Changing the Sky & Reading Tea Leaves

I have tried meditation, yoga, and herbal teas to treat anxiety. When a vaccinated friend dropped in the other day, the tension vanished.

We chatted about our year of fear and then turned to the future and read each other’s tea leaves. She foretells a long journey (I wish!). I foretell that she will come into money and take me on a journey.

“It’s the travel I miss,” she said.

Me. too. We can guard our health with the vacccine, masks, etc., but we cannot travel away from the pandemic. And the most important way to stay calm, I have discovered, is not only avoiding the crowd but avoiding the news.

There has been much drama lately about whether or not rare blood clots in women are caused by one of the vaccines. I am very sorry for those women, but the scientific data isn’t in yet, so I am not jumping to conclusions. My advice? Get vaccinated. You will feel safer. Make an appointment for another vaccine if you’re afraid of the brand on pause. I don’t know anyone who has had any problems, except for a few normal side effects. And how I wish I hadn’t read the news!

Speaking of shots, our vacation is shot because of the pandemic. I read an article in The Washington Post about the possibility of international travel this summer. The writer interviewed people in their sixties and seventies who had postponed international trips last year and hoped to travel this summer. They have canceled their trips again. It is common sense, but I do feel sorry for them. Time is ticking by…

I have not given up entirely on travel. Every day I receive emails about cheap flights and cheap stays in luxury hotels. I fantasize about going, but what I would do when I got there? Stay in the hotel?

I am trying to change my way of thinking about the slow pace of life in 2021. I think of my mother and grandmother, who lived in the same place all their lives and seldom traveled. Their lives were in the moment, defined by routine and small pleasures. I moved away and occasionally traveled, but as Horace says, When you travel you only change your sky.

This is how I imagine the 1950’s, only with internet.

7 thoughts on “Changing the Sky & Reading Tea Leaves”

  1. I, too, miss the travel — with all due respect to Horace (love the quote BTW), changing the sky can be a lot of fun! Like many, however, I’ve decided that this year, like last, isn’t the year. Totally agree with you about the vaccines . . .

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    1. Yes, the sky really IS different in different places, too. But Horace is philosophical. I am crossing my fingers that travel will be possible in a year (or two)!

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    1. Oh, and I just ran across this great quote about travel in Isak Dinesen’s (Karen Blixen’s) story “The Roads Around Pisa”:

      “A few stars had spring out upon the deep blue sky, and there was a slight breeze in the air. Augustus had that feeling of being really on the road in which lies so much of the happiness of all true travelers. He had passed so many wayfarers in the course of the day — riders on horses and donkeys, coaches, ox carts, and mule carts — that there seemed to be a direction in life, and it would be strange if there should be none for him.”

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        1. I just finished it this morning, reading it for the first time ever.

          Incredible. Never had an experience like it before (sort of like Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, perhaps?). It blew me away! Read Out of Africa some years ago and loved it, but the scattering of her stories from her various collections are something I just found lately. I’ve never read anything like them!

          Thanks for telling me where that Horace line/idea is from. Been slowly reading his Odes and Epistles.

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    2. It is in the first Epistle. Literally, the Latin says: They change their sky, not their spirit, who run (perhaps sail is better) across the sea.

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