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.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What a day...

Some days you just realize you are destined to piss off everyone somehow by telling your own story and this was one of those days.  I wish I could somehow convince folks that my story is just that, my story.  I am not attempting to do anything to anyone or judge anyone for anything, I'm just telling what I know, remember and feel as best as I can.  And now I understand that in doing this whatever unwritten rules about not saying things publicly becoming quite visible and things get testy.  I am amazed that these days I seem to be able to keep talking anyway.  I hope this continues.

However, for me and for anyone anywhere attempting to work through their lives in writing, I want to hold this space for the ability to do that.  Abuse of all kinds lives in silence, whether historical or current, and I believe the only way to stop these cycles is by talking about all these events openly.  If you look at the world the way it is now, you can see the result of all the secrecy, and it ain't pretty.

For the record, I love my family, even though I doubt they believe that right now, but this journey to find what I am meant to do on this earth artistically, which is in fact what this blog began as and continues to be, means going through some pretty unsavory bits of the past.  But that is in fact the past.  I know that.  On the other hand, only by looking at it can it be moved through, and that is what this blog and my writing life right now in general is about.

And speaking of which, I finally opened the case with the Bukoski family stuff, as the person who runs the Bridge Project at the Hungarian-Slovak border got in touch with me and wanted to know where my family was from.  I think my grandfather's mother Rosa Kimas may be from the area close to the bridge, because the town name, which correlates directly with no town in Hungary or Slovakia, looks like it could be a mis-spelling of the town where the bridge itself is located.  If that is the case, that would be incredible.  I know there is no way of knowing if this is true right now, but it feels right.

The project is this: there are artists chosen for periods of time to 'guard' the bridge, as it was destroyed many times because of many wars and was rebuilt in 2001.  The idea is that mental concentration will keep it standing now and the project you work on as an artist has to do with bridging gaps, finding yourself in the other and suchlike.  I love this idea so will apply.  There have been bridge guardians there since 2004.  I would love to be there and hopefully track down the Bukoskis and Kimas's and see what I can find out.  The project could be about bridging lost generations, continents, namesakes and lives...so many losses over the 20th Century that it would be good to have some recoveries too...

I have also invited my cousin Patti, who picked me up in Milford in June and showed me around and coordinated my Bukoski reunion/s to come to NYC for a day while I'm there so we can spend a day together.  I think this could be lovely, as I would like to share with her a glimpse of my life as I got to experience hers.

Earlier in the day I had my usual (these days) crying session and felt hopeless about pretty much everything regarding relationships anyway, but trudged out of the house and met with some friends for a bit, then cried some more and went shopping for food and then home.  As much as I am sick to death of crying, I know it's important that it happens.  I have a number of friends who complain of not being able to cry, and I remember that, when I was that frozen and am so grateful I am not anymore, though I must also say I had No idea how many tears would flow.  The last time I separated from my ex in 2000 I was still smoking, which definitely cut down on the tears, and meant I lost a lot of weight but smoked a lot of cigarettes.  I found out around then that you cannot physically smoke and cry at the same time, and that made me realize why I smoked.

And I know now again why.  It would be so much easier to smoke than cry.  But no, not this time.  I just hope I can sleep tonight.  I did sleep last night and the tears came after meditation.  But was grateful for the sleep at least.

Still working on the living arrangements, hoping to sort out something soon, but everything seems to be taking its own sweet time.  Perhaps that means I should too.

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