Discovering new beauty around every corner.

Extraordinary beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.
Extraordinary beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

I believe the world is fundamentally beautiful. Beauty permeates everything. From atoms to galaxies–and everything in between.

Beauty awaits open eyes wherever we happen to walk. Perhaps you’ve noticed this is an important theme of Cool San Diego Sights.

Yesterday I finished writing a short story that is very dark. It concerns ugliness that arises from human vanity. So now I find myself in a difficult situation.

I’d rather not have a depressing story welcome readers to my website Short Stories by Richard. I want to outshine the darkness with light.

A bright, magical story is now taking form under my pen. But finding the right words to approximate eternal truths can be a puzzle. I’m stuck for the moment, wrestling.

All living things require watering. I know that with fresh eyes and a little patience the story will grow and mature.

Until these two new short stories appear, you might enjoy reading my published works of fiction here.

Wind-sculpted rare Torrey pines at Cabrillo National Monument.
Endangered, wind-sculpted Torrey pines at Cabrillo National Monument.
Radiant beauty along a Little Italy sidewalk.
Radiant beauty along a Little Italy sidewalk.
A beautiful fountain in a small Bankers Hill garden. A sculpted boy with watering can.
A beautiful fountain by a sidewalk in Bankers Hill. A sculpted boy with watering can.
Painted sunflowers grow upon a transformer box in Coronado.
Painted sunflowers grow upon a transformer box in Coronado.
Natural beauty discovered in busy downtown San Diego.
Natural beauty discovered in busy downtown San Diego.
More beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden, a welcoming retreat from life's often stressful complications.
More beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden, a welcoming retreat from life’s often stressful walk. I think I might go there today with my small notebook and pen.
Moving forward down life's path through wild natural beauty atop Mount Laguna.
Moving forward down life’s path, through wild natural beauty atop Mount Laguna.

Powerful mural inside Centro Cultural de la Raza.

Tezcatlipoca, jaguar, god of night, war and destruction, dominates the dark, violent left section of the large mural inside Centro Cultural de la Raza.
Tezcatlipoca, jaguar, god of night, war and destruction, dominates the dark, violent left section of the large mural inside Centro Cultural de la Raza.

Step inside Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park and you’ll come face to face with a large and very powerful mural. It was created by Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda, completed in 1984 after 13 years of inspired work.

The mural, titled La Dualidad, tells the grand story of the universe, humanity, and America’s indigenous peoples. Elements from Mesoamerican literature are included in the story, including diverse symbols from Aztec, Mayan and Native American cultures.

It’s a story primarily about darkness and light. Two ancient gods are juxtaposed: Tezcatlipoca, god of darkness, against Quetzalcoatl, god of light. War is contrasted with peace. Despair is contrasted with hope. Fear is contrasted with confidence.

Should you visit Centro Cultural de la Raza to admire La Dualidad, be sure to open up the nearby binder. It details the meaning of each ancient symbol inside the mural. They combine to form a timeless wisdom that will touch your mind and heart.

The Tree of Life stands at the center of the powerful symbolic mural La Dualidad--The Duality, 1970-1984, by artist Guillermo "Yermo" Aranda.
The Tree of Life stands at the center of the powerful symbolic mural La Dualidad–The Duality, 1970-1984, by artist Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda.
Quetzalcoatl, feathered serpent, wise creator of humankind, moves through the mural and finally faces the viewer from the center of a pyramid, amid symbols of life and light.
Quetzalcoatl, feathered serpent, wise creator of humankind, moves through the mural and finally faces the viewer from the center of a pyramid, amid symbols of life and light.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Four beautiful sculpted faces in Balboa Park.

A beautiful sculpture in the Balboa Park Club building. Four Cornerstones of American Democracy,1935, by artist Frederick Schweigardt.
A beautiful sculpture in the Balboa Park Club building. Four Cornerstones of American Democracy,1935, by artist Frederick Schweigardt.

Today I took my usual Sunday walk through Balboa Park. On a whim I ventured into the Balboa Park Club to see if many people were folk dancing, and I paused inside the grand foyer to once again admire the room’s monumental mural and central sculpture.

The latter is called Four Cornerstones of American Democracy. It was created by Frederick Schweigardt in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Each graceful figure represents one of four ideals.

While I’ve walked past this sculpture many times, today I was really struck by the simplicity of the four bowed faces. They convey both beauty and strength.

If you want to see more of the grand foyer, and learn a bit about its history, I blogged about it a couple years ago here.

School.
School.
Home.
Home.
Church.
Church.
Community.
Community.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

A day to celebrate reading across America!

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley

It’s time to celebrate Read Across America Day!

Today many hands, young and old, will be picking up a book or their favorite e-book reader. Many eyes and minds will be enjoying that uniquely human activity: reading!

Why is March 2 designated National Read Across America Day? Because it’s the birthday of Dr. Seuss!

As many of you know, Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Geisel, who made his home in La Jolla, a beautiful community in the city of San Diego.

Months ago during a walk through La Mesa, a city in San Diego’s East County, I took photos of a chalkboard that was standing on the sidewalk in front of Maxwell’s House of Books.

Please enjoy two quotes about the magic of reading!

Books are a uniquely portable magic. Stephen King
Books are a uniquely portable magic. Stephen King

Would you like to read a few philosophical, very short stories?

They can be found on my website Short Stories by Richard!

A street art poem about coming home.

A bit of wisdom by poet Sunny Rey painted on a utility box in City Heights. True Love is a returning...A homecoming...Love awakes the child in you...
A bit of wisdom by poet Sunny Rey painted on a utility box in City Heights. True Love is a returning…A homecoming…Love awakes the child in you…And walks you through your final door…

I read touching words this morning during a short walk down University Avenue in City Heights. A poem was painted on one side of a utility box; images of a father and son’s love decorated other sides.

The beautiful street art and its poem were about growing older, and wiser, and coming home.

Street art in City Heights on University Avenue shows a father and son holding hands, walking down the sidewalk.
Street art in City Heights on University Avenue shows a father and son holding hands, walking down the sidewalk.

I’ve finished writing another short story. A Steep Hill is about an old man who undertakes very difficult journeys near his home. If you like, you can read it here.

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!

Give Love event adds kindness to San Diego!

Be encouraging. Smile. Give hugs.
Be encouraging. Smile. Give hugs.

A group called Give Love New York is in San Diego this weekend during 2017 Maker Faire. You can find them near the Old Globe in Balboa Park, passing out carnations and inviting passersby to dance and converse and smile and sing and play games and write messages containing kindness, positivity and wisdom!

This unique Give Love project is the brainchild of Alive Worldwide. Their mission is to use creativity to encourage and spread human compassion.

Very cool! Events such as this could be held in every corner of the world! It’s very easily done. Why not?

Two smiles and free carnations from Give Love San Diego, at 2017 Maker Faire in Balboa Park!
Two smiles and free carnations from Give Love San Diego, at 2017 Maker Faire in Balboa Park!
With the help of the Old Globe Theatre, spreading kindness worldwide @givelovenewyork
With the help of the Old Globe Theatre, spreading kindness worldwide @givelovenewyork
Giving words of wisdom. Share your thoughts on a written note, then come back later and retrieve new wisdom to take home.
Giving words of wisdom. Share your thoughts on a written note, then come back later and retrieve new wisdom to take home.
Try it!
Try it!
Challenge yourself daily.
Challenge yourself daily.
Freedom is found by sacrifice. Question the unknown.
Freedom is found by sacrifice. Question the unknown.
Love hard. Love strong. Love always.
Love hard. Love strong. Love always.
Give Love San Diego!
Be open. Treat others with understanding. Give Love San Diego!

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