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.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered....

Those of you familiar with Shakespeare will recognize the above line as part of Henry V's St Crispin Day speech.

I heard it tonight said out loud by a fellow walking along the sidewalk on a misty midnight stroll wherein he was preparing either to perform or audition with this speech...but all I heard was 'be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.'  As I was walking up the hill, I saw this guy and thought he was probably talking to someone on a phone, then listened more carefully to hear Shakespeare instead.

That was the fitting end to a very NYC day.

About 1/2 hour before was on the A train coming uptown when a woman started arguing with the car, literally everyone in the car.  Another guy further down started yelling back and they were screaming at each other.  He was telling her to take her meds.  I had missed phase one of this whole thing, but she got off at the next stop and the car broke into spontaneous applause for the guy who verbally chased her off the car.

When some folks got off at the next stop they said goodnight to everyone in the car and were joking about how everyone had bonded, one woman waving and saying "I love you all!"

Very New York.  Perhaps only in New York.  I don't know, but I've never seen it anywhere else.

Before that was hanging out with some friends after seeing a hilarious show at The Brick in Williamsburg called Action Philosophers - after the comic strip by the same name.  Probably the best rendering of Marx I've ever seen.  Both clear and unbelievably funny, including the murder of a post-Marxist theoretician- academic that made me want to jump up and applaud.

Too tired to talk about it in detail, but it was quite funny and if you can get down to The Brick before it closes on Sunday, do so.  Some great acting, too.

Before that was at The Prelude Festival listening to a very good panel discussion on Text as Texture and then a piece after that that many people seemed to like but I was not crazy about.  I don't really have anything constructive to say about it, though, so won't mention it by name.

Before that was crashed out on my sofa after a morning teaching teenagers at BCC and being observed doing so, which is - well - terrifying in a word.  I survived, though at the beginning of the observation I thought I saw my academic life flashing in front of my eyes...but somehow rallied.

Had woken up at the crack of dawn to begin this day and it is now close to 1am...only decided to write at all tonight because of the Shakespeare-reciting Inwood-ite...it just made me laugh.

I love this town.

However, still feeling weird and out of sorts at times - like at Prelude Festival especially with all these upscale experimental folks and me trying to figure out a way back into NYC - and the sense in moments of discombobulation that everyone else knows everyone else and where they stand and why they exist and what they are doing - except for - well - me.  Which is of course a bunch of hooey - but in the strangely alienated moment, shaking people's hands with whom I have been emailing and then realizing I have absolutely nothing coherent to say except: I need to get a coffee...these were the moments I wished I had just stayed home and continued napping...

So, on that note, will go to sleep, hopefully for a while and attempt something resembling coherence when I jump into the Prelude breach tomorrow...

to 'be in their flowing cups freshly remembered....'

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