With Stephen’s newest book ‘Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble’ out in the world and him on the road with ‘Nights of Grief & Mystery’, we will not be offering any new Orphan Wisdom School classes in 2019. We plan to start a new class in 2020 that will take root in Ontario, Canada. To put your name on the waiting list, email us at contact us.

Please consider attending one of the public events listed here. Should you be interested in hosting a talk where you live, do be in touch with us at contact us.

The Orphan Wisdom School is crafted specifically for all those people who will fail to live forever, who have come to the idea – or been driven there – that their yearning for a deep life must be tethered to the plough of labour and learning to harrow the hardened field of sorrows and solitary, grey news that has become our corner of this beautiful world, so that children can one day soon be born into to a real, detailed, laboured over Better Day that we ourselves are now unlikely to see. Because none of this can be done in weekend workshops or homeless conference centres, we ask that you commit yourselves to what we call learning in real time, to gathering together for five days, twice a year, for two years, as a start. It is the same commitment I make to you, irrevocable and faithful, and it binds us honourably to crafting a better day from our bewilderment and bedraggled dreams. As always, that bewilderment and those dreams are welcome. The programme for graduates continues beyond this two year introduction.

The learning and the teaching will be part history, all culture, mostly spirit, hugely ancestral, very local, ultimately practicable and hand made, each time about living, working and dying, purposefully delivered and achieved together in the belief that the rudiments of being a true, life serving village person lay waiting for water and light in all of us. If you stay with it long enough your hands will know as much as you will, and even your consternation will be articulate.

Whatever you have read or heard about the Orphan Wisdom School, that and your own many wonders and longings for a saner place in which to plant the little banner of dreams for your coming days will end up having to be reason and information enough by which you’ll wrangle your decision about attending. There’ll be no other descriptions beyond the ones on the Orphan Wisdom site, no other reading lists or prospecti sent out. No allegations about what you’ll learn or become. No certificate. It isn’t much with which to make your call, I’ll grant you, but fool’s gold is a description of something that hasn’t happened yet, something that would be changed in an instant by your decision to attend.

It is a school that requires no previous experience with living people, dying people or dead people – though you do have experience with all of them – and no particular employment, religion, educational standard or way of life. It is open to every shape, persuasion, style, language and hue of person with a heart inclined for opening and learning. Each of us deserve the chance to learn something deep, alive, human, urgent and mandatory. This is at the heart of the Orphan Wisdom School.

Would that our endangered and dangerous days be remembered, years from now, as a time when some gathered and rose up and, truant no more, learned their lives. That is where our learning together will begin to be tethered to something vast and thrilled and burdened with purpose.

Sessions

Dates Session Name Registration Location Status
Wednesday, August 21 to Sunday, August 25th, 2019 People of the Big Tent Register by May 31st, 2019 Ottawa Valley, ON, Canada Graduate Scholars Only – Closed to New Scholars
Wednesday, October 2nd to Sunday, October 6th, 2019 People Come Through Rain & Rune meet People by the Times Begotten Register by June 30th, 2019 Ottawa Valley, ON, Canada Graduate Scholars Only – Closed to New Scholars
Spring 2020 New Orphan Wisdom School – Ontario Class – 1/4 Add Your Name to the Wait List Ottawa Valley, ON, Canada First of Four Sessions – Open to New Scholars

Contact us with questions or to register.