As anyone who read the last post knows, I was feeling about as low as a person can feel yesterday. That lasted into today. Teaching was hard.
I then started calling friends, and they started calling back. After each phone call, I felt a little bit better. Later in the evening I went to a meeting with more friends, some known and some unknown, and celebrated my 25 years of life without alcohol or drugs. Other people were celebrating their anniversaries and we were telling stories, laughing, sharing pain - emotional, physical and every other kind - talking about walking through fires without the use of substances to dull the pain. The gift is - after the walk - feeling joy, what Rumi would call "the sweetness that comes after grief."
We went to a diner and ate chocolate cake, drank coffee and talked with, to and at each other - laughing, listening, not listening - a muddle of humanity, people who you would normally not see sitting together. You can see the confusion in other customers at the diner: who are these lunatics laughing their asses off - how do they know each other, they all look so different. The miracle of our true connection transcends all the boundaries we usually observe in this country between class, race and various status groups, careers, styles, etc...the bullshit boundaries that in this atmosphere, happily, dissolve.
So now, I feel loved, human, vulnerable, OK and definitely: not alone.
I find this simple human contact and connection a miracle. It has saved my life in every way for 25 years.
Thanks all you friends of BW and LW. Wherever you are.
Thanks, too, to my civilian friends who reach out their hands with equal love and devotion for no other reason that this simple, beautiful fact: they are my friends.
I love you all, more than I can say. Thank you. I can walk through this fire because of you all, even those of you I've never met. You can, too.
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. So blessed for the opportunity and hope to find a more permanent job doing same.
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 having written a rough draft of a new book and some other projects.
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.