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...

Monday, July 18, 2011

lovely day with Sarah on the marshes and in cafes to hide from rain

Today's post will include photos again.

I had a walk with my lovely friend Sarah, which started at Walthamstow Central and through the Marshes and into Springfield Park, along the River Lea to Stoke Newington to eat at a great Turkish restaurant called Testi.  Sarah was visiting from Germany and had done a radio show the day before, which I missed due to stupid meeting with landlords.

However, before Sarah moved to Germany with her partner Knut, we spent many Sundays walking the marshes, drinking lots of tea and coffee, brunches at places like Bodrum or Springfield Cafe or dinner at Testi.  So, for the first time in many years, we were able to have a similar day, which felt like a luxurious warm bath, familiar, comforting and embracing.  This is the Sarah for whom I wrote 13 Minutes... (you can link to it from this blog), when she had a radio show at ResonanceFM.  She and Knut now run Mobile Radio, doing interesting sound-music that I don't know how to describe except to say it sounds great...and you can check it out here: Mobile radio site

Here's Sarah:

What we talked about - relationships and their aftermaths, how people come together and fall apart, why and how to live in a country not your own and how that makes us stand in somewhat awkward solidarity with those from the country where we live but somehow outside it at the same time and our uncontained glee at the exposure of the Murdoch empire, corrupt police and politicians...and our suspicion that the exposure of this seemingly untouchable cabal began with the Wikileaks motherlode of official secrets being exposed to all and sundry...that perhaps 'we all know' certain things, but we don't Actually know until we see it in black and white...and that perhaps, perhaps all of this dirty laundry coming out means there can Finally be some change.  Optimistic?  Perhaps, but we live in hope...

Today, I felt happy to be with Sarah, at times sad over my separation, at times OK about it, sometimes feeling high anxiety and sometimes feeling relaxed and happy.  And always, astonishingly, underneath it all, this very solid sense of 'it's OK' - I still am amazed that this seems to be staying, this basic sense of myself, that seems unshakable, so far.  

And here are photos of our walk - you can see that the water in the River Lea looks like a painting of the sky, the duck and geese are very brave and/or hungry and there is fascinating and unexpected graffiti.  This area of London so far is the same as it was and this made Sarah feel happy as she had been staying near Liverpool Street, which area has been razed and turned into high-rise office building hell.  Luckily, we are far enough North to have avoided the worst of Olympic 'regeneration' - thank God.  You can see that for poor urban areas, there is a lot of green space and why we all who live near here feel protective of this area.

Is Lenin Skotch?  Hmmmm.

charismatic fowl...

read this carefully and understand that this is a real belief

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