So, I finally called to book my international move from London to NYC, having had to cry twice out of fear and sadness before doing so. When I finally could call, I had a lovely conversation with the moving agent at which point suddenly a black rabbit appeared in my back garden. Not a wild rabbit, a black fluffy rabbit with big white eyes. And no I was not drinking or under the influence of anything.
The rabbit sat there - looking at me with one eye - I guess - then ate grass, hopped around, ate some more grass, etc. This was almost cartoon-cute, this rabbit. I decided it had to be good luck, because it is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese calendar and I was born in said year. So, mystery rabbit = good. I am also on the lookout for signs in the neighborhood for missing rabbits, as I am fairly certain this is or was a pet rabbit...on the run.
The rest of the day was spent at banks, calling various utility companies and getting a blood test done, while I still have the NHS to take care of me. And oh, am I ever going to miss That. We're talking care at point of service, no money taken, fully covered, etc. The shift to U.S. healthcare system is going to be deeply traumatic. I already know that. Was talking to some other expats today and every one said the same thing: the reason I'm staying in the UK is the NHS. If not for the NHS, we all agreed, we would have been bankrupted by various things we've needed to have done. So you can understand my fear of letting this go for now.
On the other hand, I am glad to say I can keep my indefinite leave to remain if I come back and forth enough, and the banks here will forward my mail to the U.S. so hurrah for that. I can go back to NYC but don't have to cut ties, which is just perfect for a million and one reasons big and small.
It was also a beautiful, sunny day today, which made everything easier. Ah, and I sorted out where the Besides, you lose your soul... books will go, which is to Amnesty International. This was the last big production I directed, and included a floor covered in over 1,000 pre-WWII books about literature, philosophy and history. These were carefully chosen but I cannot keep them. Amnesty has a bookstore, and as one of the main themes of Besides was the ethics of torture, it made sense to donate to them. And they'll pick them up - a plus.
So I am, as usual these days, happy in moments, elated even, then crying and fearful - rinse, repeat...
I have to write a paper tomorrow to give at a conference this coming week. Somehow need to get my head out of changing my entire life and into a paper on postdramatic theatre and the psychic backstage. Please wish me luck. This will follow another series of phone calls to more utilities and banks. But it must be done so I have the crucial time to re-read it and make revisions...More on that as it develops.
So, to mystery rabbits, moving house and postdramatic theatre...never a dull moment.
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.