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R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey (Photo credit: slgckgc)

R. A. Dickey, the Mets pitcher, invokes the Greek word “kairos” to explain his comeback as a knuckleballer.  I have also found that “kairos” describes my career path very well.

“Kairos” defined

kairós –
time as opportunity2540 /kairós(“opportune time”) is
derived from kara (“head”) referring to things “coming to a head” to take full-advantage of.2540 (kairós) is
“the suitable time, the right moment (e.g. Soph., El. 1292),
a favorable moment” (DNTT, 3, 833).


Kairos as portrayed in a 16th century fresco by Francesco Salviati ~ Image via Wikipedia

“Kairos” from 2 different perspectives

R. A. Dickey’s comeback

Dickey, whose earlier career was apparently less than stellar, recently mastered the knuckleball.  Now he is enjoying a wonderful comeback at age 37.  This part of a definition of “kairos” seems to be a perfect fit:

One has the choice of danger or opportunity, a chance to build something new out of the old.


His story appeared in a New York Times article on September 7.  Since I don’t know that much about baseball, the word “knuckleballer” caught my attention.  The article was a good read, especially coming across Dickey’s use of “kairos.”

“Kairos” in my career

My piano trio, formed in New York, was called “Kairos.”  The name was suggested by someone who is familiar with Greek.  It turned out to be an excellent choice.

Even aside from the trio, “kairos” is an excellent term to describe my career path.

The following part of the definition of “kairos” resonates strongly with me:

According to ancient Greeks, Kairos was the god of the “fleeting moment,” “a favorable opportunity opposing the fate of man.” The moment must be grasped…; otherwise the moment is gone and  can not be re-captured….


This means that, when one is presented with an opportunity, immediate action is required.  If action is not taken, the opportunity disappears forever.

Growing up, I saw many restrictions and very few opportunities.  I knew there had to be more, somehow.  Along the way, unexpected opportunities did appear.  When I took action and followed through, wonderful things happened for which I am very grateful.

So even though I was 28 years old when I finally found a good teacher, I was ready when things came together.  Many positive things have occurred since, and I have no regrets that my career has taken this route.

What is your story?  Have you experienced “kairos” in your life?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Note ~ NewWorldEncyclopidia.org:
a monochrome fresco by Mantegna at Palazzo Ducale in Mantua (about 1510 C.E.) shows a female Kairos


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