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.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

When everyone shows up there is room for grace.

Not much very creative to say because I am toast.  But wanted to just check in to say what I've managed to get done in the midst of lots of crying and not enough sleep.

I did finish all the stuff I needed to send in regarding an application and taught my workshop at The Brecht Forum again to a nice, large group of folks ranging from theater people to teachers to psychotherapist/sociologists in training and a sculptor.  I'm learning so much from 'non-theater' people about this work, different ways of framing it and even ways of defining theater itself, very exciting.

Also have gotten to meetings I need to attend for my sanity and saw a new friend and her friend for cheap eats up here in Inwood and a walk in the park at night.

It's mother's day tomorrow here in the US and was unsuccessful in trying to get flowers to my mother on time, but at least remembered it.  A start, even if a kind of pathetic one.  It's also my friend Vickie's memorial service.  One of the reasons I've been crying so much is I wrote something for that and in so doing remembered May 13 last year, which was her 50th birthday, which she celebrated with a glorious party.  At that time it seemed the cancer was in remission so it was a very happy day.  So sad how much changed so fast.  I'll write about that more tomorrow.

Just now spoke with an amazing woman, the writer Jill Robinson, who led a great writer's workshop in London when I was there.  She now lives in L.A. and will be visiting NYC soon.  I'm very much looking forward to seeing her again, because she's the only person I can show my grandmother project to, because I don't trust anyone else with writing in this state.  She's that kind of special.  She's been through a lot of loss these past two years, too, including her beloved husband Stuart and just last week her assistant, Lisa, who had helped her so much in L.A.  Lisa died suddenly of meningitis in a way that sounds like everyone's worse nightmare of ways to die - out of the blue with no way to survive.  Then everyone around her had to be put on antibiotics, including Jill...everyone convinced they were going to die, but no one else has.  Crazy.

Mortality is real, that's about all I know these days.

Sometimes I feel quite lonely.  Other times I feel alone and OK with that and like in a larger sense I am not alone.  Then sometimes I feel lonely again...rinse. repeat.

There were moments in the workshop today that were Dancing...not just dancing, but Dancing.  I live for those moments.  They happen rarely, they happen by grace - perhaps aided by some guidance - but still the extra ingredient of grace...a manifestation of something greater than the sum of the parts of the group but also very much from the people in the group and then this something extra...to speak of it never seems to work very well, but it was there.

All the members of the workshop were present fully to the work, no one put quotation marks around it or themselves - everyone showed up.  That is the prerequisite for grace.  A real gift.

And now...to much needed sleep...

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