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.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

sort of procrastinating...but also accomplished a lot

So, I've got most of the visual stuff done for the show on Saturday (JUST KILL ME NOW!!! - the poetry of Southend-on-sea) but am still staring at the found text and uncharacteristically confused by words.  I usually cut them up and happily roll along that way but something in me is resisting this.  Not sure if it's just laziness or what, but I'm just kinda staring at the words and they are staring back.

I know I want to talk about the conversation Hazel and I had on the pier about the death of her father and mine.  I wonder if I should add anything in about current personal stuff or not.  And then I have the words from Southend-on-sea...Now, I've done cut up writing enough to know these things are not mutually exclusive so can't quite fathom my resistance.  I guess I just don't want to fall into old tricks or rely on them too much.

So, we'll see.

I also put on some music I shouldn't have that made me cry.  Not sure what the motivation was there, but that's been the result.  Hard not to feel the loss of something so big and not just cry.  And be angry and be a lot of things really...

On the good side, I did focus on the photos and videos and have something there that makes sense.  I wish I knew more about editing because I think there's some more sophisticated stuff I could have done, but I'm pretty OK with what's there.  I'm glad it's an art festival more than a theatre festival, because this piece is definitely a visual art piece primarily.

Part of my resistance with the words is this I think.  I don't want to be redundant or just wordy for wordiness sake.  On the other hand, I might also be nervous about what might come out with the freedom of cut ups, because sometimes they can cut quite hard and deep, even with humor.

As you can see, I am cleverly writing this post instead of confronting the issue at hand, but so be it.  It's midnight and I've spent all day on this project.  Tonight I may begin the text work but also might wait to wake up and see what the morning brings, except I need to take my yoga class (no yoga = physical and spiritual misery)...but then again after that, I may be fresher.

I talked with my good friend Renee today, who I mentioned in a post in June, when I met up with her after meeting the Bukoskis.  We were marvelling about being friends for over 30 years and how that is one of the grace notes of getting older - old friends.  Hearing each other's voices provided great comfort and of course the crucial sense of humor honed in difficult circumstances.  We have very similar values, and find these values diminished greatly in this brave new world of virtual friendships and rampant consumerism of everything, including people.  Luddites unite...etc...(said the woman with the blog...)
But seriously, there is a concern she and I share about the quality of communication between people, whether anyone is willing to stay for the long haul with anyone else, how easy it appears to disengage and how hard to find ways to be with and connected on levels that are not merely surface or convenient, and how strange it feels to still not be just chasing after money and security after all these years.

I know I should care about all that more, but I don't.  I just care right now that I do something on Saturday that can bring at least one moment to someone that they would not have had otherwise that opens up some little window and lets in some fresh air, some quality of attention, perhaps a question or a feeling not experienced in quite that way before.  And that shared moment will be about a live encounter and human contact with each other in a room, something which cannot be bought or sold or even replicated.

Those are my dreams, that is my goal....opening up the windows, seeing things afresh, but that which is usually overlooked or discounted or taken for granted.  Nothing and no one should be taken for granted in this world.  I think if we could all agree on that, that'd be a good start for the kind of political change I'd like to see, not based on tired power paradigms but something deeper, more lasting...

I have a feeling there are probably a lot of people out there way further along on that than me, and they probably live in cooperative communities and in places not hooked up, jacked up and adrenalized by the  Twitteratti.  I am still too attached to the urban, the buzz, the idea of the Something that can be captured in certain places...

The other thing Renee and I were talking about was how even now when we go to NYC we both feel immediately the energy and the sense that anything is possible.  I don't feel that as strongly anywhere else.  There's something about that place that is special.  I am fairly certain I will be spending a month back in my home town soon and will see if that feeling persists.  And how it is to write there.  That will have a lot to do with future decisions....feeling through things, bit by bit...

OK, now back to my writing for the project or to sleep, but must end this here.  Hope to see any of you who can make it at Southend on Saturday.  It's free and there's lots of fun stuff going on that day, including a literary festival I think....

1 comment:

  1. Julia, you said beautifully "Those are my dreams, that is my goal....opening up the windows, seeing things afresh, but that which is usually overlooked or discounted or taken for granted".

    I would only add my wish that may you then create extraordinary words, on condition that they be put to the most ordinary use and that the entity they designate be made to exist in the same way as the most common object.
    Your friend and mentor,
    — Gilles