For the sake of keeping the creative portion of my soul fresh, I've been reserving Sundays for treasure hunts. As the old truism goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure — inspirational golden nuggets can be found anywhere, but with my remaining days in California, Balboa Park was a walkable choice that would undoubtedly guide me to neon grounds.
As predicted, inspiration rolled out in front of me starting with a stumble down Artist's Alley. Here I met a dichroic glass artist who free-hand etches her designs into her pieces with a diamond drill bit. She was a confident, steady-handed woman using very expensive materials paired with an irreversible technique...absolutely no margin for error. This is the type of confidence that blossoms from many years of practice, also the ease of creation that comes from a person who truly has a gift. As she etched her illustrations, she spilled her story out on me, where I found out she is a successful "undercover" graphic designer, which I probed her about for awhile. I left that studio feeling an immense amount of space for growth ahead. Not a dejected feeling, but one of hope and inspiration.
Around every corner there was a musician creating beautiful sounds that enhanced the warmth of the sun and happy chemicals releasing in my brain. I laid down on a bench outside the botanical garden and listened to the cathedral bells ring in the distance, then the guitarist playing flamenco music next to me, and then an accordion (love the accordion). I closed my eyes and transported back to my happy place of being a greener sprout, directionless yet excited and expectant as I spontaneously wandered for months around Europe. This momentary teleportation lead to a craving for a museum, so I ended my time in the park at the small but free Timken Museum of Art...finding free things is so rewarding.
The sun set on me as I headed home, and I felt full.