Have you ever gone to pick an apple or a peach (or any fruit for that matter) and as you grasp it, you realize it’s already in your hand? If the path of your arrival has crossed the path of the apples growth, maturity, and its time of release, you’ve stumbled into a kairos moment.
The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. We are steeped in thinking of time as chronos time — clock time. And with the advent of ”time technologies” like the clock, watch, and our accompanying obsession with speed and control, we get obsessed about time saving devices, and devices that trick us into thinking we are saving so much time. (please tell me where this Time Bank is if you know).
All the while Kairos time is alive and well, yet not as well known.
I first heard of kairos time from people who were talking about a passage in the Bible (New Testament – which was mostly written in Greek). So when time is mentioned – the question is – is it chronos or kairos?
Kairos is the fullness of time. Jesus became human and lived here among us in the fullness of time – kairos. ( I’m not exactly sure why that chronos time was a kairos time. )
So what does Kairos time have to do with improv? A lot. A mature improviser sees constellations of kairos moments and they are woven together in masterful scenes.
Yesterday I had lunch with Billy – my improv teacher from The Upfront. We talked about the dynamic that can happen if improvisers (or just people in life) spend a lot of time or energy trying to control what is not controllable.
We talked about the weather. : )
Good luck with trying to control the weather. We may not think we do that, but how often do we say ”I wish it wasn’t rainy” or ”It’s miserable outside” or ”When is the sun gonna come out again.” All these phrases betray the illusion/desire that we resent not being able to control it. And we resent other things that are not in our control. If only we could control it all, then all would be well. Or not.
In an improv scene if I’m worried about what I didn’t say five seconds ago; or overthinking what might happen, I’m missing what’s happening right now, I’m missing the dynamic now, of what is unfolding as I tune into my scene partner.
As we practice improv – this embodied learning globalizes in our whole self. We learn to relinquish control over what (LOL) we can’t control anyhow, and instead focus that energy on what is emerging right now.
Something within your reach is ripening. If you are tuned in, you will notice and find the joy in holding and finding it already in your hand.