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

A few days later, after a birthday party, this one, looking huge as the moon:

Sophia Culpepper

Then, February came. By this point, my dad was in the hospital with pneumonia. Things were spiraling with his health. I snapped these next photos on my way to an evening work event around that time.

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Later that month, after visiting my dad in the hospital one night, I walked back to my car looking upwards at the sky, wondering what the hell would happen next. Here’s what I saw:

Sophia Culpepper

In March, amid the cold, startlingly blue skies and howling wind, my dad died. I didn’t take any photos of lights for a month, or longer. I took other photos–photos of our last days, of him dying at home, of details I never want to forget. But not of lights. It’s just the way it was.

April came, and I had to go away to a conference in Portland, OR, for work–something I’d scheduled way before my dad even went into the hospital. The irony was, the conference was on death and grieving. Too soon? Yes. But at the time I had a feeling that getting away would do something for me. It did. And in that process, I saw a lamp, a beautiful old streetlight reflecting off buildings, and I couldn’t resist.

Sophia Culpepper

Later in April, back home again, I’d just met up with a friend for a warming drink and food. I took a long walk after, and looked up again. The next several are from that walk.

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

In NYC for a few nights in May, I caught two glowing against backdrops of apartments, below.

Sophia Culpepper

Summer replaced Spring eventually. These next few I took on the 4th of July. In two of them, you see the moon. A happy surprise.

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

Another from July, walking back to the car after a dinner with my wife:

Sophia Culpepper

And then, to end (for now), two shots of one lone Maine light at night in August.

Sophia Culpepper

Sophia Culpepper

 

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