I love the fact that one of Milton’s energizing principles is time. I have spent a great deal of my own allotment contemplating the ways in which we as human beings are quite unforgivingly subject to it. In one of my favorite books that I read over the summer, “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken, the author realizes that he has found himself chasing a sense of “timelessness” throughout his life and why that might be:
Not only are we harried by time, we seem unable, despite a thousand generations, even to get used to it. We are always amazed at it–how fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of it is gone. Where, we cry, has the time gone? We aren’t adapted to it, not at home in it. If that is so, it may appear as a proof, or at least a powerful suggestion, that eternity exists and is our home.
I think it ties nicely into the idea of chronos vs. kairos that Milton explores within his works. Perhaps this battle that we have with passing time as we experience it points to the idea that within the deepest part of ourselves, we desire and are meant to live within a liminal space.