Welcome to my blog..

"We struggle with dream figures and our blows fall on living faces." Maurice Merleau-Ponty

When I started this blog in 2011, I was in a time of transition in my life between many identities - that of Artistic Director of a company (Apocryphal Theatre) to independent writer/director/artist/teacher and also between family identity, as I discover a new family that my grandfather's name change at the request of his boss in WWII hid from view - a huge Hungarian-Slovak contingent I met in 2011. Please note in light of this the irony of the name of my recently-disbanded theatre company. This particular transition probably began in the one month period (Dec. 9, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010) in which I received a PhD, my 20 year old cat died on my father's birthday and then my father, who I barely knew, died too. I was with him when he died and nothing has been the same since. This blog is tracing the more conscious elements of this journey and attempt to fill in the blanks. I'm also writing a book about my grandmothers that features too. I'd be delighted if you joined me. (Please note if you are joining mid-route, that I assume knowledge of earlier posts in later posts, so it may be better to start at the beginning for the all singing, all dancing fun-fair ride.) In October 2011, I moved back NYC after living in London for 8 years and separated from my now ex-husband, which means unless you want your life upended entirely don't start a blog called Somewhere in Transition. In November 2011, I adopted a rescue cat named Ugo. He is lovely. As of January 2012, I began teaching an acting class at Hunter College, which is where one of my grandmothers received a scholarship to study acting, but her parents would not let her go. All things come round…I began to think it may be time to stop thinking of my life in transition when in June 2012 my stepfather Tom suddenly died. Now back in the U.S. for a bit, I notice, too, my writing is more overtly political, no longer concerned about being an expat opining about a country not my own. I moved to my own apartment in August 2012 and am a very happy resident of Inwood on the top tip of Manhattan where the skunks and the egrets roam in the last old growth forest on the island.

I am now transitioning into being married again with a new surname (Barclay-Morton). John is transitioning from Canada to NYC and as of June 2014 has a green card. So transition continues, but now from sad to happy, from loss to love...from a sense of alienation to a sense of being at home in the world.

As of September 2013 I started teaching writing (composition and rhetoric) as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While felt blessed for the opportunity, after four years of this, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in my own apartment and working with writers one on one, which I adore. I will die a happy person if I never have to grade an assignment ever again.

I worked full time on the book thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign in May 2014 and completed it at two residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House in summer 2015. I have done some revisions and am shopping it around to agents and publishers now, along with a new book recently completed.

I am now working full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, and editor. Contact me if you are interested in any of these services.

Not sure when transition ends, if it ever does. As the saying goes, the only difference between a sad ending and a happy ending is where you stop rolling the film.

For professional information, publications, etc., go to my linked in profile and website for Barclay Morton Editorial & Design. My Twitter account is @wilhelminapitfa. You can find me on Facebook under my full name Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. More about my grandmothers' book: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani

Recently, I started a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. I will be blogging there, too, now. You can also contact me through that site.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse is dead and that's very, very sad

I was very sad today anyway, so sad I could barely breathe.  But then I heard on top of it all that Amy Winehouse has died, mostly likely of a drug overdose.  And I thought: fuck.  Not again.  And, then, but of course, again.

This makes me very angry at many forces, not the least of which is our celebrity-obsessed culture, which leeches off of people with self-destructive tendencies, all those people surrounding her that were leeching off her fame and probably getting off on her self-destruction and the UK, where I live, for valorizing as it does the functional alcoholic-addict as some kind of fucking folk hero.

I know there can be this romanticization in the US as well, but it's nothing like here, believe me.  I don't drink, because I can't, and I find myself in social situations having to defend my lack of desire for alcohol, it has to be explained as if it's an unfortunate disease.

So, put this attitude together with Amy Winehouse's addictive tendencies, vast talent and celebrity and her surround of enablers and drug dealers and you can see where it's all going to go terribly, terribly wrong.

I saw my husband today and that ended up making me very sad before this news, so I am in a dark place anyway.  I know still that I need to sit in the ambiguity but I also wonder how long.  There's a saying I heard once that is apt for where I am now, which is "when one door closes, another door opens, but in between is a long, dark hallway" and that's where I feel I am right now.  Right in the middle of a very long, very dark hallway.

Neither of us were wearing our wedding rings, but we both are carrying them around with us, and that kind of sums it up.  It feels like a long drawn-out car crash that we are both trying to avoid but seem to know is inevitable at the same time.  So, I feel quite sad and like I am watching the end of a long, in many ways very happy relationship like in a dream when you can't say anything no matter how hard you try.  Maybe the car crash is about this stage of our relationship and maybe there's something on the other side of it but right now all I'm feeling is loss and very intensely.

I dreaded writing this post, and I think I will leave it here as I can't really bear to write much more.  Prayers all round for all those who are suffering today here, there and everywhere.

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