I'm back in NYC, have been for a few days. Not writing here because it's basically just a time of grieving, getting some basic stuff sorted out and doing some writing when I can. Came back to a heat wave so it's hard to be very productive.
I am happy when I can focus for brief stretches on the grandmothers book. Also nice to see friends and such. However, it's just the slog of loss right now more than anything else. That and looking for another place to live as of September.
Sometimes loss just leaves silence in its wake and this is one of those times.
The only thing I've been able to say that seemed to make sense to anyone recently is this: life is fragile and love is strong.
I feel quite alone in many ways right now in terms of not "being with" anyone, it's been over a year now. Realized that the same day I went up to Maine to see Tom in ICU was the same day last year my husband suggested we separate. Raw, cold times.
The love that is strong is something else. Something between certain people, something in certain groups even...a connection. That rare thing.
Am I capable of this in an intimate relationship? I don't know. I seem to be able to connect as a friend and with some family.
I am lucky in that I have some most excellent friends, some of whom I've known for 30 years or more and some very close family. So I'm not trying to bring in the violin section.
I just hope someday I can find a way to have a partner in a true partnership. Don't have the best track record, let's face it....so, barring that, at least I hope I finish this goddamn book. Until I do, I'm not sure my life is my own.
Come to think of it, I'm not sure my life is my own period (Brits: full stop).
Oh and on a lighter note, I loved watching Murray play his match at Wimbledon against Federer. He lost but he lost with heart and played each point like it was the last and the first at the same time, even when the tide turned on him. That was an amazing amount of presence. Federer is just some kind of space alien sent down to earth to play tennis. But Murray, how can you not love that guy now? A real human being. Lovely. I was another one who cried when he gave his speech at the end. I felt like an idiot but I cried.
My lovely cat is sitting beside me being insanely cute. I am now officially a cliche.
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.