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.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Peace on a New Hampshire lake on Independence Day

I've been blessed these past few days with some gorgeousity...right now writing from the deck of my friend Marietta's place in New Hampshire, right on a lake - hearing the gentle lapping of the water, smelling the pine trees.  Amazing.  I think of myself as an ocean person, but a dock you can just walk off and swim in bath warm water that is super clean is great and soothing.

A couple days ago I went with my cousin Darcy to Peaks Island.  I brought her to the cottage where I spent childhood summers and the rocks below where I spent many hours.  It was a drop dead gorgeous day.  She, like me, loves sitting still and that is what we did, just looking out at the view, and lying on the rocks...for well over an hour.

Darcy feeling it on the rocks...

view of Pumpkin Nob and Long Island (Maine) from the rocks

view of the cottage from the rocks - I slept on sunporch...imagine!

Darcy on the ferry from Portland - pretty rock-n-roll, I think.

When we approached the cottage a rare crow made an appearance, which I think may have been Tom, since his bird was the crow.

The times I have been at the cottage in the more recent past have been with people who found it hard to sit still and so I did, too.  Was so lovely to be with someone who could absorb it in the same way I do, simply because we are temperamentally suited to such things.

With Marietta up here it is much the same.  She, like Darcy, does not need lots of stimulation or To Do stuff.  We write, sit, talk, whatever.

This morning, I woke up and went down to the dock to meditate, then when I was done, Marietta was getting up.  I went for a swim and then we had breakfast.  We talked for a while, then she went to take a nap and I went down to the dock to write in my journal.  Life's tough.  I hope you feel sorry for me.

I thought there was no WIFI but found some so now writing here.  Last night, though, I did not have internet access so began writing the grandmother book again in the still stillness of midnight by the lake (well, earlier there had been fireworks - day before Independence Day - which it is today...and the fact Mitt Romney is here in this town I am trying to ignore...and because we are on a separate lake than him, we can...happily, we skipped the parade, which would probably have meant getting frisked by Secret Service or something...eww.)

Going back to Maine later today to have dinner with my mother at a great lobster place on the water, and tomorrow back to steamy NYC.

Ever since the Memorial Service for Tom I've felt quite peaceful.  I feel again like I did after he died, which is that his spirit is quite near and even inside me.  This is how I felt after my grandmother Jani died.  It's very specific.

I don't know if this feeling will remain with me in NYC or not.  Sometimes this feeling of such peace and stillness can feel pretty remote there.  While I feel at home and even in some ways peaceful in the city, there is something about the woods and the water in remote New England towns and islands that is its own thing that is hard to replace.

The Memorial Service was lovely by the way.  Sweet and sad and funny.  Songs were sung, the weather was beautiful, the river visible, the room full to bursting with people who loved Tom.  Children and grandchildren spoke, We Shall Overcome was sung in honor of when Tom and a group of black and white people sung it together in apartheid South Africa...that was the song I could barely make it through I was crying so hard...it came right after what I said (last post) so that added to it.

But a sense of something special having happened and all of it so heartfelt.

Now to enjoy my last hour in this peaceful spot....and I have made you all a video so you can see it:

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