“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 there’s 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.
“Elders are a sentinel species for humanness, and like other forms of life in our corner of the world they’ve mysteriously gone missing. Young people are, often involuntarily, looking for them, and they can’t find them. How about this: old people are looking for them too. ..Stephen is making the case for elderhood, not for easy agedness mostly by wondering what happened. Because something happened. Something happened to ancestors and elders and honour.
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. The Making of Humans video clip
There’s work to be done, and there’s an old wisdom to be learned where there used to be the wisdom of old.”
Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble by Stephen Jenkinson | book video trailer