Cogitation 22 Friday 29 May 2020 Zoom: A sharp upward movement, like an airplane taking off. Or a kite zipping high into the sky. Or a loud low hum or buzz. Or zeroing in on a subject with a camera, binoculars or microscope zoom lens. Or a catchy song for kindergarten children called, Zoom Zoom Zoom We’re Going to the Moon. Zoom, zoom, zoom: Defining movement, image, sound, that has long been part of familiar everyday life.
A year or two after the US astronauts in July 20, 1969, zoomed to the moon, I got to do some zooming of my own. I bought a used two-seater MGB convertible. Dark blue. Those were carefree years of tooling everywhere (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York State and Ontario constituted everywhere), wind in my hair, engine purring, distinctive exhaust rumbling, seat low to the road, zoom, zoom, zoom.
Now Zoom has been added to the lexicon of terms as a tool that can draw people together virtually from anywhere. Zoom is filling a vital niche. We must saddle up to new ways of communicating. Even so, given the advantages of Zoom, I feel more connected via email, blog, phone, Skype, letters and notes, and brief in-person exchanges–even if at greater distance than once was the case. I may even get back to Facebook and other forms of technological exchange.
And, of course, I’ve got the zoom memory of the MG I sold to buy a house. Later I met Marty, we dated, were married, sported about in her red Karman Kia, bought and remodeled the house of our dreams where we lived for 42 years, moved to Greencroft Goshen in recent years, love travelling, sleep in, stay busy, have fun. Zoom, zoom, zoom, over the moon.
As you see, one can zoom backwards in fond memory and well as fast forward. Fast forward in 2020 is like zooming through a strange and surreal world, given the mandates to stay at home, work from home if possible, wear a mask when out, put socializing to the distance test, tend carefully to hand hygiene. These are practices pretty well in our control, though the pace-altering zooming of the last three months has put normal life on hold.
I think back to what transpired in March. I planned to attend a retreat called “Saints, Sites and Signposts to Our Future.” It was scheduled for March 17-21 to celebrate 1500 years of Christian witness at St Buryan Church, Cornwall, England. But here, in the farthest southwest corner of the mainland, Covid-19 intervened. The main resource person, Ray Simpson, from distant Holy Island (Lindesfarne) in northeast England, would have had trouble getting there safely on public transport, something that became clear even before the government’s March 23 countrywide stay-at-home order.
Sadly, two weeks after the lockdown, at the prompting of the US State Department through the US Embassy in London, we cut short our sojourn in Cornwall (by five weeks) and, thankfully, without a hitch, wound our way in “essential travel” home to the US.
May 16 would have been the day for the feast of St Buriana, or Saint Buryan. From several sources I gather that Buriana was a young Irishwoman who came to Cornwall in the 5th century and established her oratory at the present day village of St Buryan, four miles east of Land’s End. Hence the celebration of 1500 years of Christian presence and witness, 520-2020. I hope the retreat can be rescheduled or some of the materials posted online. Or done via Zoom?
The English King Athelstan came to Buriana’s shrine in 930 and built a church. The current building was reconstructed in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and restored some centuries later. One of the marks of distinction concerns the church’s bells. The tower holds the heaviest peal of six bells anywhere in the world. Check out the church’s website for more information.
Reverend Canon Vanda Perrett is the vicar in charge of three Church of England congregations in the Land’s End Benefice: St Buryan, St Sennen and St Levan. What has sustained St Buryan? I do hope to learn more of the church’s 1500 year celebration.
In the church’s website, Vicar Perrett wrote, “Church is not a building but a group of people who love God and want to know him better. . . . ‘Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbour, and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love, and your love, for your name’s sake. Amen.'”
Flames of fire signify Pentecost
“The exuberant expression of joy in this depiction represents the Acts story, including Mary and the women mentioned in Acts, Chapter 1. Pentecost was originally an ancient Hebrew time of thanksgiving celebration for the first grain harvest, as recorded in Leviticus. The new significance given to this day by the gospel writers and early Christians extends that joyful expression to the new ‘filling up’ by the Holy Sprit.” Artist: JESUS MAFA, 1973
Pentecost Sunday, May 31, represents another feast day in the Christian faith tradition. This seventh Sunday after Easter commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ apostles and others in the gathered multilingual company.
In past Pentecost worship services our congregation encouraged us to dress up in fiery colors of red, orange, yellow, whatever, to signify the tongues of fire that hovered over the heads of those gathered. Actually, all is not lost, one can dress up for a Zoom Pentecost. And while I’m at it, I’ll read the Pentecost story in the New Testament Book of Acts, Chapter 2.
Zooming out our front door
All our walks this week started on foot from our front door. The photos zoom in on various scenes we encountered in the city and on the 170-acre+ Greencroft Goshen campus.
Around Greencroft Goshen
Zoom, zoom, zoom Full Stop