COME OF AGE
The Case for Elderhood in a Troubled Time
August 24 - 28, 2018
“Getting older is inevitable, becoming an elder is a skill” – Stephen Jenkinson
The sages seem to be departing. Elections enthrone Change, that’s all. The tribal lines deepen. And the weather, and the waters. The appearance of it all is this: We’d rather be defeated than persuaded. Perhaps we will be.
In a time like this, contemplation tethered to the troubled world is courageous. Contemplative sorrow: that’s the kind that is willing to learn the trouble of its time in a way that principled anxiety is not. Contemplation worthy of the troubled time: that is something to bequeath to the young among us. Unvanquished give-a-shit: that is something the old among us might be nourished to see.
Trade faith and hope for a stranger love of life, one that befriends the darkening sky by learning it. We might yet craft an eloquence that serves the terrible beauty we are about to bequeath to the young. Consequence, after all, is the true companion of grown ups. This is a gathering at the foot of the withering World Tree, for young folk and old folk, for elders in training.
Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW is a spiritual activist, author, ceremonialist and farmer. Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, founded in 2010. With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work), he is revolutionizing grief and dying in North America.
Stephen is redefining what it means to live, and die well. Apprenticed to a master storyteller, he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is former programme director in a major Canadian hospital, former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school, consultant to palliative care and hospice organizations and educator and advocate in the helping professions. He is also a sculptor and traditional canoe builder whose house won a Governor General’s Award for architecture.
His published work includes Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, his newest book about grief, and dying, and the great love of life (2015), Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions – a live recorded teaching (2013), How it All Could Be: A work book for dying people and those who love them (2009), Angel and Executioner: Grief and the Love of Life – a live recorded teaching (2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002). He is also a former contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007). Stephen is the subject of Griefwalker, a National Film Board of Canada film (2008).
Listen to Stephen on our Hollyhock Talks Podcasts: