Touch the Sky


Swinging is pure joy! As a kid, I loved to swing. If I saw a swing, I’d run for it, sit on it, kick off with my feet, and get the momentum going until I knew I was touching the sky. The higher I’d go, the better it felt. Swinging higher, I could feel the breeze pat my face and the wind whip my long braids about as I soared skyward. I would try to swing so high that I would fly over the top. Never did; but I loved that exhilarating feeling of taking off, leaving the ground behind, and flying high. Swinging while standing up was a whole other over the rainbow, flying high adventure. That’s when I would burst into song, singing my favorite, “Would you like to swing on a star?” Felt like I was doing just that. Whee! Pure glee!

To this day, I can’t resist having a good swing to relax and loose myself to that feeling of joy–letting go of everything that holds me back. Unfortunately, the old swing set (shown above) had a broken seat so I wasn’t able to swing on it when we visited our friend Jerry on his farm for a typical Uruguan asado last weekend. So I sat on a chair nearby instead and imagined swinging to my heart’s content. I swung so high, I touched the sky.

Over the years, I’ve been interviewed about my writing, my books, and life in general. A couple of my favorite questions remind me of why I like to swing and imagine.

Who were you as a child? (Were you the shy, demure child, or did you always have that adventurous spirit)?

Shy? Never. More of a tomboy type. Always adventurous, I had a wild imagination. I was the second child born into a family of eight children. My father became a Pentecostal preacher months after I was born (was I to blame?) and my family moved from Los Angeles, California to Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and then to Arizona.

Most of my childhood was spent in Tucson, Arizona. I used to sit out on a hot rock in the desert with my dog and wait for the space ship to pick us up. I was convinced they had left me with the wrong family.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be and why?

An orangutan. They’re gentle and quiet, and swing when they get bored. It would be a good way to study people and observe their strange behaviors.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be and why?

6 Replies to “Touch the Sky”

  1. I have absolutely no answer to your question. I can’t imagine being anything but a human being….and a female one, at that. Does that indicate a lack of imagination, or something else?

    1. Jayne,
      Thanks for your comment on being human. I actually enjoy being a female human also. After years of observing and loving animals, I’ve noticed that some have similar traits to me. I once watched an orangutan sit and swing, and people watch. They are highly intelligent and their name in Malay means “person of the forest.”
      Susan Joyce

  2. Hi Susan, I too have a hard time imagining me in a zoo. Now, an animal in the wild is easy: a dolphin. One of my goals in life is still to connect with a dolphin, somewhere, sometime. Not necessarily swimming with them, somehow that seems intrusive into their territory, but maybe in a nearby boat. Some day. And, I too LOVE to swing. I’m very good at pumping, learned at a very early age. In fact, I never liked being pushed. What’s that say, do you suppose?

    1. Hi Janet,
      Being confined on a yacht while crossing the Indian Ocean in monsoon season, I learned to be aware and cope with intense, confusing, and sometimes frightening emotions. A wild adventure–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. With no place to run, I learned how (even in confinement) to be gentle with myself and others.
      I writing about the crossing now. A cleansing experience.

  3. Hi Susan, I’ve just finished reading your book and am still absorbing it all. It was like reading a novel and watching a film combined. Really impressive. You and everything about it. Your experiences in Cyprus were horrific. but you tell them so well. My only regret is that there wasn’t more about the paradise years. It sounds as if it was a wonderful island, and I’m going to re-read Bitter Lemons (again), but would love to know more about those years when you first went there. I would also like to know more about your art. Is there somewhere where your batik paintings and sculptures are still shown? Did you take photos of them?

    1. Hi Val Poore,
      Thanks for reading my book! Happy to know it impressed you. Thanks too for your questions. Good ones! “Paradise years” in Cyprus were laid-back, easy living. Cyprus is filled with natural beauty. Days were spent walking the sandy beaches, painting and preparing for a promised art show at the Hilton, and reading and dreaming to my heart’s content. I also set up a club for foreign students living in Cyprus to explore the area and exchange art project ideas. In addition to beautiful beaches and hiking trails, Cyprus boasts ski slopes in the picturesque Troodos’ mountains. Byzantine monasteries and churches sit on mountain peaks and nestle in its valleys and terraced hill slopes. Nature trails lead to fields of wild flowers and gorgeous views of waterfalls. Cypriot wine and food were bountiful and superb. From English friends who retired there, I hear it is still paradise. I also need to reread Bitter Lemons. My art is privately owned. I do have some photos of a few pieces in the library section of the Lullaby Illusion site. When I look back at my art years, I realize my work wasn’t brilliant (my husband’s art is brilliant); my art attracted people because of the pure energy I poured into creating each piece. I hope my writing does the same for readers.

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