One advantage of repeatedly driving along a road is that attention to detail accrues incrementally. I’ll notice something one day, but my mind will be on something else, perhaps an NPR radio program. The next time I see the object or scene a new layer of attention will be overlaid upon the first. Eventually I’ll just have to stop and investigate. The threshold of active curiosity has been breached.
Here’s an example. The first time I saw the mailbox pole shown below I briefly thought, “What the hell is that? Some sort of totem pole, or what?”. Subsequent observations became more detailed — I saw that it wasn’t really a totem pole, but somehow manages to suggest one. There were no totems, no caricatured animal or human figures or faces.
Monday morning I stopped to look more closely. What an idiosyncratic oddity of a mailbox post! Wind-chimes dangled from an arching support at the back, the top had a crossbar with glass insulators, suggesting a telephone pole, and a mysterious sack was affixed to the front. It was almost as if the pole’s function as a support for mailboxes was an afterthought. My open car door can be seen at the far right:
The top of the pole, complete with a weather-vane:
The mysterious green sack, which has several slits with what looks like straw protruding from them. An aid to nesting birds, a source for nest material? Notice the old iron wheel-rim supporting the sack:
Some day I’ll see someone outside at this rural house and I’ll make inquiries!