Wasn't going to write today but just saw the movie Frida, which I thought was quite beautiful. It's about the painter Frida Kahlo, her painting and her life with Diego Rivera. The way Julie Taymor directed it at first made me skeptical but I ended up liking the way she made shots into moving paintings and such. Frida's painting in particular after her miscarriage just slayed me.
Seeing this made me think I should start painting again, but right now a stiff wind in any direction can make me think I should so anything again or for the first time, etc. so we'll see.
My writer's meeting tonight was phenomenal, full of people telling their human stories especially the struggles we all have with: what next, who am I, how to work, when to commit, when to let something go and sitting through the vast arctic tundra of one's self at times when the pain of certain things is this. I now belief all people go through this, I think it's a stage - at least - of grief. I am walking through one of those times now.
The movie about Frida Kahlo shows her doing this pretty much her whole life to one degree or another. A hero for real, not a showboat. Gorgeous without vanity, ruthlessness without cruelty, another female hero because so human. Thank God/dess for that. A line in the movie, the last line I believe, painted by her not sure, was something like: 'May the leaving be joyful and may I not return.' That made me cry, too. She died about my age now. I understand her sentiment.
Unlike her I have never had a husband who has divorced me return to marry me again and don't expect to, but I was so happy for her that happened. At least at the end of her life, the love she so richly deserved.
Some notes I have found myself writing on the street I will record here:
From today, written on 70th street between park & lex:
I don't know what to do but...another voice comes in saying: neither does anyone else and for a moment I feel calm. It's all theory innuendo ideas some experience hunches and a few moments of brilliance. Other than that means I'm on my own. Scary but true. Luckily I have a few paths I trust but even those need interrogation. God or whoever the fuck you are I need you now more than ever.
Note from Jan. 12 at 2:19pm (can't remember where I was but probably on street because it's on my phone):
Maybe timing is perfect.
Maybe I haven't finished things because they weren't ready not out of fear or laziness.
Maybe all is unfolding exactly as it should and all the self-flagellation is pointless.
Maybe I can let go and trust hp. Starting by taking care of myself.
Gentle. Be gentle.
On that note, to bed...perchance to dream and all like that. (Oh speaking of which Tucson has banned the teaching of The Tempest in their public school system, but no I can't go off on another rant...I just need to sleep. But remember kids: Shakespeare's bad for you, that English subversive freak...he was probably Gay)
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.