So, I'm now officially 49, the clock is past midnight. 49 is weird because it's the year before 50, which is big and kind of scary, as in WTF, how did that happen scary. But 49 is also 7 x 7 and 7 is an interesting number...every seven years our cells regenerate, so this'll be the 7th time that's happened, etc. Mystical 7...and the like. I have some vague belief in numbers that I could not even begin to explain to you in a logical way, but somehow it seems important.
Meanwhile my stepfather Tom is still intubated and we're now in wait and wait and wait and see mode as far as anyone can tell. The desire to Know Something is fairly enormous while the Amount Known is relatively miniscule. There are an ever-increasing amount of plastic bags with stuff running into him, everything from food to super-sedation to every antibiotic known to Man, tubes that take out bad fluid in the lungs and the tube that helps him breathe. It looks really fucking uncomfortable.
Then there is the weird event of Everyone Who's Ever Known Him deciding to visit in the ICU, which is just weird. Can someone tell us - we - his family - are wondering - when did it become acceptable to roll up into the ICU if you are a casual or long-lost friend of someone who has not been invited by a family member? When the person you are visiting is unconscious, in desperate need of rest and the family is doing everything possible to keep it together amongst themselves? Hint: to anyone wondering - it's not a good idea to do this. There needs to be a new Emily Post of ICU etiquette.
I spent a goodly part of the day running interference between my mother and a host of well-meaning people walking into the room. Bless then, I know their intentions are good...but, please, know that the woman needs some space, not to mention Tom...or anyone else you may be considering visiting. Ask first. Accept answer given.
OK, end of rant.
I cannot write my book up here, not yet. Not sure if I can at all. It's the weird limbo state of hurry up and wait and not knowing what to do, feeling vaguely anxious but ultimately being helpless. I find myself turning into my mother and cleaning things. Over and over again. The blessed illusion of control.
I do not feel in a birthday mood, in short, and perhaps that's what this birthday is about. Who knows? There is a running theme, with my writing and this birthday and life in general these days: it's not about me. I don't mean that in a mean, self-hating way, just in a - hmmm, isn't that interesting and kind of a relief way. A sense of connection is permeating my being/becoming...wherein 'me' is not as interesting as this web of connection. That doesn't mean I abdicate the need to take care of myself or merge cult-like into some inchoate Whole but it's about interconnections, something new...something that ironically cannot happen unless you are first connected to yourself in the deepest possible way. You can't surrender something you don't own....the cells begin shifting...something/s new is/are born...
49...let's see where this molecular multiplicity takes us....
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 as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While was blessed for the opportunity, after four years of being an adjunct, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in NYC 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. As of 2018, I also started leading writing retreats to my beloved Orkney Islands. If you ever want two weeks that will restore your soul and give you time and space to write, get in touch. I am leading two retreats this year in July and September.
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 now work full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, editor and writing retreat leader. 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
In 2017, I launched a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. You can also contact me through that site.
In May, I directed my newest play, On the edge of/a cure, and have finally updated my publications list, which now includes an award-winning chapbook of my short-story White shoe lady, which you can find on the sidebar. I also have become a certified yoga instructor in the Kripalu lineage. What a year!
And FINALLY, I have created a website, which I hope you will visit, The Unadapted Ones. I will keep this blog site up, since it is a record of over 8 years of my life, but will eventually be blogging more at the website, so if you want to know what I am up to with my writing, teaching, retreats and so on, the site is the place to check (and to subscribe for updates). After eight years I realized, no, I'm never turning into One Thing. So The Unadapted Ones embraces the multiplicity that comprises whomever I am, which seems to always be shifting. That may in fact be reality for everyone, but will speak for myself here. So, do visit there and thanks for coming here, too. Glad to meet you on the journey...