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, September 15, 2011

Accepting imperfection...sort of...

Had my last therapy appointment today with a woman who has helped me tremendously over many years.  I was telling her that I felt in many ways since I moved here to London, I've been drifting and the first decision I feel like I've made in a long time was to move back to NYC.  She said, well maybe you've needed to be drifting to do all the work you did on yourself.  And I think she might be right.

But, still, it's nice to feel I've made a positive decision.  Everyone who I am talking to here, even folks who say they will miss me, are happy for me because they see the change.  One friends said, my God your energy is back, you're back.  And that is how I feel.  It's been a long time of grieving - a really, really long time - over deaths and losses both old and new, and it's such a nice feeling to actually feel effortlessly happy again.

There is still underneath it all some panic - or not underneath - actually more like a haunting or a shadow. The core of me and the base is happy.  It's these other things that are a surround.  I feel the resonance of an anxiety attack I had before I went to NYC and that scares me, but I seem to be not going back there and happy for that.  I do feel sad about the separation and I have some fears about being back in the U.S. of course.  But now that I know I'm not trapped here, I'm finding parts of London to enjoy again, which is nice.  I don't want to leave feeling all negative about it, which is how I have been feeling for a long time.

Spinoza has a theory that I will now botch, but the cod (Americans: Readers Digest) version is: some bodies enhance each other and other bodies diminish each other.  It's not even about one being 'good' and another 'bad' but their relationship to each other.  And what I think now, looking over these past years in London and with certain people, that these relationships can change so that a body that used to enhance can diminish and vice-versa.  It's a dynamic flow really and perhaps it means allowing for those shifts rather than clinging on to old ideas.  I say this but as I heard someone say once and is true for me: anything I've let go of has claw marks on it.  Usually, in my case anyway, out of fear of letting go of the familiar and into the new or in the case of this upcoming move the new-old, but even that's different.

As another friend reminded me, you can't step into the same river twice, which is true and not true.  The water flowing will be different and my relationship to the river will be different, but I can go back to the same river bank...or as good old Edward Albee put it in Zoo Story "Sometimes you have to go a long way out of your way, to get back the right way correctly."

As to the getting back: I have begun the practicalities thing - finding a mover, changing my address with banks and all that.  I keep giving my new address in a state of disbelief, hoping the place will be there when I get back to NYC, wondering, will it?  There's no real reason to doubt this, but I still do.

Tomorrow will be paperwork day London version, leaving rather than entering the country, closing accounts, giving notice, changing addresses.

And I am sad because there are people here I love very, very much and I wish I had more time to say goodbye properly and I fear I don't.  So you all have to visit me in NYC - OK?!

I'm so grateful I got the teaching job so quickly in NYC but am sad, too, that the time is so squished now. On the other hand, the part of me that likes to rip off band-aids quickly, doesn't mind.  An extended thing would also have it's problems.  But, another 2 weeks would have been nice.

I am beginning - with a stress on the word: beginning - to really, really accept that no matter what I do, how I do it or how much therapy or any other kind of recovery type stuff I do, no matter how many yoga classes I take or meditation sessions I sit through, there will always be something and I think perhaps my desire to Find Out Everything and Fix It All etc. is just a kind of gussied up version of perfectionism/control freak-ism.  I want to KNOW...etc.

Still jet lagged, not as bad as yesterday, so I have moments of clarity, but only moments, so will wrap this up now and head off to early bed.  I have dark circles under my eyes, which I always think I means I have a dread disease and usually means in fact: I'm tired.  Gasp.  So, to bed, to bed...

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