Inspiration found in small scenes of beauty.

Whenever I forget to look closely at the world, I miss the hidden beauty. And the unexpected inspiration.

These photographs were all taken today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

This special garden’s breathtaking beauty has inspired a several very short stories. I wrote A Short BloomThe Child and the Koi and Waterfall Tears while sitting quietly by the stream that bubbles through the canyon.

I hope these photos–these small scenes of beauty–inspire you, too.

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!

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Visit my other photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Seven blog memories that might touch your heart.

Here are seven posts from Cool San Diego Sights that might touch your heart. The following links contain powerful memories. You’ll find sadness, joy, hope, and much inspiration…

9/11 Firefighter’s legacy: Two Sons and Stickball.

A heartwarming Christmas tradition in San Diego.

Art by creative homeless provides purpose, hope.

Combat veterans create art to bring hope.

Quotes from the Tony Gwynn public memorial.

Students interview veterans for USS Midway exhibit.

Gratitude expressed by random people in a park.

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!

Cool San Diego Sights in many languages!

I’ve made a couple of cool changes to my website! Now it’s easy to enjoy Cool San Diego Sights (plus my other blog Beautiful Balboa Park) in dozens of languages!

If you’re viewing this page on a computer screen or large tablet, you will see a Google Translate button near the top of the sidebar, on the left side of your screen. Select your preferred language and everything on the website will be instantly translated!

If you’re using a smaller device, like a smartphone, click those three parallel lines up at the top of this page and the sidebar will open up. Google Translate should be the first thing you see.

What else is new?

I’ve added buttons to my sidebar which make it easy to follow Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr! I only update my Pinterest and Tumblr pages every few months, but if you’re on those social media platforms, you might want to check it out!

As always, please feel free to share anything you happen to find on any of my blogs. It’s all for fun!

By the way, I just finished writing a new short story for my Short Stories by Richard blog. It’s called The Silver of Ice. It’s based a bit on my own personal experience, when I lived on the high plains many years ago.

I’m going to Balboa Park in a few minutes to check out something that should be really cool. I’ll post photos when I get home!

Have a great Sunday!

Richard

Write down your secret, share it anonymously!

PostSecret is coming to the Museum of Man in Balboa Park on April 14, 2018.
PostSecret is coming to the Museum of Man in Balboa Park on April 14, 2018.

How cool is this?

I was walking through the Fall Back Festival in the Gaslamp before it opened this morning and stumbled upon an amazing community art project!

The project is called PostSecret, and it was begun in 2004 by an inspired gentleman named Frank Warren. People write down one of their emotional secrets anonymously on a postcard and mail it in. The postcards are then displayed as public art! The project has already received over a million submissions!

The folks I met at the Fall Back Festival were representing the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. I learned the traveling PostSecret exhibition is coming to San Diego and will open at the museum on April 14, 2018! Residents of San Diego are encouraged to share their secrets!

How? Simply mail a creative postcard containing one of your written secrets–it can be anything, as long as it is true–to the Museum of Man address you see in one of my photos! You can make your postcard into a work of art, or just write down a few brief words.

I’m mailing my postcard tomorrow.

You also have secrets to share, don’t you?

These friendly folks would like you to mail in one of your secrets anonymously!
These friendly folks would like you to mail in one of your secrets anonymously!
PostSecret is a project that was begun in 2004 by Frank Warren. Over a million secrets have been shared.
PostSecret is a project that was begun in 2004 by Frank Warren. Over a million secrets have been shared.
That address on the right is where you need to mail your postcard! Mail as many secrets as you'd like!
That address on the right is where you need to mail your postcard! Mail as many secrets as you’d like!
Perhaps by mailing your secret, you'll help us humans better understand our inner selves. Or gain a personal sense of relief. Or merely have a good laugh!
Perhaps by mailing your secret, you’ll help us humans better understand our inner selves. Or gain a personal sense of relief. Or simply enjoy a healthy laugh!

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!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Stories glimpsed along a sidewalk in Little Italy.

Words in the story of Little Italy. Words that appear in untold human stories. Factory and first class Italian macaroni.
A chapter in the history of Little Italy. These few words also appear in untold human stories. Factory and first class Italian macaroni.

Sidewalks are crisscrossing pathways inside countless stories. Often elements from the stories linger in front of one’s eyes.

I recently walked down Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy. I moved slowly forward down the west sidewalk, from Kalmia Street to Fir Street.

Someone carefully laid these tiles in one small section of the sidewalk. Adding to many forward journeys a brief moment of beauty.
Someone carefully laid these tiles in one small section of the sidewalk. Adding to many forward journeys a brief moment of beauty.
Art, love, tears, humor . . . and croissants. Elements that are shared in many stories.
Art, love, tears, humor . . . and croissants. Elements that are shared in many stories.
Essential words underfoot. Many pass without noticing.
Essential words underfoot. Many might pass without noticing.
What thought or emotion caused someone to produce this image on a wall? Where is that person now?
What thought or emotion caused someone to produce this image on a wall? Where is that person now?
An airy vision of what might be. An enhancement of a wall that presently is.
A carefree vision of what might be. Dreams on another wall in the city.
Two stories intersect for a moment. The story of an artist and the story of a pedestrian.
Two stories intersect for a moment. The story of an artist and the story of a pedestrian.
Art on a sidewalk shows an imagined path into a promising future.
Art on a sidewalk shows an imagined garden path into an idyllic future.
Many in Little Italy have had their lives positively influenced by Vince Lombardi.
Many in Little Italy have had their paths influenced by legends.
This restaurant has been a dream ever since we were kids playing on the street of Little Italy...
This restaurant has been a dream ever since we were kids playing on the street of Little Italy…
A moment in memory captured, made magical, and shared.
A moment in memory captured, made magical, and shared.
Little Italy in San Diego, where countless moving feet and stories converge.
Little Italy in San Diego, where countless moving feet and stories converge.

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.

Three dystopian short stories.

Perhaps you’ve noticed I love to write fiction. I love to combine words. Words are tools that can dig toward truth.

I’ve recently written three short stories that are absolutely dystopian. Not that I’m a pessimist. I prefer to smile and generally try to find and highlight good things in life. But I also strive to be intellectually honest. I recognize that the human world contains both light and darkness. And some of my stories can be quite dark.

These three dystopian stories are: Life Made Easier, A Ship Without Ghosts, and What the Giant Saw. Click the links if you’d like to read them.

It’s funny–the latter, most recent story was written yesterday as I sat beside the small river in Balboa Park’s beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden. Looking down at the living water, I felt strangely like a giant. Perhaps my stream of thought emerged from that feeling.

All of my modest works of fiction can be found at my website Short Stories by Richard.