Kairos Space and Kairos Time

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

"In moments of mystical illumination we may experience, in a few chronological seconds, years of transfigured love ... Time is to be treasured, worked with, never ignored. As the astrophysicists understand time now, it is not like a river, flowing in one direction, but more like a tree, with great branches and smaller limbs and twigs which may make it possible for us to move from one branch to another, as did Jesus and Moses and Elijah, as did St Andrew and St Francis when they talked with each other in that light of love which transcends all restrictions of time."

Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections in Faith and Art

Time as a tree - it's the only way it makes sense :)

Madeleine is waxing lyrical in reference to this painting by El Greco, of Andrew and Francis traversing the times and the spaces to converse with each other. She believed such things were possible. God only knows what she's believing now she's crossed over the river :)

The spaces feel thin today, now, swimming in kairos time. Anything seems possible to me, even though it is 400 million degrees celcius and I could fry eggs on the lounge room floor of my house when I get home on days like this. Tomorrow is going to be 41 celcius, the day after 40, the day after 40. I be sleeping in the lounge room all this week with the aircon on. Apologies to the ozone layer.

If my dog knew he was going to the beach in an hour, such joy would make all his molecules explode.

I think that's why dogs can't see into the future. Occasionally I feel like the veil parts, and I can, just down the road, just for a moment ~ not the actualities, but the possibilities, the infinite possibilities that are truer than boredom and smallness ~ and it throws me into these little mini paroxysms such as you are seeing displayed before you today.

Madeleine L'Engle always sends me into this state. She understood the paroxysms too, I think. She believed crazy things, too.

When we become too rational and logical, and can't believe in crazy flights of fancy that children believe easily and wholeheartedly, in dreams that present themselves to you and ask you to fulfill them, in time travel, in hope, in streams flowing in the desert, then we are quite possibly insane :)

We are seated with Christ in the heavenlies.


  1. Hmm... I have thought, for a while now, that a big result of the fall was our physical stuck-ness in he space-time continuum. But I don't think our spirits are stuck there... I think space and time only matter in the physical...

  2. I'm with Katherine...our bodies have to live in a time, but our minds and spirits have more freedom. I like those times when I can reach out and touch the past or the future, like so much déja vu.

  3. Madeleine L'Engle is one of my favourite authors, though I haven't read her non-fiction books. She saw stuff that was outside the here and now, and actually put it into words. It was a lifeline reading her fiction, back when I was a teen...it helped make some sense of life.
    And, Katherine, I agree. How much did we lose with the Fall? Sometimes I sense the way it SHOULD be..then get really depressed cause we are so far away from it.

  4. KG - me too. Although I wonder if it ends with the physical? Maybe we can do more than we think we can even now? L'Engle makes reference to certain contemplatives finding themselves in places it would have been impossible to travel to in the space allotted, so who knows? I like to ponder and imagine these crazy things :) It keeps my heart young

    Erin - yeah, those times keep my heart young too. They really do buzz me out. Yesterday's little time trip kept me blissed out for a few hours (and was far less like a drug experience than I am making it out to be :)

    Che - we are opposite because she is one of my favourite authors for her non-fiction stuff :) Combine us, and we would have one whole entire L'Engle fan. I did read one of her children's books, and I plan to read more, seeing one day in the future I would like to try to pen something in the same vein myself ... but maybe for adults :)

  5. Hm... I agree... I believe that the physical continuum can be bent, but not entirely escaped short of death (unless you get to be like Enoch or Elijah :) ). There have been a couple of times, in the last few years, where I believe if I had been just a little more willing to let go, I could have done that... But for the everyday, I think our minds and our spirits go outside of time all the time, we just don't recognize it for what it is. But the body, not so much... of course, I think that time is not as constant as people believe, either....

  6. Oooh, yeah, Enoch and Elijah.

    Talking about this stuff makes me go all funny and bubbly. I LOVE the thought of the possiblities.

    There's a blog post in there. memo to susie: blog about possibilities and how they doth make you feel like champagne.

    That sounds very mysterious and interesting, KG, your experiences where you would have been willing to let go. Hmmmm :)

    I absolutely agree our minds and spirits are outside of time all the time. I think we can be with other people in this sort of way too.

    I pray sometimes for people when I think fo certain memories. For my grandmother when she was on her deathbed and I didnt' have the words at the time to say what I wanted to say (a common refrain of mine). She was looking at me and saying, "I don't want to ... I don't want to ..." and I don't know what she was talking about because I never asked :(

    I pray for those situations. I pray for myself in the past. I have had a few experiences of going back to certain memories and "taking God with me" and kind of reimagining those memories. I did it with some traumatic memories and it really seemed to have helped in some ways.

    I love talking about all of this stuff :)

  7. Marvellous post, Sue - absolutely! Every word of it! And it's totally not limited to the spiritual. We're not ghosts trapped in machines, we're people, as God made us, spiritual/physical/emotional/intellectual, all one big lovely muddle, just like Christ since the Incarnation! Or we could be, if only we wouldn't keep smudging the mirror ;-)

  8. Awww, thank you, Mike! :) I think that these sorts of posts are the ones that tickle me the most. I can't be writing them unless I'm being carried away on a mystical cloud, and I can't get carried away on a cloud if I'm having a nervous breakdown over something or other.

    Ahhh, yes, the smudged mirror. Sometimes I think we will look back on this era now that you and I live in and think, "Wow, the world was so horribly blind". It feels like some sort of culminatioin for me, of blindness. But still, the mirror remains. And it's a magical, self-cleaning mirror :)

    (But still, alas, even with it clear, smudge-free, we still will often see through it darkly ~ but not always :)


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