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. So blessed for the opportunity and hope to find a more permanent job doing same.

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 having written a rough draft of a new book and some other projects.

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


Friday, November 8, 2013

Life is full to bursting...

I haven't written here for a while because the editing job I mentioned in last post takes up a huge portion of my time and John, my beloved Canadian husband, is here for an extended visit so it's all life all the time.  Oh and I'm still teaching.

So, just a few things to say I'm alive:

Grateful beyond measure for my new, rigorous yoga practice at KeshavaRadha yoga.  Without it, I doubt I'd be standing.

So incredibly grateful for John being here and being so incredibly helpful with everything.  I have never been with someone so extraordinarily loving and attentive.  I have to be careful even so because I forget I have to just focus on my work and can't be attempting to take care of him right now, too.  But that's hard.  Not because of John, I hasten to add, but because of pressure I put on myself.  However, because John is here, he gives me: back rubs, dinner, coffee in bed, a sympathetic ear and relief from endless household tasks and sweet relief from the anxiety of my true love's absence.

We're getting through the bumpy bits and it's just wonderful to know he's here for a while.  Visa process still pending but on its way.  I've never felt so comfortable with another human being, so it's easy to forget sometimes how new this situation is.  Wouldn't trade it for anything!

Some things I'm also grateful for: that we in NYC voted for Bill de Blasio for Mayor.  Hopefully that signals some positive change in the city. My Fordham students' writing is getting better.  This delights me.

Sad about the passing of Lou Reed, stunned by beauty of Laurie Anderson's farewell to him (if you haven't read it, do - it's in new issue of Rolling Stone and online).  So glad these days to hear of true love and people who can even hold one another in the face of mortality.

Don't have more to say right now.  Life is life.  Life is love.  Breathing is good for the soul.  True love is also good for the soul and being able to live for a while with my true love is even better!

4 comments:

  1. Ah Julia,
    Laurie Anderson came over to Germany last week to perform and receive a lifetime achievement award from the B3 festival in Frankfurt. She gave a masterclass – six days after her husbands death. It was astonishing: heartwarming, generous, life-affirming and very funny. A masterclass in how to be a splendidly solid human being. The next day she gave an inspiring concert – so jam-packed with wit, philosophy and empathy it was almost impossible to keep up with her whirring intellect. I was gobsmacked (and so proud of her as a human being, for going ahead with it in the circumstances).
    Although I was excited I was trying not to expect too much, given that she was such an iconic inspiration in the 80s (often the relevance wanes) - I only wanted to check her out as we have invited her to a radio festival. I'd never seen her live before, although had always wanted to. Fortunately it was a general performance rather than a totally themed show. This enabled her to be her very best - her very present self. A blessing. And just as relevant as ever. Cor!

    Lovewash

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tried to send you a reply and managed to botch it so here again:

    Thanks so much for that lovely story! She is amazing and I'm so glad you got to see/work with her. Imagine she will be great at radio festival too. So great to know one's heroes are astonishing human beings as well as kick ass artists.

    Greatness never goes out of style…

    Speaking of which, I miss you! Hope we get to be in same place at same time soon.

    Love,
    J

    ReplyDelete
  4. When I saw that letter to her local paper, I suddenly realised with a rush that she would probably come to the festival.
    You'll like this... During her performance she moved away from the music stand, settled in an armchair and said something remarkable along these lines: 'I've been around death a lot, my mother, friends, my husband...' and then (if I remember completely correctly) went on to say that it was perhaps hardest of all to deal with the death of a cherished animal because of the different type of relationship you have to it – this was by way of introduction to a devotional section on her deceased piano-playing dog.
    She talked a lot about the spiritual beliefs she is influenced by - without claiming them directly. It was clear that she is well developed in her personal practice, and appreciative of her Tibetan teachers beliefs about the state of bardo (helping allow her I guess to offer her husband the ultimate freedom by not trying to hold on to him – this you could also read into the letter). She said that the Tibetans believe that if you cry, you are confusing the departed spirit by trying to call it back. Interestingly, she also outlined what one teacher had instructed: after death you will see two lights – one large and bright nearby and another smaller and not so bright which is further away and harder to reach. Strive to get to the one that is further away......

    Miss you too. Would love to share more inspirations with you. I am so happy to see you thriving.
    xxx

    ReplyDelete