I’ve always liked the sight of a distant radio or TV tower at night, with its lights blinking away whether anyone sees them or not. Somehow that sight conveys a sense of the vastness of the rural landscape and the insignificance of the tiny bundles of nervous energy that we are, toiling and scurrying so that we don’t have to face the bleakness, desolation, and grandeur of the nonhuman universe.
Just before dawn this morning I was certainly scurrying. I had overslept, and the prospect of people driven to acts of rage due to being deprived of their Sunday paper kept me hustling along the gravel roads.
I came over a rise and saw the eastern horizon beginning to be illuminated by shadowy shades of brown and orange. A few bands of clouds gave some texture to the scene, and a lone blinking red light gave me a lonely chill. I had to stop for a moment, customers or no customers. I stood by a white mailbox mounted on an Osage orange post and used the rounded top of the box as a steady-rest for my camera.
It took a while for me to get in sync with the blinking tower light so that I could capture half of a second which included the red blink. Here’s the image I brought home:
As it turned out, I finished the route without pissing any customers off!