THE SKIN OF THE WORLD ~ Árneshreppur, Iceland

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THE SKIN OF THE WORLD ~ Árneshreppur, Iceland

June 21, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - June 24, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

Orphan Wisdom - SchoolTHE SKIN OF THE WORLD: Heart Tempering and Hide Tanning with Stephen Jenkinson and Daniel Stermac-Stein

Location: Félagsheimilið í Trékyllisvík524 Árneshreppur, north west Iceland
Tickets: link early-bird registration fee until April 20th.
Host: Elín Agla –
the map:

links to local Árnesrheppur accommodations:

We in the northern hemispheres are living in times of trouble, no doubt. The calving glaciers, the rising waters, the globalizing assault on what remains of the local, the diverse, the indigenous, the urbanization of populations, the fading away of small town skills of deep living, all of these we must acknowledge and contend with right there in the ordinariness of our daily lives, or we won’t do so at all. These few days together will deepen both the sorrow and the courage needed for that contention, by pondering grief and outrage over the state of the world and our lives in it, by learning something of older wisdoms and life ways, by learning a renewed village mindedness, the achievements of elderhood, skills of the hand and the heart. Part ‘primitive skills’ session, part courting of ancestral presence, part scholarship of older understandings of calendrical and ceremonial life: these are what we propose to learn about. Consider studying with practitioners. This will be hands-on and hearts-on.

The ages-old skills of hide tanning came from a lived understanding of animal ways, and from a hard earned ceremonialized understanding of the place of hunting and food preparation in village and personal life. These skills are rooted in an always renewed and relearned relationship of human life and animal life, a relationship severed by commercialized, industrialized ways of ‘processing’ animals. This workshop will teach drug free old time hide tanning techniques and torments, along with a lot of cultural and historical material that will give deep and memorable substance: a praise song for a hand-made life.
– The Making of Humans – video link

“Getting older is inevitable.  Getting to be an elder is not. “

Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW Founder of The Orphan Wisdom SchoolAbout Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW
culture activist, teacher, author 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, traditional canoe builder whose house won a Governor General’s Award for architecture.

Stephen Jenkinson is the author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, new book about grief, and dying, and the great love of life. Published by North Atlantic Books (March 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), and former contributing author to Palliative Care – Core Skills and Clinical Competencies (2007). Griefwalker is a National Film Board of Canada feature documentary film, directed by Tim Wilson. It is a lyrical, poetic portrait of Stephen’s work with dying people. Filmed over a twelve year period, Griefwalker shows Jenkinson in teaching sessions with doctors and nurses, in counselling sessions with dying people and their families, and in meditative and often frank exchanges with the film’s director while paddling a birch bark canoe about the origins and consequences of his ideas for how we live and die.

Daniel Stermac-SteinAbout Daniel Stermac-Stein
hide tanner, tailor, farmer and woodsman
Daniel strives to live a life of beauty and service in the Upper Ottawa Valley of Ontario, Canada. His traditional leathers and real handmade clothing can be found at


June 21, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
June 24, 2016 @ 4:00 pm


Orphan Wisdom


Félagsheimilið í Trékyllisvík
524 Árneshreppur
Árneshreppur, north west Iceland
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