Kairos (n.): The perfect, delicate, crucial moment; the fleeting rightness of time and place that creates the opportune atmosphere for action, words, or movement
Origin: Ancient Greek
This past summer, I was lucky to visit London. I realized on the infamous London Eye that as we moved, the scenery changed, albeit to a small degree. Each moment was perfect in its own form. Over half an hour, I had seen different angles of the city. The sun was setting and our ride soon ended. Similarly, life is like a circular machine, during which we have the chance to experience the world for a period of time. It is up to us to keep our ears and hearts open to what the world has to give us at every breath we take.
For a little over two months, when I heard or witnessed details that lulled or accelerated my heartbeat for a few seconds, I jotted them down. Here, I have composed a choppy compilation of a few of those moments. Snippets from the lives of others weave together with ours to create a shared history. Through these connections, we give and gain support, a communal relationship which makes us human.
For years Angela worked hard at
a department store without fail.
One day we visited and heard that
she’d died. I couldn’t wail.
For her weapon was to always smile.
She’d once fixedly peered at my face:
“You’re lucky to travel for such a while;
new sights transform life’s pace.”
Her words echoed weeks later
as I hurried to my next class, Today’s Russia
pulling closer my purple sweater.
A swirl of leaves shot me into inertia.
132 children forever fell asleep
as Pakistan drowned in bloodshed.
My uncle and his wife in London weep
in joy at their newborn’s bed.
J, a teenaged participant as a start
shared with me her life’s content side:
love for lacrosse, her boyfriend, and art.
Then: a desperate attempt of suicide.
It’s hard to comprehend people’s lives,
their reasoning and reactions.
I must keep trying as the train strives
to prevent my photographing the swans.