Woke up today, after finally getting to sleep, to a relatively peaceful day. No electricity out in all of Manhattan and so all the fears, in light of day, seem silly of course. Moral of the story: don't stay up all night listening to the news.
On the other hand, many other places outside of Manhattan have no electricity (because their power lines are not underground) and there is a lot of flooding on roads, etc. But I was safe, of course.
What I realized this morning before and during meditation is this: that I was lonely last night and therefore was listening to the news in a way to somehow connect I suppose. But as soon as I was able to say to myself - aha I feel lonely - I felt some warmth come over me and I didn't feel lonely anymore. There is such shame attached to loneliness for me anyway, and to truly accept it is difficult but in accepting it, I get relief and the freedom from it.
I think so much of my life at times has been a way to avoid the sting of this feeling, and while I was in fact an only child and therefore had my times of loneliness, the paradox is this: in accepting that I felt lonely then and feel lonely now, I don't have to be driven by it any more. In attempting not to feel it, whether by myself or with others, I only prolong the feeling and the shame of it.
Yesterday, when I was at a meeting of friends, one woman said that in having her loneliness witnessed, she could let it go. And I realize now I am in a place where I can be my own witness, and I sense in this place might be true freedom. That doesn't mean I don't need other people, because I do. But I begin to sense a way that I do not have to be driven in this way, and that is good.
It is time for once to be on my own adventure in the world, and this is exciting. Sitting through loneliness and sadness will be part of that journey, but I can already sense the gifts on the other side of this are immense.
So, Irene has passed, most everyone is well and I have learned something about the nature of loneliness. Not bad really.
Now to my own writing and other projects for the rest of the day. Need to make sure most of my energy does not go into this blog, which is where it has been for a long time now.
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. So blessed for the opportunity and hope to find a more permanent job doing same.
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 having written a rough draft of a new book and some other projects.
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.