So, another strange day at the ICU but the nurse, Murielle (from Montreal who used to live in LES of NYC in the 80s doing art and theater) came in to say that a friend of Tom's had called to say Happy Bloom-day? I realized she meant Happy Bloomsday, because Tom is part of a Ulysses reading group called the Sleepless Joyceans. As luck would have it, that was the same minute the WIFI worked in the hospital, so I quickly downloaded Ulysses and read it to Tom until my mouth was running dry.
He is sedated but there is much evidence that people who are unconscious due to drugs do hear and remember things, so it felt like the right thing to do. His brainwave stats went down, which is always gratifying, because it means he is under less stress.
It was somewhat bittersweet doing this, however, because the first year together my husband-soon-to-be-ex and I read each other Ulysses two pages at a time, which took precisely a year. That is one of my happier memories of our relationship and a few days ago was the year mark from when we decided to separate, so....it's all very strange.
However, in the moment of reading it, it felt quite good. ICUs are peaceful on the weekend, at least in a relatively small town like Brunswick.
The prognosis is for a slow, with an emphasis on slow, recovery...so I will probably be heading back to NYC soon to get stuff sorted, go to meetings and do my writing until the next phase becomes apparent and I'm needed up here again. I'm going to feel really guilty leaving, but it seems like a situation when pacing oneself is paramount...that is, if we're lucky.
So, more prayers if you believe in them to Brunswick, Maine...and/or read some Joyce to the air in honor of Tom...
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.