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, July 26, 2011

the roller coaster ride I don't get to control....

I really do feel a bit monotonous with the grieving thing and apologize upfront for that.  The fact is this: pain sucks and grieving takes time.  I really wish I could be more clever and write about the State of the World but having a hard time even finishing tax forms.  So I'll be (relatively) brief.

The facts: cried most of the night and could not sleep, woke up later than I wanted, did manage to vacuum house and make a GP and dentist appointment, and some phone calls to a couple friends who I knew for a fact were worse off than me.  That helped.  I called my friend Lesley who could listen to me cry for a while.  I went to the local Council office and found out I was too late to get appointment there.  Went to a meditation meeting and shared some of this with folks there after we meditated.   Took a train and bus to friends Mary and Keith's house for dinner, where we did manage to talk about the state of the world, which was in fact a relief.  Summary recap: capitalism is bad and fucks over regular people, so what's next and how do we get there?

I was driven back back home and cried some more when I walked into the house and now am writing this.  Fun, huh?

I do hope eventually to have more interesting things to say, but the only thing I can say now of perhaps interest is: it's possible to bear a lot of pain without the use of alcohol or drugs.  Meditation is good.  Having friends is the grace note of my life right now and to all of you I know face to face or virtually, I remain extremely grateful.

Please wish me luck focusing again both on simple tasks at hand and then, please dear gods and goddesses, my writing and artistic work.  I must, must, must get back there.  Seems like a dark swampy mass of quicksand between me and meaningful creativity right now.   I used to be so good at compartmentalizing - which shows you that years of therapy leading to integration isn't necessarily a boon to even artistic productivity.  Fuck me.  I should have stayed crazy, I would have gotten more done.  Do I mean that?  Almost.  I will be greatly disturbed if I can't make work to the level I believe I should be able to anymore.  I don't actually believe that is the case...yet.   Time will tell.

OK, so just got a call from my friend Jennifer who reminded me: when you get on the growth roller coaster, you can't get off until it stops of its own accord.  In other words, I'm in a process, it's a continuum and: shock - I don't get to control it.  Hmmmm.  The Sheer Utter Control Freak in me Screams at this - Nooooooo!  But the other part of me, the one who seems to be driving the car right now, whether I like it or not, says calmly...yeeeeeesssssss.  And She's right.  Hmpf.

Time to get ready for bed now...winding down at least, looking forward to an hour of meaningless television of some nature.  Have been given DVDs and have the BBC iPlayer.  Must Finally switch off....


  1. You say "I used to be so good at compartmentalizing - which shows you that years of therapy leading to integration isn't necessarily a boon to even artistic productivity."
    My instinct says this may not be the time for productivity. Now may be the time for radical self compassion...only then will you have true compassion for others. Only then will you be able to use your great talent in the depth necessary.

  2. yes wise words...deep down I believe that too, but it is frustrating when 'getting better' means for a while 'getting worse' in terms of external stuff. I've been here before, especially in my 20s when I had to stop addictive behaviors. So I know you are right but Still it's frustrating....