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, November 9, 2011

teaching tired and also freaked out new cat owner syndrome

Was delighted tonight to return home and see Ugo on the window sill instead of where he spent most of the day: in his cat litter box.  I ran around frantically this morning thinking he had been spirited away by gremlins only to find him placidly sitting in his box.  I then was afraid maybe he was sick, but called Sherri Cat Rescue Queen who assured me he had done the same at her place and that he just felt more comfortable there sometimes.  I was relieved but already close to late to teach and exhausted from another half-asleep night wondering where the cat was, if he was OK, etc...

Fortunately, he is now walking in the living room.  He seems, like his new owner, to feel more comfortable at night.  Unfortunately, his new owner has a morning job now.  Sigh.  If not, I'm sure he and I would be up all hours with the cat dancer.

It's so funny though how he hides during the day, but at night when I'm here typing away he seems most comfortable.  Also, like his new owner, kind of autistic and likes the same thing to happen in certain ways.  It is evening, she is typing in that corner, good.  She is going out the door, I don't know where, bad.  Etc.

So, there you have it, Julia's dime store projecting and anthropomorphizing cat psychology.

Alright so I'll stop.

I was lucky today to speak with two old friends in person, my lovely gorgeous wonderful smart great I couldn't love her more friend Nicole, who wandered about autumnal Inwood with me and had lunch at the cafe I can't live without and we talked and talked and talked and connected on the many levels we connect - head and heart, art and politics, life and the ways in which we both understand better than either of us would prefer trauma and therefore empathizing with Ugo too much and all like that.

Then spent the evening after getting my hair done and going to a writer's meeting with my friend Nathan who I've known since college.  There is something extraordinary about talking with someone you've known since you were 20 when you're both breathing down 50 - seeing we do look the same, but also seeing as we talked for longer the years - which have manifest in many ways including, thank all the gods and goddeses, in some level of wisdom and compassion.

We caught up on the death of parents, mutual friends who have walked similar paths to ours, and all the funnysadwonderfulheartbreakingstupidamazing shit we've done since we last saw each other.  None of which, I may add, had anything to do with Jobs or Careers...instead blood and guts life stuff...I love that.

Writer's meeting did its magic as it usually does, reconnecting me to my writer self without imposing a diagram on me as to what that's supposed to look like and before that - hurrah - found a woman named Chloe who can make my hair turn the same color Mark did in London.  It's the little things.

I even bought - gasp - some cosmetics.  Will she wear them?  Hmmmm.  I did for a while, then kind of gave up, now let's see what happens...

On the way back to my place, turned around on subway platform to see the outline of Bronx Community College on the hill, which includes some gorgeous architecture and thought: damn, that's a fine looking school.

I find it amazing how many things I think will be awful or just be sub-OK are turning out to be kind of secretly astonishing.  There are many hidden gifts when you stop trying to run the show.

How many years has it taken me to learn this?  A lot.  Will I forget?  You bet.  Am I glad I feel it now.  Yes.

And now, to bed, for my weary teacher bones...a blessed necessary early night.

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