I'm in that really weird never-never land between feeling at home, but in a new place and almost in the right time zone but kind of jet lagged, and having started teaching but still not sure how to make copies for my class, etc.
And now too the Occupation of Wall Street, so will be down there tomorrow with my friend Christian marching in solidarity with the 'other 99%' - meaning all the rest of us besides the bankers/millionaires and billionaires. It's exciting. Christian and I have marched together since San Francisco in the mid-1980s with Act Up agitating for recognition of and cure for AIDS epidemic (favorite slogan: we're here, we're queer, get over it!), then again agains Gulf War I and now this. Over 25 years of protesting...something comforting in that. And I'm ready now, ready again to fight. Meaning fight for the American Project, which has since gotten conflated with the American Dream, which is just a delusion. The American Project, in its purest form, has to do with real democracy and representational government, which has been corroded by corporate money, etc. to the extent that no average person's concerns can be heard. The Tea Party itself is funded by corporations, and is not grass roots like it pretends to be.
So, there are these kids downtown, trying out consensus decision making (which I did in college, too, so I know how hard it is) and not sure what they are asking for but definitely know something is wrong. Is that enough? Who knows. Is it better than people shouting at each other and waving guns around at town hall meetings? You bet it is.
It brings to mind the famous Gandhi quote (which may or may not be from him according to Wikipedia, but like who cares, it's a great quote): First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
I love that the kids are using Arab Spring as their model, that they are committed to non-violence and that more and more of us, the disillusioned, the ones who have protested for years or just plain folks who've had their home taken away or been fired or can't find a job in the first place or whatever, are beginning to trickle downtown, too.
I've begun teaching interpersonal communications at Bronx Community College, which is another way I'm doing what I can do to make the world a better, more just place. Probably because I got where I am through education and not money, I feel that's one of the best possible ways up and out of dire poverty. However, if there are no jobs for the kids I'm teaching at the end of the education, it's all a bit pointless.
So, I will go and march, make my voice heard, and will probably be ridiculed along with everyone else who thinks there's a chance, a slight chance, that things could change and that maybe, just maybe, we could stop coddling the moneyed and powerful interests in this country to the detriment of the rest of us, the 99%.
But there's gotta be something for the kids I'm teaching to aspire to and they have to focus on their work and their survival jobs, so it leaves it to folks like me to go march (after I've marked their papers and quizzes), for me, for them...for all of us.
Occupy wherever you are!
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.