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.
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.