Today’s Word: ‘Zoom’ as in… living a life in motion today.
Several years ago, a good friend of mine gave me a gift that I’ve been opening ever since. As I carefully pulled away the layers of bright wrapping paper, I held in my hands the beautifully illustrated book entitled Zoom.
Zoom is the first of several wordless children’s books created by the commercial illustrator and animator Istvan Banyai. Published in 1995, Zoom was honored as one of the best children’s books of the year by the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly. Mr. Banyai’s picture book was further honored as Zoom went on to be published in 18 languages.
Does anyone else find that ironically funny?
Zoom is a picture book; there are no words; there are only pictures. And it’s most intriguing feature is in the way it communicates. As each page gives way to the next, you realize that each picture is a smaller part of the illustration on the next page.
For instance, on the first page you see what looks like points of a red star. But when you turn the page you see that the star that you thought you saw on the precious page is not a star at all, but rather, the ‘comb’ on a rooster’s head. Now all of a sudden you see the whole rooster, presumably on a farm. Turning the page, though, you discover the rooster being watched by two small children looking through a window in their small cottage. But turning the page, it becomes clear that the children are in a larger farm house among other farm buildings which are rather haphazardly placed with no apparent rhyme or reason. Yet, there is a reason for this. Once again you find, after turning the page, that these buildings, animals and characters are pieces from a collection of children’s toys. Only two pages later you find the child arranging and rearranging these pieces in, of all places, a toy store! But there is more: turning the page once again, the toy store is an advertisement on the back page of a magazine being held by a woman as she sleeps in a lounge chair. Turning the page again, you find the woman lounging by the pool. One page later, she is still by the pool, but on the deck of a ship! And just when you think you’ve got Mr. Banyai all figured out, you turn one more page where it is revealed that this entire scene is an advertisement on a large poster on the side of a bus in traffic in a city.
Okay, so, what’s this all about? Well, when you get right down to it, it’s all about not getting stuck in one place; it’s about taking risks and making decisions and following through. Zooming is about a life in motion. From beginning to end, from A to Z, it’s the adventure of zooming, moving, going, changing, morphing, growing, learning wisdom, seeing beauty, hearing your name, tasting goodness, breathing in the aroma of life. Zooming is all about turning the page on this day and leaning into tomorrow.
If we had stayed on the first page, we would not have seen the rooster.
If we had been content to stay in the cottage we would have missed the farm.
If we had stayed on the farm, we would not have seen the toy store.
If we had gotten stuck in the toy store, we would not have been to the pool!
If we had stayed in the chair by the pool—if we’d stayed asleep in the chair, we’d have missed the cruise!
If we had missed the cruise, we would not have seen the city!
If we had missed the city, we might have missed the bigger picture!
And if we had missed the bigger picture, we’d still be staring out that little window of that little cottage at the chicken!
But we didn’t miss it; we didn’t miss anything! Oh, the adventure of it all!
Today we zoom; today is about zooming! And zoom we must! And the really good news in all of this is that today is all we have, and today is all we need. And if, by some chance, we don’t get all our zooming done today, well, we’ll just re-zoom tomorrow.