the Traveling Writing Room

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word ‘zoom’ means to skyrocket, rise, shoot up, take off, whiz, whoosh, zip, and go fast. In this day and age, the meaning is way more personal. To zoom means, a gathering place, a conference room, a front porch visit.

It’s gone from being recognized as mostly a verb to a brand and beyond. Zoom has now joined the ranks of Kleenex, Jell-O, and Xerox. Every facial tissue is a Kleenex. Every gelatin dessert is Jell-O, and every copy machine is a Xerox, and now every virtual visitation is a Zoom. The sentence, “We Zoomed last night.” is understood by all that we talked with some folks via online airwaves or bandwidths or whatever. And, that we didn’t mean, “We drove really fast last night.” Of course, FaceTimed, Skyped, and Google hangouting have also come into their own during this time of quarantine.

Desperate times create their own language and uses. Who doesn’t remember the dangling or pregnant chad? You can bet George W. Bush does. In this time of pandemic, new expressions have emerged as well, such as Shelter-in-Place. And, my favorite, Social-Distancing. Although that one may be an oxymoron. How can one be social standing so far apart or in different rooms? Well, before this crisis it was a ludicrous thought. Now, yep, we get it.

What thrills me is that some oldies but goodies have taken on even more meaning, such as: Be Kind, Stay Safe, and Be well. My personal favorite, “Let’s Pray.” For a country that has tried to strip every ounce of faith from its public interchange, this one has wiggled its way back into our vocabulary. With exception to New York’s Governor Cuomo who thinks God has had nothing to do during this pandemic. Prayer is once again in fashion. As it was after 9-11, Hurricane Katrina and every other disaster our country has faced. Every time we are knocked to our knees we decide it may be okay if we prayed while we’re down there. When will we accept that prayer should not be our last resort, that prayer is our greatest ally, and that the God who created this world might know a thing or two about how to heal it, if we’d only ask?

I tell you what. This coming Thursday at 11:30 a.m. let’s all stop a moment, bow our heads, and humble ourselves before the Great I Am. If you are still in your jammies, that’s okay. Don’t confuse God with the fashion police. All prayers will be heard.

Be safe. Be well. Be kind.


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