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 as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While was blessed for the opportunity, after four years of being an adjunct, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in NYC 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. As of 2018, I also started leading writing retreats to my beloved Orkney Islands. If you ever want two weeks that will restore your soul and give you time and space to write, get in touch. I am leading two retreats this year in July and September.

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 now work full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, editor and writing retreat leader. 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

In 2017, I launched a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. You can also contact me through that site.

In May, I directed my newest play, On the edge of/a cure, and have finally updated my publications list, which now includes an award-winning chapbook of my short-story White shoe lady, which you can find on the sidebar. I also have become a certified yoga instructor in the Kripalu lineage. What a year!

And FINALLY, I have created a website, which I hope you will visit, The Unadapted Ones. I will keep this blog site up, since it is a record of over 8 years of my life, but will eventually be blogging more at the website, so if you want to know what I am up to with my writing, teaching, retreats and so on, the site is the place to check (and to subscribe for updates). After eight years I realized, no, I'm never turning into One Thing. So The Unadapted Ones embraces the multiplicity that comprises whomever I am, which seems to always be shifting. That may in fact be reality for everyone, but will speak for myself here. So, do visit there and thanks for coming here, too. Glad to meet you on the journey...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Landing on your feet"

This is what a definition of my day would be called.  I found a lovely studio apartment in an area of NYC called Inwood - it's at the end of the A train - the very tip of Manhattan, near a very American place called The Cloisters, which is a reinvention of the Middle Ages through piecemeal elements put together and replica - it's part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Europe-world.  Hilarious (if you are actually from Europe) but also kinda great.  Only here would some rich dude decide to bring parts of Medieval buildings over to the US:

From the Met website:

The Cloisters, which celebrated its sixtieth anniversary in 1998, is named for the portions of five medieval French cloisters—Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Bonnefont-en-Comminges, Trie-en-Bigorre, and Froville—that were incorporated into the modern museum building. The result is not a copy of any particular medieval structure but an ensemble of spaces, rooms, and gardens that provide a harmonious and evocative setting in which visitors can experience the rich tradition of medieval artistic production. 

OK, but back to where I'll be living - a few blocks away - the building is Art Deco, for real.  I forgot to take a photo of the facade but will soon, because it's breathtaking, if you like that architectural period and I really do.   The funniest thing, speaking of Europe-world, is that the building does floors European style, so the apartment is on the 2nd floor, which usually means one flight up, but is two flights up, so I suppose I've found the perfect transitional space...and we're all about transition this year, in case that ain't perfectly clear yet...

The studio itself is very small, but nicely done and it's furnished, which for me right now is perfect, because that means I can leave all the furniture behind and not pay for its shipment.  It's an indefinite sublet, which means after 6 months I can stay or go, so it's great for that reason, too.  And if that's not enough, the person renting it seems quite nice.

So, I am feeling quite blessed today, especially as the neighborhood feels quite safe, and as it's on the A (which is an express train), the trip from there into midtown or downtown is not very long.  But, the truly amazing thing is that there is a view of the park, which is around the corner.  If you walk up the hill on the park, you can see the Hudson River on the other side and there's even a salt water marsh.  It's amazing.  One of the things I was kind of not looking forward to leaving London was the loss of all the green spaces.  Not anymore!  I'm in the middle of green space.  Amazing.

I was offered the place right away, as I'm a good fit for this situation, and that's just great.  The rental starts on October 1, so I'll be back in London mid-September, writing a paper for a conference, packing, giving the paper, packing some more, giving my stuff to a shipping company and winging it back to NYC.  Wow.


And I am thrilled.  I cannot even explain how happy I am.  This morning began in tears, because I was feeling my separation again and what I will have to do to leave London.  And that sadness is real, too, but in feeling that, this then came about.  The endless sadness I've felt for the last few years is lifting.  And that is a great feeling.  So, there's room to grieve what needs to be grieved, but there is also space for happiness - finally.  And for that I am profoundly grateful.

Yesterday, I did finally send out a few CVs, but have a lot more ahead of me on that, plus a writing project I need to submit soon, so I will end this post here...

Except to share some photos with you...subway modern art (unintentional) and some art on a wall that seems relevant...with text by Alice Walker...

1 comment:

  1. So happy for you, congratulations! The apartment sounds wonderful and I wish you all the best for your interview. May it be exactly what you need.