Time Lauds

GetImageI have been receiving news of Alexis Lebedew’s visit to Nauru. I really like the way Alexis writes and I have found his six part journal, about delivering a coaching course, compelling reading.
In Part 6 he wrote:

I have to admit I found Nauru time in equal parts frustrating and entertaining.  But in the end I just planned around it.  An Australian I met here described it most eloquently.  He said that in Australia, time is always moving away from you.  In Nauru, the locals always think that time is coming towards you.  That is, in Australia you always have to do things before you run out of time, but in Nauru you can always do them later because the time to do them is coming up.

I think this is a great way to characterise distinctions between chronological time and kairological time. I have been thinking about kairological time since reading Jay Griffiths’ A Sideways Look at Time. She observes:

time is not found in dead clocks and inert calendars, time is not money but is life itself: in ocean tides and the blood in the womb, in every self-respecting player, in the land, in every spirited protest for diversity and every refusal to let another enslave your time, in the effervescent gusto of carnival; life revelling in rebellion against the clock.

I have been contemplating how this sense of time might help develop my approach to open and shared learning.
Elsewhere, Jay writes:

Amongst many peoples, ‘Time’ is a matter of timing . It involves spontaneity rather than scheduling, sensitivity to a quality of time. Unclockable. … Timing for many indigenous peoples… is variable and indeterminate and unpredictable. Time is a subtle element where creativity and improvisation, flexibility, fluidity and responsiveness can flourish.

Alexis’ journal and reflecting on Jay’s writing brought me back to a delightful, concluding paragraph in Dennis Bryant’s thesis:

… now it is time to take your leave. In this regard I am reminded of a piece of information that is close to hand (from the Central Australian Warlpiri) … Ngaka nangku nyanyi, which freely translated means If I don’t see you sooner I hope to see you later

Photo Credit

Level 1 Coaching Course in Nauru (FIVB)


  1. Thanks Keith. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog and I’m glad it made you think, although everything makes you think!
    The more I think about it though, the more the idea of time here fascinates me. Also, the idea of ‘who is right’? Surely if I am in Nauru, running a Nauru course, it is not up to me to impose my bias towards ‘chronological time’!

    • I think your journal brought you to that conclusion, Alexis.
      I am hopeful that this might have important implications for your coaching wherever you are. I like the idea of readiness which I understand to be a qualitative essence rather than a chronological appointment.
      Safe travels wherever you are.


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