It has been my honour in the past several months to discuss with clients the grief that comes with great loss; a loss experienced by so many at the dying of their parents. It is a transition we all know about, yet struggle to embrace. Part of the solace and healing of this grief is to remember the stories of these families’ lives.
Storytelling is how we can see truth through parallels and parables; the continual leaning in, learning, loving and letting go in life.
Stephen Jenkinson, author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul is an oracle and storyteller of our day who weaves ancestral knowledge with modern practice to reveal what was always there and what was always missing, but seemingly without our knowing. He speaks of his work in Orphan Wisdom. In his own words: “Orphans are not people who have no parents. They are people who don’t know their parents, who cannot go to them from here. Ours is a culture built upon the ruthless foundation of mass migration, but it is more so now a culture of people unable to say who their people are. In that way we are, relentlessly, orphans. Being an orphan culture does not mean that we have no wisdom. But wisdom is being confused in our time with information, with opinion, with experience. Not knowing where you are from is not the same thing as being from nowhere, but it does mean that there is work of all kinds to be done…An orphan wisdom might be the only culture-making thing we can rightly, honourably or faithfully claim. There is immense grief in knowing this well and going towards it anyway. That grief could be our way of working now, our labour. It could be our beauty, too. Orphan Wisdom is a teaching house for the skills of deep living and making human culture. It is a redemptive project that comes from where we come from. It is rooted in knowing history, being claimed by ancestry, working for a time we won’t see.”
So please consider joining me for what I know will be a revealing and reverberating evening of story and song. I encourage you to please send this information along to your networks, neighbours, friends and family and post at your workplaces and places of gathering.
I look forward to seeing you there on September 14th and sharing in this journey with you.
September 14, 2023 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Knox United Church 506 Fourth Street SW