Dark road dreams

Dark Road Dreams

With Stephen Jenkinson and mystery guests

Join us for a rare and intimate conversation with Stephen Jenkinson as we get to the depth of what it means to be human, to be alive, to be citizens of this time in our history.

This event has been postponed – dates TBC. You can still secure your future place with a deposit. If the new dates do not work for you we will refund you in full.

Is this for you?

What is being asked of us in these strange days? How can we be genuine citizens in these strange times? Who will our ancestors decide we were, what we did, whether we bore them in mind? Can we find ordinary courage on the teeth of an extraordinary storm, can we leave something they might believe in?

Join us for a rare and intimate conversation with Stephen Jenkinson as we get to the depth of what it means to be human, to be alive, to be citizens of this time in our history as we conjure for ourselves a land-aware conscious life, learn grief without grieving and make matrimony, beauty, love and wisdom against a darkening sky.

As well as teaching, sharing and discussion, you will have time to sit in nature, integrate, take part in group movement practices, wild swim in our lake, sit around the fire. This is an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in this moment as we collectively and alone decide who it is we want to be.

Key information:

Dates TBC

Residential course based in Devon, at Embercombe

Accommodation is at Embercombe in our yurt village or selection of vintage glamping caravans

FEE: £595 includes accommodation and food. / £445 camping/non-residential
Limited bursary places of £375 are available: apply here

Ghosts And Rough Gods And Dark Road Dreams – a message from Stephen

“As predicted, the kids are coming downtown from the psychic suburbs now, looking for a good time, looking for something like a tribe to belong to, looking for someone to blame. They are driven there by a sense that it might be too late now, that nobody seems to know but them that the sky is falling. There’s not much that surprises. Older people around them feel impugned or distracted or paralyzed, feel shamed by the darkening sky, feel left behind. Merchants of hope are active, naturally. Misanthropy is the street drug of the Anthropocene. So is safety.

The stakes are high when people assemble now. The mark of citizenship in a strange time is the willingness to be sorrowed aloud, and to carry yourself as if the kids are watching, the not-yet-born kind. Not what’s in it for you: what’s asked of you. That’s what radicalized citizenship has become: The willingness to proceed as if what’s happening is happening. But translating that: that’s the poetry of now. That’s the goods.

There will come a time when the current undoings will be undone, and those people in those times will be on the other side of us and our example. They’ll decide who we were, what we did, whether we bore them in mind at all. We could end up as the cautionary tale they’ll never want to be, or we could be a shard from an old chalice that has trace elements of a very fine wine, the rumour of a nobility that rose when the time came. We’ll continue to take from them, or we’ll leave some scent of ordinary courage in the teeth of an extraordinary storm, something they might yet believe in. We will be someone’s ancestors.

This session will have those people and those times in mind. It is for genuine citizens of strange times. It will be given over pondering community making and contending well with hopelessness, to conjuring a land-aware, conscious life and to learning grief without grievance, to making matrimony and love and beauty and wisdom, and to doing the business of citizenship in strange days.”



Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson

Culture activist, teacher, author ~ Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, co-founded the school with Nathalie Roy in 2010, convening semi-annually in Deacon, Ontario, and in northern Europe. He has Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work). Apprenticed to a master storyteller when a young man, 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. He is also a sculptor, traditional canoe builder whose house won a Governor General’s Award for architecture. Since co-founding Nights of Grief and Mystery with Gregory Hoskins in 2015, he has toured this musical/tent show revival/storytelling/ceremony of a show across North America, U.K. and Europe and Australia and New Zealand.

He is the author of Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble (2018), the award-winning Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (2015), Homecoming: The Haiku Sessions (a live teaching from 2013), How it All Could Be: A workbook for dying people and those who love them (2009), Angel and Executioner: Grief and the Love of Life – (a live teaching from 2009), and Money and The Soul’s Desires: A Meditation (2002). He is contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007).

Stephen Jenkinson is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker (National Film Board of Canada, 2008, dir. Tim Wilson), a portrait of his work with dying people, and Lost Nation Road, a shorter documentary on the crafting of the Nights of Grief and Mystery tours (2019, dir. Ian Mackenzie).

Upcoming Dates & Booking

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