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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

teaching, teaching, teaching

Did I mention I'm teaching?

But tonight went to see a great lecture panel at Columbia, which was free and one of those moments when you realize why you live in NYC.  Zizek, sweating, pulling at his nose and t-shirt spastically and telling dirty jokes while philosophizing, Alison Solomon giving her paper and the man of the moment, Udi Aloni author of newly published  'What Does a Jew Want?' which title is intended to convey all the multiple meanings that might convey.

I was excited to hear people saying aloud thoughts I have a lot of the time, especially with regard to the hypocrisies of pure secularism, which hides behind fundamentalism, the variation of desire and want, and the complexities of Israel and Palestine spoken of in a very intelligent way.  Especially liked Aloni's idea, which is apparently Talmudic, that redemption happens here on earth and is between human beings and the earth.  And in his triangle of art-theory-action, it is action that is the redemptive part.

Much discussion about Occupy Wall Street as an act, which may or may not be easily defined, but as Aloni says, your body has to be there - he was referring to living and working in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin, and boycotting his own country, Israel, so that he can feel what it is like to be there, not simply talk about the idea of what he refers to as being a Palestinian Jew.

I can't paraphrase it all right now but will buy the book as his mind is special, subtle and radical, and his radicalism is more than skin deep.  Zizek is incredibly funny and charismatic, and it's fun watching him, but I sometimes wonder if he uses humor as a way to mask a certain surface-skimming.  I find his ideas seem to be somewhat re-hashed Deleuze and Guattari, though I know he's made a living criticizing them from a more traditional Lacanian tradition...but I'm not so sure.  Sorry, this is all inside baseball theory stuff, but for anyone who knows these guys, you'll understand what I'm nattering on about.

However, I will go see him again, and would be very interested in hearing more from Aloni.  Solomon was quite smart, too, but gave a more traditional paper, which in the end I find kind of boring...

But on the whole, the night was very exciting.

Then I ran into one of my BCC students on the subway uptown coming back from her shift at Starbucks, just to keep it all even more real.  And read the students' quiz answers, some of which were OK and others of which made me wonder if I was by accident speaking Swahili when giving lessons.

I'm being observed tomorrow, so must go off to bed to get my beauty sleep, if the upstairs neighbors will allow that, as they seem to be - um - active tonight shall we say?

Wish me luck!  Right now combating sound with WNYC and New Sounds, but at some point actually have to sleep...ah the life of apartments...

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