Julia Lee Barclay-Morton
Author Artist Coach Teacher
It's All Happening...
There are infinitely more things ‘unadapted’ to each other in this world than there are things ‘adapted’; infinitely more things with irregular relations than with regular relations between them. But we look for the regular kind of thing exclusively, and ingeniously discover and preserve it in our memory. It accumulates with other regular kinds, until the collection of them fills our encyclopaedias. Yet all the while between and around them lies an infinite anonymous chaos of objects that no one ever thought of together, of relations that never yet attracted our attention.
If you know where you are going,
it isn't anywhere new
The earliest photo of me is on the right, though I am not visible, but my mother, age 18, is pregnant with me. She is sandwiched between my father and his parents. The photo on the left is of my mother's mother, with her daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. This is the 1960s. And nothing is as it appears in these photos. Unearthing the nature of our realities, which are always more complicated than their presentation is my life's work, as a writer, workshop leader, coach, editor, artist, theater maker, and now, too, yoga teacher. As William James observed, most things are unadapted to one another, but because we focus on seemingly 'regular' systems, the majority of experience eludes our grasp. The goal of all of my own work as an author, artist, and teacher is to give voice to the unadapted ones: the unknown, the unheard, the unseen, the unloved, within and without. As a workshop leader and coach, I guide writers to trust their own instincts and their own unique voices. As a yoga teacher, I guide students to trust their bodies' own deepest wisdom. I lead writing retreats to offer space for writers on an island in Scotland where the North Sea and Atlantic meet, which includes morning yoga and meditation, a silent house in the day to listen for and write from those still, small voices that need a deep sense of ease to be heard, and a workshop at night where we share our writing with one another. My plays give voice to inner conflicts and conflicting realities. My prose excavates histories real and imagined, tessellating between fact and fiction, as we do most of our waking lives. My personal obsessions are with class (the great unspoken in the US), trauma (collective, personal, multigenerational), and how we do violence by relegating people and even parts of ourselves to "other" when they don't fit our reality dream. And most recently—in 2021 at age 57—I discovered I am autistic, so it appears I have been seeing things sideways for like a while. I am writing about that now, and am so intrigued how having a different neurotype from most people has affected me and the focus of my work since I was a child. Most recently, I reflected on the James quote as it relates to being autistic for HiLoBrow, which you can read here. And I am most excited to announce that my stories, essays and stage texts will all be coming together in a hybrid collection, The Mortality Shot, which will be available in autumn 2022 from Liquid Cat Books and, as if that isn't enough, all of my stage texts since 1998 that will be broadcast Sept 20-21, 2022, in a 22-hour show entitled Shadow/Texts commissioned by Radio Art Zone, created in collaboration with the extraordinary composer, vocal, and sound artist Viv Corringham. Stay tuned!
Published December 1, 2019
My short story White shoe lady won the Nomadic Press Bindle Prize in May 2019, and is now published as an illustrated, limited edition chapbook. Support a great press that amplifies marginalized voices, and read my story, inspired by growing up in rural Maine as a young girl in the 1960s.