Chronos and Kairos

^z 10th November 2023 at 8:05am

Poet Wilmer Mills (1969-2011), dying of cancer, writes in "Living in Eternity" about Time and Language and Presence and Love:

... In Greek thought there are two ways of viewing time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos Time is chronological and measurable. Kairos Time is more open-ended and expansive such that one can experience an "eternity" in a brief instant. It is not a cold finality at all. While we mainly live in Chronos Time, it is possible to experience Kairos as a place in which to abide and to breathe deeply without respect to calendars and deadlines. Too often we live only for the clock and fail to notice how, in the absence of incremental time, we would be more able to see the pattern in the rug, how the stained glass windows of our lives make sense as wholes and not as mere pieces.

But no one needs to get a terminal cancer to enter this place. The simplest way to enter the fullness of time is by breathing our words aloud to each other, and often, with love and hope. The miracle of spoken language is that it insists on face-to-face contact, or, in the case of a letter, it brings the speaker's spirit into the room in a real sense and in real time at the right velocity, the speed of breathing. It has the tempo of people eating a meal together. In this sense, Kairos Time and spoken language are two sides of the same Koinonia.

(cf Plenty of Time (2009-03-09), Dimensionless and Therefore Infinite (2010-02-03), ...) - ^z - 2022-04-06