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 1, 2011

OK I've jumped - now I'm hoping You will catch me...

I just sent the emails I have been waiting to send, but not sure if I should send, but now have sent - telling the people for whom I might have worked in London this autumn that I am instead moving to NYC.  I have now officially taken the plunge.  I feel scared and excited and a little nauseous, because I know behind all this there is grief still to be felt about what and who I will leave behind, and that can sometimes take the form of nausea.

I have made the decision and it is a leap of faith because as of this moment I have no place to live and no job here, though I have some leads and ideas for both.  I feel as if I am in mid-air and I do hope the message I keep getting from the Universe: leap and I will catch you - is for real.

I have spent the day writing a template for the letters I will be sending out tomorrow to various universities and colleges in NYC and environs with my CV in search of work.  Earlier, I was talking to a guy at a cafe about the kind of work I do, and he was excited about it and said I should start teaching the tools and techniques I've developed in labs as a class, and I realized, you know what, he's right.  It's time to stop giving it away for free.  It's time to start developing not only paid workshops but classes and begin teaching this stuff for real.  So, I will develop that as well.  I've also been told about the arts in education programs and that I should propose stuff for that, so I may indulge my love of teaching teenagers again in this way...And it is this kind of thing that keeps happening.  These conversations that open up possibilities and then another one and another one.  It's amazing.

This is definitely my city, I feel at home and inspired here.  Everyone seems friendly, and I keep having amazing conversations with both old friends, new friends and complete strangers in cafes, elevators, airplanes, buses, wherever.  What more could I possibly want (aside from a lot of money so I don't have to worry about money anymore - that'd be nice...even just enough money - doesn't have to be millions - just enough to get by....)?  But really, this is amazing, and I am on a new adventure.

My friend Julie said to me today: you sound excited, and I said yes I feel excited and this is the first time in a long time, and she said, yes it has been a very, very long time.  It's been years, folks, as she could attest - she who has been through every twist and turn of a lot of grieving over some very real losses over the past few years. It's been Years since I've felt this excited about anything.

I feel many years younger, healthier and just all round kind of great.  I know there is still sadness to come and I know I will miss my dear, dear friends in London (and you all are Amazing) but I also have faith they will visit me in NYC (won't you??) and I know I will be in London again, too.  I'll be there in the middle of the month in fact for a conference and to pack up my stuff.

I will also miss my husband, but we are separated anyway and he travels half the year, so it's best - we both agree - that I be somewhere I am happy.  It's time for this and we both know that.

So, there you have it folks, I'm a New Yorker again....probably as of October.  Wow.  Wow.  What a gift.  I'm back, I'm home, I'm fucking delighted!

And as a way to close this post, a photo taken on the subway tunnel coming out of the F train:

NYC: subway map as accidental psychogeography

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