socks. The whole spectrum of color, if only you see it. A trillion, trillion buzzing atoms encompass you, if only you see them. The awesome visual geometry of angles, form and depth. It’s all before and around you.

The smallest object encountered during a thoughtful walk is a self-contained universe. Even a lone bit of windblown trash is beautiful, in perhaps a thousand different ways. With a microscope you couldn’t unravel its potent mysteries. Who made it? How was it made? Where did it come from, and where’s it headed? For a moment the walker shares the world closely with surprising and mysterious companions: a bird, a grasshopper, a motorist, another walker. We all travel alone but together, encountering our own unique wonders, creating through sheer muscle and chance our historic voyages of discovery.

I want to go exploring today. I suppose I’ll just start out my door.

Got to put on my shoes… Bye!

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Balloons, wings, stars and the wisdom of Seuss.

Panda with star on belly is lifted by colorful balloons, and floats away into the blue sky.
Panda with star on belly is lifted by colorful balloons, and floats away into the blue sky.

No matter how different people might appear, we all live among the same bright stars.

Perhaps that’s a bit of wisdom inferred from a book by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Seuss.

That also seems to be the elevating message of this cool street art in Bankers Hill.

While words and art might eventually fade (as these photos prove), the stars buried within us do not.

These three transformer boxes in Bankers Hill are painted with unbounded imagination.
These three transformer boxes in Bankers Hill are painted with unbounded imagination.
Jazzy guy plays keyboard in a boat that soars above the surf and a star-bellied bird.
Jazzy guy plays keyboard in a boat that soars above the surf and a star-bellied bird.
Flowers in hair, on shoulders. A golden star joins the sun and sunflower in symbolic street art.
Flowers in hair, on shoulders. A golden star on a dress joins the sun and sunflower in symbolic street art.
Part of faded Dr. Seuss verse. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars.
Part of slowly fading Dr. Seuss verse: “That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars.”
Winged angel dog in heaven plays a drum.
Winged angel dog in heaven plays a drum.
Silly green-headed alien frolics on red planet.
Happy, unique green alien frolics on red planet.
Musician in cool sunglasses plays guitar where he stands in the cosmos.
Musician plays his guitar where he stands in the cosmos.
A zany peek over Mars, under stars.
A zany peek over Mars, under stars.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Chalk voices: strong feeling and thought.

This bright, smiling chalk face is gifted with a third eye.
This bright, smiling chalk face is gifted with a third eye.

In downtown San Diego, across the street from the New Children’s Museum, right next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, you’ll find a play area. You might have seen my blog post on Christmas about The Garden Project. The play area can be found right next to it.

Strangely, this playground doesn’t contain many swings or happy things to play on. It does include a wide concrete floor and a high, blank concrete wall, however. Which combine to make an inviting canvas. The hard surface is softened with faces, hearts, strong feeling and thought. The voices of youth.

Here is what I photographed yesterday morning. Many of the ever-changing chalk images are faint. I had to increase the contrast for most pics quite a bit.

Multi-colored face seems to be in deep thought.
Many-colored chalk face appears to be in deep thought.
An uncertain heart. No way. Yes way.
An uncertain heart. No way? Yes way?
This large blue eye seems to stare out from the blank concrete wall.
A large blue eye seems to stare from a hard concrete wall.
I wish you could see the world through my eyes!
I wish you could see the world through my eyes!
A small pink face with long hair gazes up from underfoot.
A small pink face with long hair gazes up from underfoot.
A burst of joy. WELCOME HOME
A burst of sudden joy. WELCOME HOME
A young person worries: Can't you see me?
A young person worries: Can’t you see me?
These words contain agony with a sad nod of wisdom.
These words contain terrible agony with a sad nod of wisdom.
Guy cleaning the play area in the early morning with a noisy blower.
Guy cleaning the play area in the early morning with a noisy blower.
A small delicate flower made of temporary dust.
A small delicate flower made of temporary dust.
Written carefully and meaningfully: Embrace The Journey.
Philosophy written carefully, meaningfully: Embrace The Journey.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

When all seems lost and life feels hopeless.

Sheila's Perfume
One of countless flowers.

When all seems lost and life feels hopeless…

find a purpose.

Find a purpose that is larger than your trouble.

Dedicate each day to that purpose, that great good.

Uplift others. Propagate love. Oppose what is wrong. Discover truth. Create new beauty. Voice what is worthy. Share your gifts. Send ripples of generosity into the future. Do an unselfish thing.

Choose.

Once your purpose is found, think of little else.

You will gain everything.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook. or follow me on Twitter.