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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Love letter to birthday girl Patti Smith and urban fashion trend confirmed

OK, so you want to know what's trending in young urban fashion in NYC - spotted by me at least 3 times: pajama bottoms as outdoor clothing.  This applies to young women and men - I have officially spotted this in: Harlem, Washington Heights and around Union Square.  So I'm wondering if, in line with the pants down to the knees look a la prison, the PJs as outdoor clothing could be originating from the clothes you would be wearing if evicted in the middle of the night and/or find yourself on reality TV.

These thoughts are what cross my mind when I am this tired and yet amused...also, must say that the most polite teenagers by a Mile in NYC live up around me (Wash Heights and Inwood).  These are kids who will get up and give you a subway seat - which also tragically means I look That old - but still, where else does that happen?  In my general experience in wealthier neighborhoods the kids seem to be oblivious and act as if the world was theirs and theirs alone...So, just sayin in case any of you are parents up here: well done everyone!  And in case anyone thinks I'm talking West of Broadway, I'm not - I'm talking East of Broadway...if you live up here, you'll understand.

Still not sure of NY Eve plans, but have a feeling I'll end up at a meditation event, because that feels, so far the most right - it's not the retreat, just a 2 hour thing...and then join my other friends at the St Marks poetry marathon on the 1st.

Finished Just Kids today and discovered it's apparently Patti Smith's birthday so in the incredibly unlikely instance that she's reading this blog: Happy Birthday, Patti!  I can't believe you're 65.  You still rock my world.

Just found a poem I wrote when 23 called 'dancing with myself in a window to patti smith' - don't worry I'll spare you my 23 year old poetry, which is especially embarrassing when I realize she was already beginning to form her band around that age with those amazing lyrics of hers...but OK, OK, I won't go there.. The sentiment does ring through it, and it reminded me of being that age and how her music saved me and I mean saved me through a couple rough years before I was able to finally stop drinking and such.  Her anger and her ability to both articulate and flow with it - a purity of spirituality deeply grounded in the real world, that most people would find dirty and unholy, but that she manages to make holy by the way she speak-wings it - it's hard to describe how important this was to me.  I felt incredibly lonely in those final miserable self-destructive years that to most people looked like a young woman achieving a lot but was instead me completely self-destructing from the inside, like a house with a pretty good paint job but infested with termites about to take down the structure.  And you know what, if I hadn't survived, I wouldn't have found the help I did before I killed myself quickly or slowly, as that is precisely where I was heading with all due speed.

So, I am grateful to her and to all those lovely men and women who supported her, so she could be one of the first true female rock stars on her own terms in a way that makes sense to me even today.  No small thing in the 1970s.  Fabulous.  And a sad reminiscence in honor of Robert Mapplethorpe and all the others who died of AIDs...my personal list, which only includes those to whom I was close includes: Derek, Oskar and Dennis, but there were many, many more...the list would take all night...

So, that's all for me for now.  Time to crash and hope I will have time to write something a little more coherent tomorrow.

Today I spent talking to lots of people about a variety of things from religion and spirituality, to breaking up with husbands and fiances and how I managed to get sober and stay that way for close to 25 years.  A very good day but I am toast...grateful toast, but still crispy fried...

G'night.  And in case I don't write here before it happens: Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment