One day recently I got through all my tasks, appointments, and events very smoothly. I'll bet it was because I had been reading Creating Time, a book that helps one reimagine our perception of time. My attention to the sequential events on the day in question could be referred to as kronos time. "Kronos is linear, moving inexorably out of the determinate past toward the determined future, and has no freedom."
The Greeks have another word for a different experience of time: kairos. "Kairos is circular, dancing back and forth, here and there, without beginning or ending, and knows no boundaries." Kairos time is what you could experience when you engage in the visual art assignments Makridakis outlines at the end of each chapter. You'll be amazed at how time flies and how many possibilities you'll uncover.
Often people say they don't have time to get to the things they really want to do. Marney Makridakis could very well say the same thing with a business to run and a young child to care for—and they both have physical challenges to deal with. Her book shows that time is the ultimate resource when, as she says, "we tap into its expansiveness and partner with it in new ways."
Section 1 of the book invites readers to explore their relationship with time. Section 2 is "Creating Time through Creativity" with inspiring chapters full of Makridakis's unique methods for creating time. The "ARTsignments" at the end of each chapter are outlined step-by-step with visual examples created by the author and over eighty other artists and writers.
Readers can discover, as Makridakis has, that "engaging our mind, imaginations, and bodies through physically creating art catalyzes an unmistakable transition from simply reading a concept to absorbing and becoming it." The book is illustrated in full colour which makes it a visual delight. As well as sharing her art, Makridakis shares her personal stories. Sometimes the wise words of her young son also illustrate a concept of time. It's interesting that his name is Kai, reminding one of Kairos although his name is from the Hawaiian for "ocean."
The descriptions of kronos and kairos time were written by Makridakis's father, Lonnie Kliever, in an article he created about the concepts for his daughter's magazine, Artella, which she launched in 2003. Makridakis has a genetic bone disorder and while recovering from surgery came up with the idea for Artella. That actually became one of her "time transcendence tools," that is, looking for lessons to speed up time. Multitasking or "scattered time," she says, is a great way to speed up time. Also connecting to your passion.
To slow time, create focused time and literally slow down. Connect with your senses and notice everything happening. Ways to create time, with chapters devoted to them, are through flow, gratitude, love, ritual, stillness, metaphor, new measures, synchronicity, visualization, and permission.
Scientific concepts and studies have made their way into the book as well, from Einstein's Theory of Relativity to the scientific breakdown of how light reflection works. Makridakis even conducted some time experiments of her own. While having a sense of the practical, there is a wonderful sense of play about the book with its examples of offbeat clocks and creative time-pieces.
Section 3 helps readers integrate the concepts explored in the book. All the Time Transcendence Tools are listed, followed by typical complaints about time. Find the statements that resonate with you and then check the Time Design Diagnosis Chart which will refer you back to the specific ARTsignment recommendations.
If you're in a hurry you can go directly to the chart which will lead you to the chapters most relevant to you. I'm sure they'll lead you to reading the whole book to experience your own time metamorphosis.
Marney K. Makridakis founded the Artella online community for artists, writers, and creative individuals as well as the print magazine Artella. A popular speaker and workshop leader, she created the ARTbundance approach of self-discovery through creativity. She lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit her website.
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