Lightless Mass; or, On the Heightening of All Emotions in the Midst of Grief

By Will Watson / August 2017

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

I described it to a friend over coffee once. This follow-me-everywhere lightless mass that carries this strange internal yet external quality. I think I told him that it sits behind and above me, and when I turn corners I can almost feel its lag as my caused centripetal force swings it, and it pulls me with it. Gravity-like. And at the same time this heavy, packed blackness seats itself where my throat meets my chest, and it wads into a lump that I can neither swallow nor cough up. I feel it still as I write this line—heaving against the interior of my chest, pulling and pushing together in some paradoxical synchronous strain, fitting itself atop ribs and pushing down and out; around trachea and squeezing; between lungs and deflating.

It came with her loss. In the first weeks after her, it had a wild, furious metabolism, and it drove between my backbone and my brain and my chest and stomach, consuming each organ fully. How tiresome. I would watch my son throw tantrums and imagine this small, spinning, lightless mass bouncing around inside my ribs and screaming like him, raged, ungentle.

Eventually, though, it settled down with the new months. It now steams and pressurizes, expanding my bones past capacity, but it works slowly, rising from its seat slowly, extending arms and radii and pushing out on the chest walls, stretching arms beyond its little ability, always pushing, expanding, pressurizing, suffocating. Gravitational lag, blackness.

I have heard this lightless mass tell me one truth since it took its residency: it shall determine all of my days.

It does this by heightening each of my senses, emotions, thoughts, and feelings in both the best and worst ways. When my son laughs I feel the mass carrying it through the marrow in the bones of my hands, dancing. When he cries after I tell him no, and my ears ring and rattle, the mass constricts the muscles behind my eyes, drawing them in, crushing. When I hear sad news, the lightless mass slumps and my awareness of my discomfort with the nature of things reminds me of the necessity of my tears. I am too calm when I hear the waves, and I too quickly rationalize my actions. It affects every sensation, whether physical or emotive, in an expounding manner so that I am the fury of a land mine detonated by the soft wind of a butterfly’s tumble in the lightest fog. Warm has become both hot and cold since the arrival of the lightless mass, but never only warm.

Never only warm. Never only warm. I can never be only warm, in what you may consider its bland normalcy. I can only ever be hot, blazing like metors, or cold, brittled by ice. I either laugh the loudest or cry the pitifullest. I speak boldly or I retreat quickly. I never rest content as the comfort of the happy medium moved on when her little soul did, when her void left me with the little lightless mass to explore the reaches of my finite heart.

But oh, to know the middle and dwell there. To dwell where the lightless mass cannot bear on my lighted days.


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If you haven’t read “Verbs of My Grief” yet, I suggest you do so since it is closesly tied to the content of this post. Click here to read it.

I also posted the text of a short narrative poem called “Lament” this week as well. Read it here.

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Lament; or, On Discerning Time’s Significance During Grief

By Will Watson / August 2017

NOTE: Below is a lament I wrote for a class not too long ago. As with a lot of creative writing, this poem’s details are not all direct ‘facts’ from my life, so don’t read it like that. But its meaning—especially its intrinsic meaning as a lament—is certainly autobiographical. Enjoy.

A conflicted, young father sat on his back porch, observing the yard.
His wife’s flowerbed—green, full in April—now brown and dead in September.
April was the same month he had secured a mortgage, only to lose his job and home in September.
He rubbed his hair and neck and spoke aloud: “I am out here because I punished my son. He first gave his favorite toy to his younger brother, only to yank it back.”

He feels the steady tremble of the hot wind which means that Time is hearing him,
But—and the young father senses—time is not remembering.
Only he remembers things. He has them preserved.
Behind Time’s wave is his memory, and waves can’t run backward,
But it can and does roll forward and is changing things.

“My daughter is dead, died at birth, and I remember holding her. But my sons make me happy.”
He stood. He knew he needed to begin packing. He loved this home.
Even the dusty burr-covered yard. It had been so green before summer.
He noticed the sole purple plank on the back fence, which his sons had painted, and he smiled.


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Need of Humanity; or, On Standing Where I Stand

By Will Watson / August 2017

The greatest human tragedy is that you will never stand in the same place as me at the same time as me and see and think and feel and hear and smell and taste things the same as I do.

But the greatest human need is for you and me to stand in the same place as each other at the same time as each other and think and feel and hear and smell and taste things the same as each other does. But space and time won’t let us.

And even if I move aside and let you place your feet in my shoe marks and look out upon the vista before us, you are still some seconds removed from the view I saw, and your feet may be smaller or larger than my own, and you may be taller or shorter than me, or your eyes may be worse or your hearing better, and your heart may feel things much different than mine does.

But I need you to somehow stand right here and see the smiling green of trees raking the clouds. I need you to hear the wind as I have heard it, gently whispering across the tucked hills in the drawing evening. I need you to smell the smoke of the campfires around which I have laughed into the night. I need you to taste the sweetest kiss and feel the rise of love as it speaks beneath my lungs. I need you to feel the warmth of a strong home in late winter.

But I also need you to somehow stand right here and see the screaming face of a mother, mourning her dead child. I need you to hear the sad moan as I have moaned it, forcibly stretching across the darkened corners in the suffocating night. I need you to smell the flowered pall of a too-small casket around which I have prayed into the hot day, praying rise up and breathe and walk home with me. I need you to taste the blandest bread and feel the fall of care as it retreats to a pressure above my lungs. I need you to feel the cold of an empty nursery in the budding of mid-spring.

Then I need you to find my brother in Charlottesville and do the same for him as he stands in a street and sweats as a crowd of torches lit by hate and painted in swastikas tell him that he must die because he is black. Then I need you to find my sister in the plains or hills or mountains or beaches of the coasts of America and do the same as she wonders about fire and fury in the skies above her city, and her sister in Guam, and her sister’s sister in North Korea. Then I need you to go find my friend who is starving beneath the bridge and do the same for him as he cries in longing for relief. And then I need you to do it again for your brother and sister and friend, and I need them to do it too for theirs, and even on and on again until you and I and they have done it seven billion times over and have seen and heard and felt and tasted and smelled everything as each one has seen and heard and felt and tasted and smelled it.

But the tragedy: though we need to, we can’t stand where each other has stood at the same time as we each have stood there, and even if we could you may stand taller or shorter or have worse eyes or better ears than I have. Time and space are the great limiters that we cannot defy because they are boldly singular: occurring together only once and never occurring together again. They keep you from standing here where I stand and when I stand here, looking out across an earth the seems both bright and dark and happy and painful, wondering how you may see it much differently.

But even if time and space won’t allow you to be me, it has reserved the space and time around me. So come, stand beside me. Stay with me. I need your humanity.


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The Word; or, On the Significance of the Smallest Moment

By Will Watson / August 2017

Note: I encourage you to read John 1.1-18 in the Common English Bible by clicking here before reading this post.

I sit, calves to feet dangling in the rain-cooled pool water. I am melancholy beneath oakshade, staring into the clear, motionless liquid. A white speck pulls my gaze toward the pool floor, no thoughts other than the existential dread of things to do later. Assignments, responsibilities, more to do later.

Our son splashes in, rippling the surface. My white speck dances now. I follow it, trying to calculate how far its light shifts around in bent patterns, but then the interrupting shadow of a little whirlpool slides across the speck. Round and black against the blue pool bottom, twisting sunlight around its edge as it spins, twisting the color of the speck at its edge as it spins.

I think of the black swirl, round, bending light, as a micro-cosmic metaphor for a black hole, just on the smallest, flattest scale. I remember reading about the death of stars in a college astronomy class, how some become massive and infinite at the end of their days, becoming black holes,  powerhouses of rotating galaxies, shifting and expanding time near their horizons and allowing no light to escape—and note, nothing is faster than light—and such are locations where even light cannot overcome darkness.

Then the black swirl vanishes. I still see my speck at the blue bottom of the pool. My wife and I talk as our son bobs in and out of the shallows.

I need to write something.

What about?

I don’t know yet.

Write about being a day late and a dollar short.

Lol.

No really, you could since you’re a day late with your blog.

And broke?

Lol yes exactly.

You realize one day there will be one about black holes.

And I’m just sure I will enjoy it.

Lol. Thery’re important! They power the universe.

We watch him bob around, giggling, knocking toys into the water, and we sip coffee, his ripples pushing against our legs here, then pulling to open water, then back against us, echoing.

I think of these ripples, and on a grander scale they, too, are a metaphor. “In the beginning was the Word.” History and philosophy lesson here: the ‘Word’ in the ancient Greek world: the Word is the spoken-before-time all, the underlying, subsurface force that reaches beyond galaxies and universes, telling them to obey natural laws (the Word is the unwritten Law of Nature, preeminent, yet obedient to no law but its self), and tethering planets to stars, dirt particles to one another, gasses to one another as orbs-in-freefall and orbit, expanding and gravitational. The Word, which unfolds itself as a seed unfolds, producing matter, and the earth and the sun and the stars are the product of this unfolding. Like a passion flower unfolding so does the Word open forth a furious beauty, nature, grace, water, sky, and sand within its blossom. The Word, from which all unfolds and to which all is gathered in. The Word, sending its creative waves pulsing through the open chasm of space and time, across hay field and comet and dark matter, birthing green life and rogue beauty in its wake, reaching the eternal end and echoing back, carrying along the striped tails of its own beauty back into itself. Unfolding, and gathering. The Word: all at once whispered, sung, screamed, spoken at the brink of the first dawn.

The ripples subside, and my wife and son are somewhere else around the pool, and I am still seated on the ledge, legs dangling in the translucent blue. A man I didn’t know introduces himself to us. He is friendly, and he reminds me of some archetypical scene where friends are gathered around a table with bread and drink, all laughing. He comments on my son’s name, says it’s “a kicka** name!” and rightly notes that we will have to dig deep to find a name better than that. I chuckle at this truth. He has a good name.

Here in this log of events I have watched the shadow of a whirlpool expand itself into a dying star, which becomes a supermassive black hole, stronger than the speed of light itself, powering galaxies. I have watched the ripples of our son’s splashing echoing into the moment after the beginning of all things, when the Word was spoken and violently unfolded across emptiness in its fertile creativity, and returning and carrying its beauty back into itself in the green whir of light and heat, pounding and laughing and raining forth the bright energy of the most ancient words, pounding the wild tribal drums in the celebration of a new creation, something grand and good, something that causes gods and angels to dance and laugh and make merry, an explosion of fire and day in rogue disorder, but gravitating into itself and ordering itself into its own happy work of art. And then…

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

…………………A heaved pause…………………The grandeur of the creation in the Word’s wake pauses…….still……. The black holes pause their spinning, surprised by this, and the universe pauses its expanding, equally surprised, and the Word even pauses at itself, stops unfolding, stops gathering, stops sifting beneath the universe and ordering it……. It all pauses, silence…….

…………………Then it starts again, whirling free and funneling downward into the brightest array of light and wonder, more powerful than a black hole’s grip, creative and wondrous, falling to some deserted point against a sea in the Near East, flooding into Mary of Nazareth’s young womb—the creative all, the undergirding law, the spoken and sung creative force behind the black of space and the march of time: here it has become he. Human. The dwelling place of God is with man.

“And we have seen his glory… from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

I hear this booming whisper in my ears as I sit, yoked to the moment. And I finally see: a white speck, a black swirl in the water, the ripples my son has caused, a conversation about a blog, and a friendly person connected me to a cosmic event and its long, drawn, yawning source: the Word, which defied all nature and needled itself into the form of a human being.

And suddenly my small, melancholy moment has become full and intrinsically significant.


The original is always better. Click here to see my notes for “The Word”.

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For this blog to be true, I had to do a bit of legwork. If you’re a student of New Testament Greek and want an aid that can exhaust the theological significance of Greek words, I suggest the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 Volume Set). You can order it here.

Finding Irony in a White Sand Dune; or, On Babe’s Beach at Eventide

By Will Watson / July 2017

I left the hotel while I still had enough light to dodge traffic, walking. I carried Dylan Thomas’ Collected Poems, a pen, and a half-sheet of ivory paper across Seawall Boulevard into the turn lane. I paced west, steady, so as to not look like a fool for jaywalking, but I needed to go east so I turned. Much daylight wasted by walking in the wrong directions as the sun was behind the bay now. It didn’t help that the staircases for descending the seawall into the sand below were far enough down Babe’s Beach in either direction to render jaywalking impractical. Oh well.

When I arrived at the proper stairs I descended, and I then realized I no longer wanted to wear my slides. I found a dune against the seawall (and one conspicuous enough that I could identify it later) and buried them at its base, and I walked through the white sand toward the last jetty.

Another white dune ahead some fifty paces, and the clear sea and sky and people chattering in every direction, echoing off the curve of the seawall in inordinate bends, disobeying where my eyes demanded to find the origin of the voices. Ghostish, phantoms in the wet, brown, packed tidal sands.

I stumbled down indianstyle atop this second white dune, stumbled into this stretched moment, and I allowed it to suspend itself for a reason that reveals my own nature: I liked the moment. I talked inwardly with the sea, it speaking much more than I understood in its calm, unceasing wisdom, vast and conquering, but only whispering now. I watched the ships inside of the horizon line prepare to harbor, and I watched the infinitesimal flicker of the oil derricks as they fell below, slowly below, that same line. Everything fading, folding grey against the yawning Daylight, giving her hand to the sharp crescent Moon above the seawall.

But even as the familiar fade and sounds and lights danced, I happened upon irony. When I dug my fingers below the surface of the dune and buried my hands to my wrists, I found the sand hot as daylight. Warmth holding on in the cooling breeze, against the cooling breeze, which pulls and pulls, even more strongly that the laughing, whispering surf. And the people, too, whispering and laughing themselves with the surf even as day fades and cars continue to roar on the boulevard above me.

The irony that the buried sand retained warmth in spite of the southerly night breeze bouncing atop the cool waves. I then sought more irony and found it. There I sat in an ethereal suspension on my dune, inwardly alone in the wild of the coast, but facing the circle of ships and oil derricks in their brawny steel and diesel, and behind me the rush of tourist traffic and hotels and shops still selling and lights and sounds of clangs and industry beyond in the bay, and closer still the chatter of other voices in their own moments, and lights along the jetty. A little boy with a fishing pole disproportionately larger than himself bouncing through the jetty’s lamps, charging evenly in and out of sight as if a Greek soldier with his lance pointing up and out amongst tribal lanterns. The bar above the gulf waters at the end of the jetty is multicolored and soundless but filled with the unheard-to-me sounds of fishermen and those still holding on to their fading moments on the island.

The irony that I have made myself alone in this free, untainted moment on this white dune, while the creeping fingers and buzz and strain of economy and oil and buying besiege this little piece of Babe’s Beach.

I close my eyes and forget the dune and the beach and the gulf. I ask my daughter to be with me, be with me in the south breeze as it echoes and boils around the curve of the seawall and presses against my western ear, be with me in the warmth below the cool finish of the white dune’s surface sand, be with me in the laughter of the sea and in the kick of the salt smell in the air, be with me in the heaviness of the humid atmosphere that mats my hair, be with me in the dabbed movement of the grey-as-the-water seagulls (the same grey, as if birded windows to some ocean behind the sky), be with me on the sharp edge of the crescent Moonlight as he dances with his belle Sunlight and dips her behind the bay. My daughter is here. I say, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and Jesus is here, and I ask Jesus to hold my daughter, and I imagine Jesus does. Be with me in my inability to hold her.

I opened my eyes to the dimmest jumping waves, dusted white with foamy spray, and the squawk of hungry gulls just this side of nightfall, and stars had begun to peek through the force of the boulevard’s light. I wrote some things down and read some poems and took to the east before remembering my slides. I unearthed them and headed east once more.

I could walk east to the nearest crosswalk, but I when I approached the jetty I turned around and walked west. I took off my slides and waded calf deep all the way to the western-most crossing, and I ascended and crossed the boulevard and moved back east to the hotel. As I took my rings off in the room I could still feel the warmth of the sub-dune sand, and as I sat still in my bed I could hear the laughter of the surf; warmth and laughter, handing me the stillest hope in the grey of nightfall as I entered my dreams.


HERE’S A FREEBIE! Nothing is better than the original. If you want a free copy of what I wrote while sitting on my sand dune (which served as the foundation of this blog) CLICK HERE and download it! It comes warts-and-all with misspellings and various other idiosyncrasies. Enjoy!

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And if you’re ever on Galveston Island, go check out The Spot on Seawall Blvd., just a few blocks west of the Pleasure Pier. The fish tacos are happening.

A Sunset Observed; or, On the Familiar Fade of Vesper Lights

By Will Watson / July 2017

Here is the sunset.

I sit and watch the fading trace of a pale blue dome behind feathery clouds form into streaked golden arms of dusty and bright flames, all still wholly lit as the white-hot star, tinged meadow-gold like the goldenrod Crayolas we all used to fight over, melts behind an empty brick house that stands against the wooded horizon and hills to my west. It happens so quickly. Next comes the pink dance of the earthbound dust that hovers amongst all that lives. We know this dust well: it can be seen when the sun’s infinite beam handles its way through a kitchen window, strong enough to castthe smallest shadows on swirling particles we never would otherwise see. But this dust is out there above the trees, too, and it slows the advance of the white and drawing vesper lights as they bend through the air and gives rise to a pink and purple swell, rising Godward and falling meward, and twisting and moving through the blackening trees, blacker now to me since the sun-source has stumbled behind them, and the sky becomes paler as it descends to a slack green ahead of its coming divide. My east puts forth the reaching stars while the west burns toward a pearly ivory, and the distant black silhouettes of pine trees reach upward into the remaining dimness of day. I have no reserve saying that there is a divide; evening does not so much fade to night, but rather night approaches from my east and floats in its echoing, buzzing strings toward the western horizon where all sky is ultimately united in blackness, and as dots of iced starlight drizzle forward to meet me as I gaze.

Julianne’s Sunset. This was right after her half-birthday on March 16, 2017. We sent lanterns to her with messages of love.

 

And it is beneath this blackness – blanketing or opaque depending on its moon – that I muse about gravity and the ripple the earth and sun cause in space and time, causing chunks of space to spiral around us, falling butnever arriving. I know it is mass that creates this wild swirl, and those massive enough can even swirl time and light beneath the realm of knowing. Permanence.

And I must wonder how I, too, bend space and time selfward. Am I not mass? And do I bend light around my own being? And all that has ever been or happend regarding me, could it have been by virtue of my own intrinsic bend?

Who knows what part any of us play beneath this heavy sky. But the evening reminds me that the same colors and cloud dances and white specks of starlight and objects of black mass and the pulsing sun will meet me tomorrow, and I will welcome them.


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Verbs of My Grief: Or, On the Flatness of Language in the Wake of Loss

By Will Watson / July 2017

Shake. An ant falls to the hot concrete in the shade of the hot metal carport. Fold. Stack on the dog-chewed arm of the Adirondack chair. Unfold another. Shake. Two ants. Fold again. Stack.

I have to repeat it exactly 42 times, and I have to be religious about it. There’s no good way to get ants out of a stack of boxed hand-me-down infant clothes except to unfold; shake loose the ants; fold; stack; repeat.

They are my daughter’s clothes. They were never worn, and they are being returned to her aunt and to her two cousins from whom they were borrowed.

I am angry at the ants. They disturbed my daughter’s room, finding a home in the corner of her closet amongst the small and pink clothes in the laundry basket that I have been halfway searching for for awhile and had forgotten about. They burrowed in the head and foot of the crib that an old man from our former church had crafted for her older brother, notching small holes and tunnels into the soft wood, and it is ruined. It would have been her day bed.

I am angry at the clothes. I shake them, and I uncover a leotard (I guess that’s what it’s called) with a gold design that says: Daddy Loves Me, or something to that tune. And I shake it violently, fold it, stack it. I pause and watch the ants spraying across the ground, and I crush a big one beneath my toe. I hate that these would have been her clothes.

Would have been. A phrase that implies a contrast, that begs for it, calling forth an open causeway of negations. But. However. She would have been, yet: she was not.

We are clearing out what would have been her nursery to make room for her little brother, who will be here in September. He will be here. But her life would have been: an umbilical cord accident one week shy of her due date brought me to this task of chasing off fire ants.

But I’m never sure which verbs to use to describe my daughter’s state of being. Perhaps she was not would have been. Instead, maybe she was. And my eldest son is, and my son in the womb is. Or maybe they all are since they are all our children despite life or death and the path either of those have forced me down. This is the tragedy of language: it restricts and is bound by the ugly push of time, and verbs can only be past, present, or future. Never can they be all-encompassing, and so they never can claim perfect accuracy. Or, I have not yet found one to do so.

But past: I remember the shock and thrill of finding out my wife was pregnant with our daughter. I remember hearing her little beating heart and eschewing the idea that her heart rate could tell us anything about her gender. But I guessed girl, and I was right. We picked the name Julianne Rachel for her, both names connected in various ways to family members dropped at different points across space and time. We established her nursery, bought things for it, took a strange drive to a trailer park in Tyler to pick up furnishings for it. My brother and I even painted her dresser and crib together.

I remember how my wife felt her kick on a Wednesday in September, and how she stopped feeling her on a Thursday, and we didn’t allow our minds to “go there” on the way to the doctor’s office on Friday morning, and the doctor told us, “I’m sorry guys, but I’m just not getting a heartbeat,” and we couldn’t move well in our shock. But I made myself forego the paralysis when I dented the car in rage, knuckle marks to this day memorializing the deep sorrow I’ve come to know.

On verbs, I don’t think would have been would be proper or accurate in her regard. It posits a falsehood: Julianne would have been implies that she had not yet attained the dignity of humanity. But read above: when we celebrated the news of my wife’s pregnancy, Julianne was is. In hearing her heartbeat and feeling her kick, she was is. When we named her and celebrated her gender reveal, she was is. A present member of our family, so close to us and real and alive, so celebratedly human and dignified from the beginning, if anything because we heard her heart beating and wondered at our own hearts and how they might beat along with hers. How on earth, then, could we call her would have been? If anything, she is and was.

But she did not become was until that poor weekend in September, and even then she still maintained her is. We held her. We looked at her small face and features and tried to figure out who she looked like. We rocked her in the delivery room chair. We laughed some in her presence, and we cried and mourned her. We still do these things. And these are things that we only do for humans who are. Thus would have been is offensively insufficient language. She is and was.

Of course, though, describing her as is fails as well. If she were is, I would not be shaking ants out of infant clothes. I would not have memorialized my grief by denting the car door. Yet I’m not sure that I can disregard is entirely. She somehow abides in my memory and in the pressure I feel in the bottom of my throat and at the front of my chest when I think of her and travel backward to the moments I shared with her before and after she was stillborn. I cannot see purple things without feeling her, and I sense her life somehow in the falling of leaves, though I cannot say why. She’s present in my son’s face and in the kicks of her little brother. Somehow, she exists in a strange location between is and was. As something fully past and concretely present.

As well, I know there exists the hope of will be, but I only say this because I know I have to. I certainly do not feel it today. I know she will be made right at the end of it. Her stolen life will be ransomed by Christ. There will be a day when I see her breathing and alive and brand new. But in all honesty, that hope does not abide with me because I must unfold; shake loose the ants; fold; stack; repeat. I can only trust this hope in a solid, wooden kind of way, a knowing rather than an emotive confidence. Tomorrow may be different. But ants and a basket of clothes make it difficult today.

I can feel the sting of was between each ant and each little piece of unworn clothing. But when I finish and go inside, I see my son, and I see his mother and the evidence of the little boy forming within her, and I feel Julianne’s sweet abiding pressure at the front of my chest. And somehow, in this moment, verb tenses–was, is, will be, would have been, was being, will be being, has been–defy their nature in a way that verbs are usually too weak to reckon: they are all mysteriously one spherical, eternal, all-encompassing tense.

And all I can do is be. I don’t know how to make sense of most of this, but so goes grief and its slanted cycles.


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The Return

Friends…

The Will Watson Blog is back! In 2015, I dipped my toe into the world of blogging and enjoyed every bit of it. However, as I grew into a new job and began to explore and grow into my role as a father and husband, I dropped the ball and let the old site float around in an internet graveyard until I finally took it offline.

Not anymore.

From what I gathered, those of you who subscribed to my original blog enjoyed it! I certainly enjoyed allowing my creative juices to flow, and I definitely enjoyed conversing with many of you about the things I wrote. So I’ve decided to make my return to the blogosphere.

One mistake I made with the old blog was pigeonholing my theme. I wanted to write about Texas–and I still do!–but I found myself running out of things to say after awhile. Plus, I also wanted to write about being a dad, Jesus and the Bible, small town life, coping with stress, books, poetry, the great outdoors, teaching at a public school, social and political issues, and the Lord knows what else! I couldn’t do that with a narrowly themed blog.

This time, I’m keeping the categories as wide as the Texas sky (there’s some Lone Star content!), at least for now. Eventually, I’ll see what you all have enjoyed most from my blog and use that to be a bit more specific and thus grow my readership. Until then, though, expect an article about a day in the classroom to be followed by an article covering my musings in general relativity.

With that, I’m giving myself a few rules:

First, I’ll create at least one blog a week by Thursday midnight. Some weeks could see two or three, but I’m not going to demand any more of myself than once a week. I’m really busy (I have a full-time job, a part-time job, a seat on the City Council, a family, masters degree work, and a yard to mow), and I previously allowed overzealousness regarding my blog to burn me out as I tried to balance it with other responsibilities. One 500-or-so-word post each week is reasonable, and I won’t lose my sanity and give up with that kind of quota.

Second, and to reiterate, I won’t pigeonhole my theme, at least not at first. Expect variety for now and for the extended future.

Third, I will keep you in the loop. If you’re reading this post in the week or two after I originally published it, you’ve probably been personally asked to subscribe to my blog-related emails. Down the road, you’ll have to sign up via the subscribe bar at the top of the page. Regardless, with each post there will be an accompanying email so that you don’t have to forget about checking in each week.

These rules are more for my sanity than anything else, but they’ll also keep me accountable. I love writing, and I want to do more of it, and when I was blogging regularly two years ago I felt like I was doing what I was meant to do. Who knows, maybe this will turn into something bigger than I could’ve ever expected? We’ll see.

Until then, I just ask for your support and patience as I get this thing off the ground! I’m excited to be embarking on this great crusade (there’s some semi-political World War II-era content!).

Will Watson

Grapeland, Texas

Summer 2017

P.S. A lot of this is thanks to the inspiration of Jeff Goins.


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