with a little help from my friends and all that....first of all, thank you everyone for your lovely notes on the blog, texts, emails and phone calls to check in and make sure I am/was OK. I cannot even begin to express how much that means. My friend Antonia is here still, heroically staying up late with me after we roasted marshmallows on an open gas stove flame (very romantic), preceded by a wonderful dinner of steak and chips at Eat17 (a surprisingly good restaurant here in ever-getting-trendier-oh-no-what-will-happen-to-the-rents-Walthamstow).
I have good news from the local council, that they can help me out with rent, but have to wait for news from landlord about whether they will put me down as a sole tenant on a new lease. This was not something I expected and the anxiety about that was where I focused much of my energy today. I was also in shock, the house suddenly empty of my husband's stuff and felt weirdly relaxed but with prickly skin. Prickly skin I've discovered over the past few days is like a weather forecast, which indicates a massive sobbing session at some point.
And yes, after dinner and marshmallows, when I opened the bedroom closet that was empty, the sobbing began and luckily for me Antonia was downstairs not yet asleep and hugged me and let me get snot all over her dress. That is the sign of an excellent friend.
We talked and talked and now I am writing, because I know so many of you are reading, and I want you to know: yes it was a hard day, no I still don't know for sure where I will live yet, yes getting through these emotions will suck and yes, assuming you are all still around and willing to let me yammer on or sob on your shoulder, I will get through it.
And for the record folks, I have not given up on love. Not even now. No. Either Bill and I will work through this or someone new will come along and in either case I will be able to love more fully because of all this and in the meantime, I have all of you and that is more than a blessing.
It is life itself....At one point I had a book of photos of people in the theater that my stepfather David gave me (and I probably still have it but don't have the energy to dig it out now) and one of the people, I can't remember who, had these simple words as his saying and I will close with them:
Live. Life. Love.
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.