Today is the International Day of Happiness! Happy thoughts and deeds were underway in downtown San Diego this morning, just outside Horton Plaza. I swung on by to check things out!
Anyone who tries to write soon realizes a daunting truth. There are countless possible stories to tell, and numberless ways to tell each one. Infinity multiplied by infinity amounts to a whole lot of indecision!
Last weekend I stood on a patch of beach on Shelter Island. A sailboat moored nearby fascinated my eye, and I puzzled over its profound complexity for several minutes. How could I accurately paint that sailboat with words? How could I phrase the most perfect description? Is it even possible? With a million words is it possible?
As I watched the bobbing boat and struggled to sequence potent adjectives, a sudden thought shook me: Writing’s purpose, like art’s purpose, isn’t to replicate the world. It’s to stretch our minds. That is all.
Words are limitless. As limitless as the universe. They allow us to travel anywhere, in any direction.
A few well-directed words can focus our minds (for a moment) on overlooked things; they can help us see vague things more vividly. Words can seek and memorialize those things that seem important. Words tossed about can provoke hidden feeling and allow us to draw nearer to others. Words, when magical, can help us to discern whispers of meaning in the echoing vastness around us.
Our lives are finite. But the infinity that is contained in words can expand our lives. That is their purpose.
One of my favorite San Diego events of all time took place today in historic Old Town!
TwainFest is an amazing annual festival celebrating Mark Twain and other famous authors from the 19th century. While there seems to be an emphasis on American and English novelists, I saw homages to writers, poets and storytellers from around the world. Scenes from American and California history also appear in several of the exhibits. Which makes sense, because Old Town is a history-filled park recreating the earliest days of San Diego!
To get an idea of what TwainFest is about, enjoy a quick look at these fun pics! And be sure to attend next year, if you can!
The Coronado Public Library is featuring a world-class exhibit of Oz art and artifacts this month! Two huge glass cases full of books and collectibles and a large wall display of original graphic art are alive with the beloved characters that populate author L. Frank Baum’s fantasy land of Oz. The artwork, toys, figures and other cool stuff have been assembled from several important Oz collections, and made available to the viewing public during Oz Con International.
I’d like to share a few photos that I took!
Horton Plaza, San Diego’s colorful downtown shopping mall, was inspired by a concept put forth by famous science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. The crazy, jumbled design was based on Ray Bradbury’s essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness” which took joy in the notion of becoming safely lost on the side streets of Paris, London or New York.
While walking about Horton Plaza, you’ll see ramps, escalators, bridges and stairs that go every which way–up, down, across–leading you to new unexpected vistas. One mysterious escalator will take you up one level, but there’s no immediate way to return from where you came. You must let your eyes rove to discover another route. It’s really a fun idea!
I believe I took these pics on a Sunday morning, and few people had yet arrived.