“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”
– Shunryu Suzuki

Wintertime. I got my blood tests done today and made an appointment with the Zen psychologist at North Bello. I got pumpkin soup from the Providore. Made fresh today. And I am home with Eden Facetime.

It has been a funny old week. I am now calm enough to recognise that. Today I rang to make an appointment with the Zen and then he came out of his office which made me appear to be stalking him – which I wasn’t.

I had blood taken and chatted. I have been to the Wake for Julia who was ready to die and I have visited with my Girls.

I also had quite a fractious meeting with the new Doc. One which could work out. Maybe. I say that because he actually did have referrals ready to go. We did fight. Better fighting than being smooth talked or talked down to. Its up to me now to be clear in what I say and do. He also understood more than he showed me – so I think. I become so distressed when I deal with Medicos now that I am over emotional and appear recalcitrant – when I am just scared and tired and lost.

When I woke from the Coma, the message I passed on to Arkue was that I had been told to BRING BACK THE ELDERHOOD. I asked her to remind me of it when I forgot as I knew I might amongst the bedlam of recovery.


Well its nearing 3 years since Izzy died and 2 1/2 since the Sepsis Coma. I have “felt” less able, less wise – less many things – than I had for years. Just now I catch small glimpses of an awakening wisdom. An awakening sanity. An awakening Elderhood.  It is taking a long time for any words to come to speak about any of this time.

AND then late at night like now , his face comes into my vision and my heart breaks all over again. The sense of loss slices through me and a deep, deep sorrowing and loneliness.


“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”
– Shunryu Suzuki




Old Time : Learning Elderhood teaching

Stephen Jenkinson

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

This is for anyone with a desire to be useful to those now inheriting an endangered and often dangerous world, those who have an instinct and a desire to be an ancestor worth claiming. Think of it as a radical training in elder-hood in an almost elderless time, for people of all ages. Imagine a future that replaces retirement with esteemed elderhood, where young people receive real recognition of their worth and purpose in life and a living example of enduring discernment and courage for the hard and often empty times that are upon us all. Stephen believes the esteem of parents and friends can only go so far: Elders must bring the rest. Grandparents who are grand not only for their children’s children, but for all the young ones, whose grandness comes from having wrangled wisdom from experience, from becoming more elder, more than senior citizen. Grandparents now must be elders even – especially – when no one asks it of them. Come contemplate something of the skills of grace in a graceless time, of mentorship and true teaching, of fierce and exemplary grief and compassion.

Stephen is a Harvard Educated Theologian, Culture Activist, founder of The Orphan Wisdom School, author of DIE WISE: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, subject of a National Film Board of Canada documentary, Griefwalker.

He comes with teachings of the ramshackling kind, about honour and grace under pressure, about elderhood in an age of age-intolerance, about the withering World Tree, about how we might learn our darkening times. And there will be evening concerts too (see below), because he has Gregory Hoskins to lend his music and his road-tested grace to the cause.

Old Time Learning Elderhood Teaching by Stephen Jenkinson