GOOD MORNING DIEGO GARCIA!
Do you sometimes experience “weirdness” or “extraordinary moments” that seem to be glimpses into an alternative reality?
Good Morning Diego Garcia is a psychological and psychic exploration forged in the chaos of horrendous storms in the Indian Ocean during monsoon season. Following the loss of a child, war in Cyprus, and with growing suspicions that her husband has a secret life, Susan confronts the elements, and evidence that nothing is as it seems.
You marriage is shaky. You survived a war in Cyprus together, and lost everything. Now you’re basically biding time.
A letter arrives from friends you knew in Cyprus. They’re sailing a new yacht from Taiwan to Europe for a Swedish millionaire. You’re invited to join them in Sri Lanka, as crew. Neither of you knows boats, but you’ll learn — it will be the trip of a lifetime, cruising the Indian Ocean in a pleasure yacht!
And, it turns out, in monsoon season. With no charts. And an emotionally unstable crew mate. What could possibly go wrong?
My eyes closed and I returned to remembering the first big travel adventure.
From JFK Airport we flew to London, and boarded another flight to Tel Aviv. A driver, holding a sign with our family name on it, greeted us at the Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, and showed us to a sherut (a shared taxi) which took us (along with other new emigrants) from Tel Aviv, through the Negev desert, to the village of Arad, where we studied Hebrew.
“Amazing adventure,” I said.
Charles patted my knee. “Were you dreaming?”
“Remembering; same thing,” I said, smiling. “And now we’re up and away again; seven years later. Another adventure. It’s exciting”
“Chicken Marsala or Beef Stroganoff?” the hostess asked.
I put my seat forward in an upright position and lowered the food tray.
“Chicken for me, please,” I answered. “And Chardonnay.”
Charles chose the Beef Stroganoff and red wine.
“You look like Dr Ben Casey,” the airline hostess told Charles. “I love his show.”
“So, I’m told often,” Charles said smiling. “In fact, I’ve never seen the show.”
“You haven’t?” she asked. “It’s a great medical drama. A neurosurgeon at County General Hospital. Anyway, enjoy your meal.” She moved on down the aisle.
I uncovered a steaming dish of chicken smothered in mushrooms with pasta. “It’s true,” I told Charles. “You do look like Dr Casey.” I took a bite. “This is delicious. I hope the food is as good on Air India.”
“Maybe better,” Charles said.
“Charles?” I asked, touching his arm.
“What will you do, when we return to California?”
“What do you mean?”
“Workwise? If your company doesn’t have a new assignment for you?”
“I’m sure they will by then.”
“And if not?”
“Something will turn up. Why do you ask?”
“We’ve been in limbo a long time. When we lived in Virginia Beach, The Little Theatre there advertised a play by Samuel Beckett.”
“And?” he asked, giving me a strange look.
“I wanted to see it, but arrived too late one evening to get in.”
“What was it about?”
“Two people waiting for someone named Godot—wanting someone else to move them forward; prove their existence.”
“Sounds ridiculous.” Charles grimaced.
“Of course Godot never shows.”
“Why on earth would you want to see that? Sounds ridiculous.”
“It reminded me of our situation. Waiting on your firm to tell us where to go next. Like we have no free will. “
Charles didn’t answer. He finished his lunch and went back to reading.
I went back to remembering.
Following the upheaval of the Cyprus War in July 1974, we were homeless and confused about where we’d live. After our evacuation to England, Charles awaited news daily from his employer, a Swiss firm, on where they planned to send him. He had worked for them for years, both in Europe and in the Middle East, and they hoped to place him somewhere. So we waited, and waited some more. I read lots of books, took long walks in the English countryside, and wished for a place to call home.
After weeks of waiting, Charles received a telephone call one day telling us to book flights to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where Charles would work out of the company office near Langley.
Upon our arrival, we found a beautiful, fully furnished home for rent on the 10th hole of the golf course, near the beach; bicycles included.
I stared out the plane window and watched billowing clouds float past. The flight attendant stopped to ask if we’d like more coffee or tea.
“Coffee please,” I replied.
“Cream, sugar?” she asked.
“No thanks. Black please,” I answered. “Smells fresh.”
Charles said no thanks and continued reading.
She smiled and moved on.
I took a sip of coffee.
“Since when do you drink black coffee?” Charles asked.
“Since Virginia Beach and visiting the Edgar Cayce Library.” I answered.
“The Cayce Library?” he questioned.
“Yes, while you were busy visiting military bases, I spent my days riding the bike along the boardwalk to the public library; researching the Cyprus War. One afternoon, by accident … ” I hesitated. “There are no accidents,” I added.
“I rode past the Edgar Cayce Foundation Library. People laden with boxes were busy moving books. A volunteer worker explained hundreds of books were being moved from the old Cayce Hospital Library to their new home. She invited me to go on in, have a look around, and make myself comfortable.”
“And you did,” Charles said.
“Yes. Entering the library, I felt as if I had discovered a secret chamber of knowledge; a vault filled with mysterious truths. My head tingled with excitement, so I knew I was in the right place.”
“What does this have to do with black coffee?” Charles asked.
I told Charles all about Edgar Cayce, “The Sleeping Prophet” and how he had the ability to put himself into a relaxed sleep state and connect his mind with all information in time and space. From this state he could respond to any question asked: from practical to trivial, to secrets of the universe. His psychic insights became know as “readings” and were recorded by a stenographer. People from all over the world sent letters requesting information on someone or something. All Cayce needed to know was the name of the person requesting the information and their location before he went into a trance and collected information.
I thought Charles would go back to reading his book, instead he seemed to be listening to me.
“The library was divided into several sections,” I continued. “I found myself drawn to one about discovering your mission in life and another section with books and articles about exploring ancient mysteries. Although I had always felt there was more to life than this life, the Cayce Library was my introduction to the idea of the existence of souls, and how they live on and on after physical death. I felt certain I had experienced past lives … and been lucky in all of them.”
“You were lucky in Cyprus,” Charles said. “We were lucky to get out alive.”
I nodded and continued. “I was soon lost in a sea of information on Edgar Cayce and his thousands of readings.”
“What does this have to do with black coffee?” Charles asked.
“Oh,” I answered. “Cayce talked about diet and the importance of balancing alkaline-producing foods with acid-producing foods and eating locally grown, seasonal foods. And he gave a list of things to avoid like not eating large quantities of meat or cheese with starchy foods.”
“Such as?” Charles questioned.
“Enchiladas, for example.”
“Milk, cereal, coffee with milk or cream,” I added, sipping my black coffee.
“To each his own,” Charles said. “No one can convince me Mexican food isn’t healthy.”
“I love it too. I stopped eating cereal after the discovery though.”
Charles opened his book and continued reading.
I removed my travel journal from the seat back pocket in front of me and scribbled images of the jagged clouds and noted some random thoughts about the uncertainty of being in limbo.
Uncertain? Unclear. Unsettled. Unknown.
She planned on being gone for a year, but ended up living her 20s and 30s in Europe and the Middle East. As a Jill of all trades, she worked as a secretary, freelance writer, taught computer classes, wrote songs, and became an accomplished artist while writing her first children's book, "Peel, the Extraordinary Elephant."
An award winning author and editor of children's books, Susan's first adult book in her memoir series, "The Lullaby Illusion--A Journey of Awakening" is a travelogue of the politics of Europe, the United States, and Israel during a twelve year 'roller-coaster' period of her life and an adventure of survival through friends and sheer determination.
The Lullaby Illusion was awarded
* Readers' Favorite 5-Stars and the 2014 GOLD Medal Winner, Non-Fiction--Travel in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.
* Honorable Mention Prize Winner--2014 Stargazer Literary Prizes
Her second memoir, about transitting the Indian Ocean in monsoon season, is entitled "Good Morning Diego Garcia" and is available for order now!
Release Day Reader Review
5 Out Of 5 Stars
The Lullaby Illusion details the harrowing personal journey of a young American woman facing seemingly insurmountable situations while living in the Middle East and Europe.
After miscarriages and the loss of a child in childbirth on the island of Cyprus, Susan seeks solace by creating art, and recording her vivid dreams. Through difficult life changes -- Cyprus's bloody coup and war in 1974, a rescue from a sinking ship in the Indian Ocean, learning of her husband s secret life, and surviving his deadly assault in Belgium -- she discovers her ticking clock is not the child she has failed to produce, but rather the creative potential with which she can create a new life.
by Susan Joyce (Goodreads Author)
Release date: Oct 15, 2013
2014 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal winner: Non-fiction / Travel
2014 Stargazer Literary Award--Honorable Mention
`Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.' -Albert Einstein
This is a powerful book, one that reminds us of the indomitability of the human spirit. Rich in characters, in tragedies, in cultural and political events, Susan opens her very personal diary and the result is a vastly entertaining book.
By Grady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
*****A Monumental Memoir
By Janet Hughes on May 24, 2014
The Lullaby Illusion is an exquisitely executed memoir, which leaves you spell-bound as you follow Susan's metamorphosis; as she loses herself in her husband, the enigmatic Charles, following their dream travelling the world.Through miscarriages, betrayals and escaping war torn Cyprus to her re-awakening in Germany as an accomplished artist, Susan eloquently tells her story. The characters leap off the page, you can actually hear the dialogue, feel her fear, sadness and joy - it is easy to forget that this is a memoir and not fiction. I would love to see The Lullaby Illusion made into a film, and I hope she writes more about her life, and soon.
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