After a Break: Coming 2021

Picture of Fort Monroe National Monument looking towards the Main Gate. Picture taken by author.

In April I hit pause. I needed time to reconsider how I write and I needed to configure a better writing schedule. I felt burnt out. I felt that I was cramming and trying to push through mental roadblock after mental roadblock without any real success or advancement.

In the worst of times I hit the dreaded “delete” button only to feel remorse for falling off to sleep with a blank sheet looming triumphantly over my faults and failures. These “forced” writing days, not to mention the blank Word document, damaged my psyche and made me feel as if I continually circled a drain. I got nowhere but more frustrated and mentally distraught. As a result, I needed a pause.

I focused on my work and rehabilitating my injured shoulder. My break afforded me an opportunity to breathe freely and deeply look in the mirror to reassess what I want accomplished by December 31, 2021. 

Throughout the remainder of 2021, I will focus on two themes that are closely related.

One area of exploration will be Fort Monroe National Monument. Fort Monroe holds an iconic place in United States history. Constructed of stone and masonry walls, the 63-acre structure is the largest fortification in the United States. It features arched casemates, a deep exterior moat, and markings of military ideological evolution from 1812 to 2011. However, the larger story of Fort Monroe lays beyond its unique military architecture. The fort and the greater Hampton Roads are significant landscapes to historical events that defined, and continually define, a nation.

A second area of exploration is my continued examination of the American Civil War Era. A greater understanding of the landscape – political, social, environmental, etc. – is paramount to understanding events leading up to war and events immediately following the cessation of formal hostilities in 1865. While I do not shy away from discussing military events, they should not be at the forefront of any study. To do so completely misrepresents the dogmas of the Union and Confederate states. Therefore, topics of slavery, racial systems of oppression, relationships, human rights and refugees, and the like will be central ideas investigated here. 

Keep an eye out next week for the first post-pause post! In the meantime, revisit UNESCO in Virginia, 1619