"Time may change me, but I can't trace Time" --- David Bowie, Changes.
runs through our hands, but on our wrists it is kept via a watch on one
side, and our beating hearts on the other. Clock time is what Isaac
Newton believed existed, and timed everything in the Universe. Both
linear and cyclical, the Greeks associated it with the God Kronos. Time, quantitative time,
passed consistently, each moment exactly like all others, egalitarian.
the wrist is time kept by our heartbeats. It is pulsating time, much
like the oscillations of a particle in an atomic clock, but infinitely
slower, and consistently variable with human arousal, emotional and/or physical
state. At times we say it skips a beat, or 'be still, my beating heart'.
Kairos moments are also not exactly alike. The Greeks had a God for this kind of
time: Kairos. Some moments contain less information/significance than others. The
Kairos moment is supreme, says more, encapsulates broadly, can tell a long narrative
in the same span of time. It is indeterminate and qualitative. More of a lapse in which everything happens.
A temporal context that both calls for and constrains speech or other modes of expression.
Kairos is sacred time, unbound, fluid.
It is a moment, beyond description by number, unlike Chronos.
Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson sought the
Kairos in his work. Calling it The Decisive Moment, he sought it in the theological meaning, a time when conditions are right for accomplishing a crucial action. The decisive moment. Fitting time. Cartier Bresson thought it was a moment that told an entire story, in one photograph.
, Originally the word had to do with the wound channel from an arrow and the passage of threads of fiber in making cloth.
In Luke 12:54, Jesus uses it to mean "Present Time", time laden with meaning, choice, crisis, possibility, choice and renewal.
To the South Aricans, Kairos meant a time to make choices at a crossroads in history.
It is non-linear, simultaneously in and out of time. Kairos is mythic/sacred time, the realm and trigger that loosen heroes into being, that beckons and encompasses, turning a few seconds into an eternity and viceversa.
Photograph by Henri Cartier Bresson.