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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

gorgeous day and very tired now

I stayed up crazy late last night watching an old-school bio pic of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I did that even though I was exhausted.  And it was worth it.  I had one of those moments I have every once in a while when I'm by myself doing something I'm fairly sure almost no one else would want to join me in doing, and think: this is great!  I can just choose to watch this endless thing, kick back and just be here.

I love that.

Got up late, though, and therefore did not meditate before the lovely cleaning lady Leopolda showed up.  My friend Julie hires her to come in twice a month, and I never know what to do in these moments, other than smile a lot and offer coffee.  So, I went to a meditation meeting instead, which was good, but I still feel the fact I did not do my own meditation, like a tangible lack in my day.

But I met my plane-buddy Rochelle in Central Park - it was her birthday, and in case she's reading - again - Happy Birthday!  We walked along the reservoir (see below) and chatted about how we both want to move here from London and hoping we can both work it out.  This time I don't have a visa problem, but remember the dilemma well when I first got to London, so wish her well.

a very full reservoir swamping small trees on the bank

East Side from the Central Park reservoir plus gushing geyser thing

The day was blue sky, cool breeze and sunny, just perfect.

I then went to visit my friend Alyssa and her husband Lynn for another Hurricane-Irene-inspired dinner. Many New Yorkers, told to buy 72 hours of food in case power went out, etc., now have incredibly full refrigerators so are making these gorgeous suppers.  Alyssa, too, roasted a chicken (like my friend Louise on Saturday night), made amazing vegetables and then Ivanna came along with three types of ice-cream.  I did not leave hungry.  We spoke of theater, art, politics and how to make theater and a living in NYC.   Always a neat trick.

And I saw Bushwick for the first time.  See below photo from inside Alyssa's building.

This signals: (a) smart landlord with Spanish as first and English as second language and (b) this area is not gentrified yet.  But, I loved it.  The view from the J train, which runs overground on the Williamsburg Bridge is fantastic, and the neighborhood - for those of you from London - has a distinct Dalston feel...as in Dalston circa 2000 not 2011, just to be clear.  It is now getting the overspill of hipsters from Williamsburg, so will gentrify, as all neighborhoods do fall to this relentless trend.  However, because I've lived in multi-racial areas in London for 8 years, the neighborhood as is does not freak me out.  I am looking for where I may end up in real life if I move back here (hint: it won't be the Upper West Side unless a strange occurrence happens wherein (a) I win the lottery or (b) I suddenly discover I am related to someone who is about 95 years old and has a rent-controlled apartment.  Any Bukoskis out there??  I could be your long-lost great niece!)

I have also received another intriguing lead that could result in a cheap place to live in Bed-Stuy, but as that is in the feelers stage, will leave out details.

So, it's all been about: how to move back to NYC today.  I am feeling more and more strongly every day that this is my path.  It's exciting and scary, but to be totally honest, mostly just really fucking exciting.  And a relief, because I'm finally taking the actions to make something happen I've wanted to do for ages but talked myself out of over and over for various practical reasons and/or fears.

So, wish me luck.  My sense of a higher power keeps telling me this: if you jump, I will catch you.  I am finally beginning to listen.  Though I am hoping this is not that old Jewish fable wherein the father teaches his son he will catch him when he falls, until one day the boy falls and he does not catch him.  He tells him that is the lesson - someone won't always be there to catch you when you fall.  I suppose I have to hope my higher power is not that guy.  Yikes.  I think I'll go with another interpretation of that story: the father is a human being and human beings cannot always be trusted.  Yes, that is true.  Anyway, with this amazing logic, you can see how I can talk myself out of even the most positive emotions and feelings.

Someday, Dear Lord, Someday, could I just be allowed to feel good for a while?  Could you please help me stay off my own back?  I'm just sayin'....

Lesson: tomorrow, I meditate first thing no matter what...

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