I keep forgetting to talk about Occupy Wall Street and I don't know why. When on Twitter, I'm very aware of the movement, follow it and comment. My energy has needed to go to teaching and settling back into NYC, but have been doing all of this with an eye to OWS.
I want to write about it now, not most likely to say anything different than anyone else has said, but to add my voice to the mix - to say how many people I've spoken with of all races and socio-economic backgrounds who are in accord with its goals, up to and including my hairdresser today in Brunswick, Maine. She said: I can't fight the system so I don't worry about it or get worked up. I said I supported OWS and was optimistic about the possibilities for change. She said, well, yeah, maybe things can change. But, she doesn't expect it to change. She lives on $12,000/year while raising 3 kids. She is divorced. Her new partner is a trucker. He gets angry about how things are and she says she doesn't because she doesn't think the system will ever change. She is not a fan of LePage, the Tea Party yahoo who is governor of Maine, and who wants to cut back on the only way she can afford healthcare. I get the sense talking to her that she may have voted for the guy because he waxed poetic in his campaign about having grown up on the street since he was 14. She says he's doing nothing he said he would do. I don't know what that was, but whatever it was, he's not doing it. Instead, he cut taxes on wealthier people, declared a budget gap and is now trying to cut benefits to the most vulnerable, like Cheryl and her much-needed medical benefits.
When I mentioned to her the Tea Party is funded by big corporations, she does not seem surprised. I don't ask her if she voted for LePage, but I wouldn't be surprised because until Occupy Wall Street, the only visible angry and organized group was the Tea Party - the only people saying something against the bank bailout. Now, finally, there's another group of people talking about injustice and - crucially - income inequality, too.
The NYTimes now regularly has articles like this one Economic downturn took a detour at capitol hill about how average Congresspeoples' incomes (in the millions) and regular folks' income (median @ $40,000) are wildly disparate. In NYC we have a mayor who is solidly within the 1%. With all due props for being an avid arts supporter, Bloomberg's treatment of OWS has been pretty dire and his economic status would be counted on anyone's ethical chart as a conflict of interest. But no matter...we're all Adults here, right? Oh, no, wrong, because OWS can't even be on the public sidewalk in front of his house...Hmmm. Wasn't there that little bit in the Bill of Rights about the right to peaceably assemble to petition the government to redress wrongs, etc...? Hmmm.
And what I love about OWS and all the other Occupiers and of course on a whole other level that I can't even imagine in Syria, et al, is the ability to keep coming back, to not give up, to be a pain in the ass, to protest no matter what, to occupy whatever needs to be occupied. My favorite current OWS occupation being of foreclosed homes, a brilliant move...
This post was interrupted by talking on skype with my good friend Bib in London who is preparing for a gallery show, and it was lovely to reconnect. I sometimes wonder when talking with her whether I should just focus on having my work done in galleries, because she gets and has always gotten my work. She was one of my primary collaborators with Apocryphal and we seem to have infected each other with our respective disciplines. She says that her sculptural work has become more theatrical, in place, created as part of a moment and a location. My work theatrically has become easy to put into galleries. It's been a good cross-fertilization artistically but sometimes hard to explain to the gate-keepers of our respective disciplines...strange, that. I pray and hope one day this will change...
But, now, in real life, it's time to pack...
I'm travelling back to NYC tomorrow - there's a rehearsal for a reading of We live in financial times happening as I type in my apartment while I am here in Maine. I love that. A beginning of my letting go - I hope - of having to control All Things relating to my theatrical writing, etc...We'll see.
Good night and happy post-Christmukkah pre-New Year...
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.