A Year in Streetlights

I’ve taken some months away from this blog. I’ve missed it. Words come in and out of my grasp, but photos are always reliable. They’re the only way I keep record of what’s happening in my life. They spark memories and work like stitches in a larger tapestry. In gathering up all the photos I want to share here, but haven’t yet, I started to notice all the streetlights and lampposts at dusk and at night. I’ve posted about them once before, but I didn’t know then that I’d eventually be able to track my last year by their images.

What is it about these lights? To me, they’re like songs in the nighttime, which is, literally and figuratively, what this blog is all about. There will probably be more posts about them. For now, if you’re interested, you can find my last year in streetlights below.

Here is the first one I ever took, last November.

Sophia Culpepper

A few more in January, next.

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

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Memory Swells

This is a post I wrote back at the end of February, when my father was sick. I never got around to publishing it, because he got worse, and then he died on March 7th. I’ve only just gotten the urge to come back here to this blog. Who knows what it’ll turn into, but

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Ocean’s Calling

If you grew up on a coast, or have ever spent a long time living by the ocean, then you know sometimes that water calls you. For me, this usually happens at its strongest in late winter, when it’s been months since my skin has soaked in cold, salty water.

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Hotel Dreams

There is something about life right now that is inspiring a longing for clean sheets, dimmer lights, room service, and quiet. Maybe it’s the desire to escape. J.K. Rowling fans, I know you’ve been thinking about book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To me, that moment when the Obamas left the White House was

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Lamppost Love

This isn’t a heavy post. This is a post filled with light. I have a new obsession with something I once didn’t like. All of these photos are of LED lampposts. When they went up in our city, I missed the dim orange glow of the older, shorter posts that they replaced. These new posts illuminated

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Color Pencil Calendar

When I was little, I used to like to draw. I don’t make resolutions in January, but if I did, it might be to draw more. I’ll think about that one… No, I don’t make resolutions. But I do love making plans for myself as I go that I think will help me feel better, or

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Winter Light Lessons

I went outside today to chase light. I hadn’t meant to. I had only meant to give my dog a walk. Right around this time of year I always start feeling it: the drag of cold bones and the weight of heavy limbs. I struggle to turn away from the business of things—things needing cooking,

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Time Stands Still

Today, we traveled to western Massachusetts to visit my grandfather. He lives in the town where he was was born, where my dad had always lived until he turned 18 and left. (As is the way with small towns, sometimes you stay in them, sometimes you get out.) My grandfather is getting old. Visiting him

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In the Dark Water

This time, I have struggled with getting anything on the page. I’ve been pulling along a strange, lingering lowness, an aggravating edginess, like an overstuffed workbag that you have to carry lopsided on one sore shoulder—you need to clean it out and make it a lighter load, but you’re tired. Tired. A lot of things

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To the Night

Someone once told me that if you want to do something, just start. Here is my start. This first post comes on the heels of a tough week. To put this post in place and time: Donald Trump was just said to have won the role of president in this country, and we are reeling from it.

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