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...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update from Inwood

Hello friends!  Just wanted you to know I am still well and lucky to have power.  Inwood so far has been spared the worst of this storm.  Downtown NYC not so much.  Apparently Wall Street is under 10 feet of water (that's 10 feet of water - as in the traffic lights are almost submerged).  My friend Nina downtown has no power, neither does NYU Hospital.  'Miraculously' and somewhat infuriatingly, Goldman Sachs is just fucking fine, when patients, including preemies, are being transported out of hospitals.  Typical capitalist logic.

Lights have flickered up here but I have had a pretty peaceful day of meditation, journaling, eating 'pot-au-feu' made by Russell my neighbor while shooting the shit with him and his sister, Liz, who is stranded up here with us.  Our building is shockingly quiet.  Not sure how many folks left, but seems like a lot.  There is some corrugated metal loose on the roof but now that wind not so strong, it's quieted down.

I went out to walk in the storm to get to a local meeting, and was glad to have done so, though doubted my sanity when saw dangling pieces of scaffolding, a Verizon sign and pieces of trees littered on the sidewalks.  But there is something exhilarating about the wind that was gusting to 90 mph apparently.

Lucky to have neighbors and friends all checking in on each other.  Some of us have landlines, which is how Nina and I can communicate.

I'm listening to the radio as writing this so somewhat double focused.

The rest of the day was spent talking with friends and family, checking in on folks, listening to the radio and taking a bath (a luxury!).  Nice to have such a luxurious day.

Tomorrow Hunter is closed so will begin working on things that have backed up and perhaps get back to my book.  There have been a couple reasons I needed to put that on hold, but will see if I can get back on that.  Also need to prep for staged reading in D.C. on Monday, assuming it's possible to move around by then.

So, gratitude for: power, friends, Sandy shutting down Wall Street trading for 2 days, for muting election hoo-ha, people who take care of each other and living in NYC and Inwood specifically.

Finally, I want to mark the difference of my response to this storm and Hurricane Irene last year, when I was visiting NYC and just newly separated from my soon-to-be-ex husband.  I felt alone and bereft.  This time, even though this storm is worse, I feel connected and not alone at all.  Even though I live alone.  My default is the lonely place, but when I meditated this morning, I visualized how close my neighbors and friends were and knew I would be OK, that I was not alone.

That is a lovely feeling.  I might feel a lot freakier without power, but so far, so good.  Now I just have to stop listening to the radio so I'm not in some weird state of constant Alert.  Was quite peaceful earlier today but the news always puts me on edge.  Hard to find the balance between staying informed and driving yourself mad.

So, going to try to cut myself off now and read or watch a movie, listen to the wind and say prayers for those who are evacuated, flooded, injured, being moved out of hospitals and in some cases killed.

Be well and stay safe, NYC and all of the East Coast.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Waitin' on a Hurricane & Lovin' my friends

Sitting here at home, having had a lovely housewarming party preceded by (needlessly) foreshortened walk in the woods earlier, listening to Vivaldi and feeling the first gusts of Sandy.  The weird thing is that the subway has shut down and there's no rain.  But pictures of the sky from the NYT building  do tend to foreshadow quite the storm.

Happily I have enough local friends and a few intrepid further flung friends who came to my house to help me warm it.  There is nothing quite as wonderful as bringing friends together, new and old, some of whom know each other and some not and watch everyone get along beautifully.  This also showed me I've laid out my apartment well because there was space to sit, talk and eat comfortably.

Speaking of eating, another grace note of the day was asking people to bring stuff for a potluck with No guidance and somehow everyone brought Just The Right Thing.  There was (still is) more than enough food (!) and it was all delicious.  Homemade foods like: focaccia (!) from Sarah, bean salad from Rachel, vegan pumpkin pie from Alyson, salad w/cheese from Nina, my lentil stew and lots of added goodies from others: veggie samosas, cheeses, bread, mushrooms, brownies, madeleines, chocolates, grapes & strawberries…and a special shout-out to Andy for somehow making it all work on the table and Christian for wandering back and forth making sure it all was happening (and for coming from Queens!)…and to everyone for just being great.

Hooray!  Did I mention I love NYC?  I do.  And the amazing people I find in it, these are not famous people, just great people who do interesting things with their lives, many of whom help a lot of people for free and anonymously and are the kinds of folks that keep this world spinning with less drama and trauma: artists, social workers, writers, teachers, reporters, organizers of many things great and small, all passionate, all engaged, all supremely Human and Alive.   I love you all my wonderful friends.

I even love all of you who could not come because of various transportation dilemmas.  Another party will have to happen soon so the full convergence of the fabulous can happen made easier by functioning transportation system.

Apartment officially warmed, I now sign off.  But before posting, was invited by neighbor Russell for "disaster" pot au feu tomorrow.  Life's tough...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Traumatizing News

If you have been reading my blog for a while, especially a post written last January about '38 years ago today', you will understand that the news today that two little children were stabbed to death, apparently by their Nanny was particularly traumatizing for someone like me to read.  It's horrendous no matter who you are, but if you were ever cared for by a babysitter who everyone thought was 'normal' but went loopy and her loopiness involved knives, then it's particularly horrible.

It's moments like this when I realize how lucky I am to be alive.  This Nanny, if she is the one who killed the children, also apparently knifed herself and not sure if she'll survive.  The mother apparently came upon the children in the bathtub and Nanny on the floor and started screaming.  Someone however also heard the Super say "you slit her throat!" so God knows what that means.  It's all still unclear, so I'm just reporting what I've read in the NYTimes.  But that would make sense to me.  This Nanny was 50, Mrs. Levine, my babysitter was in her 40s or maybe 50s.  Mrs. Levine was quite unstable, thought I was trying to kill her and a lot of other things besides.  However, before she tipped over everyone thought she was a respectable middle aged lady.  I knew this so didn't say anything to anyone about how crazy I knew she was.  I was certain no one would believe me.  I don't know what this situation is or what happened on the Upper West Side in NYC tonight, but whatever it is, it's terrible and two very small children are dead.

I wondered why when I got home I felt I could barely stand up and was suddenly exhausted.  Re-reading the article I now know.

I have nothing profound to say about any of this other than that it is horrendous and if anyone tells me this is God's will, I might hurt them.  A lot.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Of Loving Kindness and U.S. Foreign Policy debates

So the good news is my weekend at Kripalu with Stephen Cope & Sharon Salzberg rocked.  Stockbridge, Mass. this time of year at the top of a mountain is kind of breathtaking - all burnt orange and yellow trees surrounding a glistening lake that mists up at times and looks like a magic dragon may emerge any moment…That kinda thing.

Cope and Salzberg are refreshingly no bullshit people with yoga and meditation practices, so the idea of loving kindness coming from them does not sound like a bad commercial, but instead a rigorous heart opening process that has nothing to do with being rolled or laying down your principles.  Salzberg, in case like me you didn't know, was born in the Bronx.  She now lives in NYC and is the least sentimental person you'll ever want to meet, while still being a staunch advocate for 'metta meditation.'  We learned that metta doesn't actually mean loving kindness but instead friendliness, so it's a way of making friends with the world essentially.  As I write it, it all sounds a little hooey, and when I first came upon this concept, it kinda made me ill, but in practice, it's quite powerful.

More about this once I calm down about horrendous foreign policy debate I just watched in which there was No difference between the Republican and Democrat so they were just posturing for position.  Obama is of course smarter and all that, but the reason I for one cannot work for him this year is that he's made it OK for the U.S. to overtly assassinate "our enemy," in this case of course Osama bin Laden.

I know I'm in a minority of like 3 or something but I for one don't think it was a good idea to assassinate bin Laden.  If we believe any of the bullshit we profess in this country about human rights and yadeyada, then we should have captured him and brought him to trial.  But that would be messy and might bring out things we'd rather avoid like the fact - oh say - that we created bin Laden in the first place when he was useful to us, etc.

I was in NYC on 9/11 so please, no, don't send in cards and letters telling me I don't know what happened here.  I do know what happened here.  I smelled burning flesh, plastic and metal for weeks on end, saw missing people photos everywhere, handed cookies to firemen. You name it.  Knew people who died.  The works.  It was horrendous but I thought then and feel now that adding to that level of violence would do nothing and in fact would make matters worse, which it did and has.

Let's review: Pakistan for instance.  Can you seriously say we have made that a better place or a worse place?  What about all the people who have died from 'drones' - Drones, as in planes that fly without people in them and drop bombs.  Planes that come from oh say Nevada and kill people - actual people - people like you and me - in say Pakistan, like a lot.  A lot of people.  Some of these people may be so-called 'enemies' whatever the fuck that means, but most of them, I'm willing to bet you lots and lots of money, are just 'normal people' (i.e., like you and me: care about their kids, want a nice life, etc…all that shit).  Living in NYC on 9/11/01, we got a first hand look at what that's like.  One moment, it's a beautiful sunny day, next moment, massive destruction and thousands of people dead.  Poof, like that.  Out of Fucking Nowhere. (I should note here that many people who lived in NYC that day did not want to see more violence and in fact marched against more violence a couple weeks after all this happened, while the site was still burning.  I challenge you to find another city with people who would do that.)

I could go on.  It's like shooting fish in a barrel, but I won't, because the list of the worst abuses of U.S. military power is longer than Proust's Remembrance of Things Past (ironic because of course we remember nothing - so convenient our collective amnesia that we protest over and over again is 'innocence' rather than the willful ignorance that it is - so like when 9/11 happens, we can say: why on earth did those horrible people do that to us?  As if we did nothing at all to bring it on.  Seriously?  Take a look at history, kids).

I will vote for Obama because of healthcare reform and my (and many others') need of it.  I also see no viable alternative.  I voted for Nader for many election cycles beginning in 1996, because Clinton ditched the social safety need so he could get re-elected, and I realized all he had accomplished was finishing Reagan's agenda.  I voted for Obama in 2008 because I wanted to see us move away from racism in the U.S.  I knew he'd be the pragmatic president he has been.  I did not believe he was the second coming, so I'm not disappointed.  However, I cannot condone assassination, keeping Gitmo open and the ongoing death of civil liberties under the excuse of "needing to be secure."  Therefore, I cannot make phone calls like I did in 2008 (from London to Ohio, Indiana, etc.) or advocate for Obama to my more purist left-wing friends.  I can only nod in agreement and explain the reason for my vote.

I also believe that Romney winning could signal the end of Roe v. Wade and make life harder for many people who are not rich.

But as for foreign policy, there isn't even a tiny shaft of light between them other than maybe military spending and that's all bluster anyway.  If it's fictional dollars you're pushing around, you can say anything.

Loving kindness then…where does that fit in?  This way: respect for all people involved even when I violently disagree with them.  Realizing that even if I so disagree those people do believe in what they are saying and doing.  At the same time, compassion for myself and my own point of view and fighting for it all the way.  It's not about laying down and dying.  It's about staying clear on my own intentions, am I trying to gain points?  Just prove I'm right?  Or is there a principle at stake larger than my ego?

As Gandhi said, if you aren't fighting because you are afraid to fight, you should fight.  Non-violence is not for pacifists, it is for warriors.  You need a lot of faith and courage to act non-violently, because there's a good chance you will get hurt or even die, which is of course true.  I don't know if I'm up to it. It remains an aspiration for me.

Speaking of warriors, I am now reading Stephen Cope's newest book The Great Work of Your Life, which is his riff on the Bhagavad Gita as it relates to how we make our way through life.  It's worth a read.  Will write more about it when I've finished the book but his first book Yoga and the Quest for the True Self had a profound effect on my life and also ended up in my PhD thesis in regard to his take on the witness.  He's that kind of smart, but also astonishingly compassionate and down to earth.  Just trust me on this one people.  Read his stuff. My stepfather Tom gave me his first book and at the time I almost hurled it across the room.  So not into yoga or those who did yoga was I.  In fact I thought people who did yoga were full of all kinds of shit.  His book, from the perspective of a skeptical Western psychoanalyst finding his way to Kripalu and his experience with others who had done the same shifted my prejudices.  I now am yet another person who swears by yoga (in addition to my years of meditation), not only as a way to move my body but all the other paths as well (meditation, karma, etc…)

I can't believe I found a positive way to end this blog post but I did.  I will stay there for now.  The debates were just too depressing to even think about.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We live in financial times in D.C., Writing, Old Friends, Autumn...

First, I want to announce a kind of cool event the day before the election in Washington, D.C., which is a staged reading of my play We live in financial times, Part 1: Blackberry Curve at Busboys & Poets with a very special guest speaker for the talk-back afterwards: the economist Dean Baker.  He's the dude that predicted the 2008 financial crash/meltdown.  Of course everyone thought he was Chicken Little when of course he was Cassandra (the chick who was always predicting disasters no one believed, but then turned out to be true - typical Greek tragedy stuff...).

So, it should be a rolicking good time.  Busboys & Poets is a great series of cafes that host artistic, political and community events.  My good friend-colleague Marietta Hedges has set this up and she will be playing a key role in the performance.  I will be kind of parachuting in as director/writer working with people I've never met that Marietta has assembled (I trust her implicitly, so know that they will all be great but still it's gonna be a little like speed dating theater-style).

It is an exciting event and if you are in or around D.C. and don't want to spend the whole day before the election biting your nails or tearing your hair out or rending garments, this is another option...

I have been moving along down the road albeit slowly with the grandmothers.  Go in and out of my ability to be in that territory.  Just when I feel I may be trampled underfoot by depression, I have - thank God/dess - an acting class to go teach.  The students and the work we are doing combined never fails to drag me out of the funk.  It reminds me once again I most likely need to move between both these poles - the introspective, writing place and the play with others in a space place...

Meanwhile, went to a panel discussion last night at the Strand that including some very interesting authors, including Elizabeth Nunez (also a prof at Hunter) whose book Boundaries sounds fabulous (about the boundaries of expatriation/immigration, etc. - a subject close to my heart) and my old friend from high school, David Maine, whose book The Age of Madness I've written about here already.  What was great about this panel was the questions to the authors were about their process as writers and because they all have a lot of experience and all write incredibly well their answers were particularly enlightening, especially in that they all have different processes.  So instead of the weird sense you can get at these things that there is a consensus way to write, it became obvious that everyone has their own way, their own demons and their own ways to move through them.

Seeing Dave brought the usual strange nostalgia pull of The Past in all its weird semi-glorious semi-numinous sense of possibility and regret for paths not taken...and the simultaneous realization that those cannot have been taken because we are who we are, etc...(please see T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets for Far better description of this phenomenon than this hatchet job...)

Finally, it is autumn here in NYC finally.  Still pretty warm but every once in a while the crispness of the season.  I find it indescribably wonderful, to see leaves changing, smell that cool sharpness and see the colors against the blue blue sky.

I'm off to Kripalu this weekend to do a workshop with two meditation/yoga superheros of mine: Sharon Salzberg and Stephen Cope.  Every time I've gone to Kripalu it's been life-altering.  I doubt this time will be any different, even if it is only a weekend.  I will be sharing a room with my mother.  This was our alternative to go going to a spa in an attempt to heal from the trauma of losing my step-father/her husband, Tom.  No idea how that will be for either of us, but it's worth the attempt.

Back to preparing for acting class with my lovely students, who are working on showing their dreams through objects...and can I say, doing it incredibly well.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Homage to Joseph Chaikin

You may never have heard of him, but Joseph Chaikin was arguably one of the most important US theater creators of the 20th Century.  His book 'The Presence of the Actor' should be required reading for anyone who wants to even stand near a theater, though many people have not read it.  It is the core text for my Acting class at Hunter and is the book that changed my life back in 1983 when I directed The Serpent.

Chaikin was an actor making it in NYC, then got a job with the very political Living Theatre, which challenged his ideas about theater.  From that experience, which enlightened him politically but frustrated him artistically, he went on to found a lab that became The Open Theater.  That company created some of the first ensemble-created work in the US in the mid-late sixties.  He wanted to explore the presence of the actor as it could relate to the world in which the actor finds herself.  He was looking for ways to bring about new worlds within this one.  Quite utopian in some ways, but deeply practical in others.  If you don't know about Joe and you are interested in any type of theater that wants to be more than diversionary, check it out.

I don't have the time or energy to talk about all the reasons why he was so wonderful, but do suggest you read his book.  A few important quotations in it include "The question is not what do I want but what makes me want what I want."  Another favorite insight, slightly paraphrased, is that our self-hatred is a direct reflection of the success of the oppressiveness of the society in which we live.

The line yesterday that saved my life (the book somehow keeps doing that - it is the rare kind that you can read and re-read and find sentences you swore were inserted by elves the night before because it wasn't there before, was it?)  was about their work on the play Terminal, which was about the cheery subject of death and dying in America.  He writes about how a doctor has to have the discipline to move past his depression at losing his first patients and is also referring to the collaborators creating the new piece:

"If we stop where we are depressed, or even where we're satisfied with simply expressing our depression, we are dilettantes."

Amen and tell it.  This was Exactly what I needed to read, because as I have mentioned probably a tedious amount of times in this blog, working on my grandmothers book sometimes sinks me into a swamp of almost - but not quite - paralyzing depression.  I have begun to doubt my sanity in taking on this project, since this very depression I feel now is reminiscent of the depression I felt when focussing on my painting when I was a teenager and at times my writing - depressions that diverted me back to the theater - where I got the jolt of working with others.  When I've written my stage texts, I've never felt anything like this depression.  It is tempting to believe if doing something makes one feel this way, it may not be the right thing to do.

Then along comes Joe with the exact right words at the exact right time.  He's talking about a theater project and a doctor learning his trade, but no matter.  The fact remains, I need - as I thought at the outset - to walk through this depression because if I walk away from this project to avoid it, I am indeed a dilettante.  I'm not condemning my past work as dilettantism, but I can't keep playing the same old song.  Well, I guess I could, but I don't want to do that.

Yesterday I worked for 4 1/2 hours on the book, in the form of finalizing the transcription of grandmother Jani's 'obit' and today I worked on it in the form of getting cork board to tile a wall in my study so I can finally put up photos of Dick and Jani from when they were babies to their last days.  By grace and some crazed determination, I am in possession of photos of them from most all periods of their life.  I need to see them in all their ages in front of me.  Let that wash over and through and see what happens.

I am surrounded.  Even when prepping my acting class, Chaikin reminded me of what I am doing.  So I am incredibly grateful to him for that.  FYI, my students seem to love him, too.  This book written very specifically in the early 70s still resonates today.

Speaking of which, had a great class with my students on Tuesday.  I do love teaching acting - using Chaikin, some golden oldies and my own stuff.  This relatively new experience continues to astound.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stomach bug leads to much-needed hibernation

I don't know about you, but my body has a way of just shutting the fuck down when I am running myself ragged.  After a weirdly productive yet endless day of getting stuff from Maine for my apartment delivered by my step-niece (thanks Alison!), going to a meeting and then back to get yet more stuff needed for my apartment at Home Goods (pillows, rugs, etc.), I wondered why I was so frantic and then realized I had done the unthinkable: I had forgotten to meditate in the morning (aka crack of noon).  Finally got to sleep, then woke up at 8am (very unusual for me) with a pounding headache, which quickly was followed by a panic attack about the headache then getting sick in all directions (too much information, I'm sorry...but if you've been reading this blog, you should be used to that by now)...then flopping down to sleep again.  My neighbor left me gingerale and crackers outside my door, which was a life saver and another friend came by and brought me chicken soup and applesauce and such...

Then I spent 2 days inside my apartment, much needed time to get better but also just sit and do nothing.  On Sunday I sat and meditated for over 2 hours.  My only goal was to stop running around like a lunatic or even spastically check my various email accounts, etc.  I succeeded for the most part.

Yesterday going to the grocery store and the dollar store almost did me in.  But was up late last night looking through old photos - in part for the grandmother project - in part because I'm in touch now with an old friend from high-school days and some folks from college, too...so it's a journey through the past.

Was depressed last night going through the photos because I see so much that I have lost - two husbands, my youth, my ability to have children, two theater companies and many homes.  This pattern was set early in life when I had had three fathers by the age of 7 and countless homes.  But there were moments in my adult life where the pause button was set.  An apartment in NYC I lived in for 10 years, being the record stability achievement.  Followed by a house in London for 5 years.  However in both cases, these places were tied to relationships that would ultimately break down.

So, my thoughts were running in this direction...but then I started putting photos up on another bulletin board of my grandmother, Jani, and my mother when she was a child and another photo of Jani and me, which made me cry.  I don't know where this project is going.  But it's going.  And it's mine and I think that's kind of where I am now.

I woke up today feeling weirdly OK, no sense of panic or dread or immediate depression.  A strange inability to print out a tax form I need to send in, but that's normal.  I have some strange repulsion against paperwork of certain types, completely irrational because there's no big deal involved but somehow printing out a form seems like an insurmountable task...

But in the larger sense, OK.

I guess it's when I accept that my life is this strange mix of accomplishments and letting go - sometimes productively, sometimes probably just bailing, I don't know, then I'm OK.  Also acknowledging in moments of sanity how much rest I actually need right now.  I keep forgetting that.

The good news from the past couple of days is that I enjoy my new place so much that 2 days stuck inside did not seem like a sentence in prison, though there was one day of pretty loud music that almost drove me mad.  However, I discovered I was not alone and there was a group effort to shut this person down.  Somehow, that alone kept me from losing it.  I was afraid I was going to be The Problem White Chick in the building who didn't like blasting merengue from 4pm to 3am but it turns out that is a post-racial issue.  No one likes it.  Thank the gods and goddesses.

So, here I am...with my photos and my writing.  Wondering who in the world I might be (to quote Joni Mitchell sort of...) at the odd age of 49.  On the cusp of the Boomers and the Xers - neither nor both and somewhere in between, haven't built a Family or a Career in any linear way but have also done a lot of stuff, most of it involving theater and writing, some photography and art, a lot of conversations with people like me who have to talk a lot to keep from self-destructing and some teaching.  Is that a life?  Does that count?  It doesn't Look like it's supposed to Look at this age.

But then again, dear Gods when has it ever looked the way it's supposed to look in my life, like ever?  I am fairly certain that the key here is acceptance, as it usually is.  Not acquiescence but acceptance of the facts on the ground.  I have tried so many times to build Something in order to Build Something, whether it's with a person or artistically and in some cases that was a good idea and in some cases it wasn't, but somehow I fear/feel something of me was missing.  Not always but somewhere along the way I got lost.  There is some ground work I am doing now that I've managed to avoid for this long.  Playing dodge ball with myself as it were.  Why?  Who the fuck knows.  There are many pat answers to that but not sure it's really that important.

What matters is this now.  This time.  To not jump into Something in order to do that - whether it's a project, a relationship, a job or whathaveyou.  This seems precipitously strange to say at 49 and like it's something someone does at 21 but there you have it.  I missed that bit.  And it's coming back to bite me in the ass.

In honor of John Lennon's birthday: you've got to feel your own pain.  Speaking of which, do you realize he would only be 72 now if that asshole hadn't shot him?  Damn.

This is a long and rambling post and I have to get prepared to teach now so will wrap it up.  As they say it's only a happy or sad ending depending on where you stop the film.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Writing = blog silence but Debate response = blog rant

OK, I'm sorry, but what the fuck is it with the so called 'pundits' on TV who grade debates?  I watched the whole horror show and basically I saw: Romney looking like a scared, whiney, semi-defensive rabbit that sneered and Obama who was basically an adult, answering the questions and not being a total asshole.

The pundits said: Romney won.  What?  So, basically lying - which he did a lot while bopping up and down and interrupting petulantly is considered winning a debate?  Really?

I am exhausted so this is basically just a rant but I checked with a number of different people and no one and I mean No One thought Romney won the debate.  As in: what debate were they watching?

I really don't get it.  Other than to think 'pundits' expected Romney to come on stage, do a pratfall and insult the other 53% of the voters he's forgotten to dismiss earlier and when he could string a few sentences together they decided he won.

We really are in a fact-free zone.  I felt my heart beating so quickly while watching the debate that I was kind of worried.  I don't get why certain candidates are allowed to out and out lie and not get called out on it.  Why so called fairness dictates the wimpitude of all 'moderators' etc...

None of this is brilliant insight, I get that, but still it pisses me off.

In other news, I've been working on my book and so have not been writing on the blog as much.  No matter how long or short a time I spent working on it, it wipes me the fuck out.  And I have very little energy to report out.

It's a long, long slog and that's all I know.  I did have a moment the other day when I saw it could be done.  A moment of a glint of light, some intuitive grasp of the whole.  Just a moment.  But I'll take it.  The rest of the time is like having a boulder on my chest and/or drowning in quicksand.  But I'm committed and proud of that even if it is making me demented.

Wish me luck and may all the 'pundits' please God be proved wrong.  I really hope enough actual human beings were watching the debate to have seen what I saw and won't be fooled again...she said wishful thinkingly...

And don't even get me Started on all the stuff they weren't even asked about...but that would be another rant and I gotta go to sleep...

Over and out...way out.