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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaching, anonymous heroism and a prayer...

This 5-week intensive teaching business is exhausting - and sneaking in a few other things like meeting other people about, well, more teaching and strategies for new artistic work...

Went to see a piece of theater and had to leave half way through because so tired and frankly it wasn't that good but is such a worthy project I will remain silent about it.

Writing here just to say this mostly, and that even with all that, every once in a while I get a thrilled kind of: hell, yeah, I'm here, feeling.  Especially when walking with my friend Nanette through the neighborhood, or just casually seeing some friends or realizing how many options I have in reality.

And other moments there is the excruciating loneliness that only those who have separated from spouses will understand.  It is not like just breaking up with someone, it's worse.  And no matter how happy I am to be here and how exciting it can be, at night at various times a kind of emptiness overtakes me that is very profound.  Especially as this is the Second time I've gone through this, the emptiness is tinged with a sense of: oh, no, not Again...

So, in case anyone, including me, thought I could outrun this feeling, no, I can't.  I wish so many things but none of them can happen as certain things can never happen again and certain actions, well all actions really, are unretrievable.  That plus getting older and the baby-making possibility now looking like it simply can't happen, adds another level to the grieving.

And then, I just have to get up in the middle of this over and over again and teach interpersonal communications, which is pretty dark humorously funny when you think about it.

There is a woman who teaches where I do who to focus on raising her daughter started teaching in lieu of continuing her own acting career and instilled in this daughter enough confidence that she, the daughter, now wants to go to LA to try to make it as an actress.  She - my colleague - said she did not have that level of confidence when she setting out, so she has big hopes for her daughter, because she is talented And confident.

I think my colleague is a hero.  She put her daughter first, gave her something she did not receive herself and is willing to watch her go away from something 'more secure' to pursue her dream.

I'm so impressed with people like her.  More and more, I believe these are the real heros in this world, more than the glittery, showy, recognized types.  These folks work quietly, persistently, anonymously and give their love to at least one other person above themselves.

To all of you, my deepest gratitude, love and respect.

Me, I'm just doing my little teaching bit and pray that I find the time and energy to go back to my own work soon, which I need soon to feed my own soul - and hopefully offering something to the universal soup...though I still feel being here in NYC - for all this exhaustion and discombobulation - is the right thing, because when I do get started I will know I am in the right place and that will make all the difference.

Plus, it's my own adventure and even if it feels really lonely at times, it's mine.  This is a big deal.  I embrace that, too, along with the painful bits.  Underneath it all, I feel quite good.  It's so weird.

Will attempt sleep again even with 'active' upstairs neighbors...

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