FREE Standard Shipping on orders $75 and more!

Only Living People Die with Stephen Jenkinson (EP#203)

Today Tahnee sits down with Stephen Jenkinson, author, storyteller, musician, and culture activist, for a very real and very potent conversation around living, dying, and what it takes to embrace the fragility and asymmetry of life. 

Click The Links Below To Listen Now 

 

 

 

Today Tahnee sits down with Stephen Jenkinson, author, storyteller, musician, and culture activist, for a very real and very potent conversation around living, dying, and what it takes to embrace the fragility and asymmetry of life. 

Influenced by a diversity of life experience and his work in death centred care, Stephen holds deep reverence for the art of living, a journey that is synonymous with loss.

As an advocate for embodying death within the experience of life, Stephen asks us to engage with the practice of loss, of learning to live in the absence of something we once held dear or true as a preparation for the promised and very tangible characteristic of life; death. 

Stephen views dying as a moral obligation, inviting the idea that to die mindfully, deliberately and consciously is a political act, a religious or spiritual event worth respecting as much as the breathing part of life. 

Stephen poses the very important question that is so absent in our western culture; what is to become of me when I die? 

Inviting us to hold awareness around the suggestion that to acknowledge the transient nature of life, is to be pertetually overwhelmed, a notion that is so beautifully captured in the following line he recites from an old provencal prayer;

"God help me. My boat is so small and your sea so immense."  

Throughout this discourse, Stephen encourages us to welcome the entire spectrum of living, to embrace the varied gradients that are expressed and experienced.

We're summoned to ask ourselves whether we can cultivate the courage and embody the wisdom to remember the ones we love in the myriad of contexts they may inhabit.

Whether we can we love the decrepit and decaying aspects of ourselves and others with as much vigour and enthusiasm as the parts that are robust, shiny and effervescent.

If we can we sit alongside the dying with a smile instead of a grimace as they dissolve out of the breath based living that is so pedestaled and celebrated in our death illiterate culture.

We are prompted to consider why death is continuously shunned and sanctioned to the dark corners of our psyches, asked whether we, in our enduring efforts to be the biggest, brightest and most gallant version of ourselves, are missing the poetry of loss? 

It's in these questions that perhaps we begin to decipher the language crafted around our living and therefore our dying, to know and to develop the relationship we share with it. 

A powerful and important chat today.

Image of two handles holding a small lit candle.

"How you die is not your possession. How you die has consequence for everyone around you that's exponentially greater than the consequence it will have for you. You won't live the consequences of your dying. The rest of us will."
- Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen & Tahnee discuss:

  • Stephen's journey into death work. 
  • Living as an embodiment of death. 
  • Natural vs medicated death.
  • The extension of life as an extension of death.
  • Shepherding children through death and loss.
  • Approaching death with willingness vs resistance. 


Who is Stephen Jenkinson ?

Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW is a worker, author, storyteller, musician and culture activist. In 2010, he founded Orphan Wisdom, a house for learning skills of deep living and making human culture that is mandatory in endangered, endangering times. It is a redemptive project that comes from where he comes from. It is rooted in knowing history, being claimed by ancestry, and working for a time he won’t live to see. When not on the road, Stephen makes books, succumbs to interviews, tends to labour on a small farm, mends broken handles and fences, and bends towards lifeways dictated by the seasons of the boreal borderlands.

Resources

Guest Links
Orphan Wisdom Website
Orphan Wisdom Facebook
Stephen's Youtube

Mentioned In This Episode
Die Wise Book
Faith, Hope and Carnage Book

Related Podcasts
Death, Ceremony, and Walking Towards Grace with Zenith Virago (EP#117)

Connect With Us
SuperFeast Instagram
SuperFeast Facebook
SuperFeast TikTok

 


Check Out The Transcript Below:

 

Tahnee:

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast. Today, I'm honoured to have Stephen Jenkinson here who is... I wanted to... You're not just an author and a teacher, you're a bard and you've got a bit of coyote magic in you. I can tell. You call yourself an angel of death, which I'd love to talk about that a little bit, but you're someone who I think is really embodying the elderhood that we are all craving, or I certainly feel as someone nearing my 40s, I'm craving. So I wanted to thank you for the work that you're doing. Thank you for being here with us today.

Stephen Jenkinson:

You're very kind. Thanks so much too.

Tahnee:

Yeah. I've been rereading your book since I knew that I was going to have you on the podcast and Die Wise I should say, because I haven't read your book on Elderhood yet, but I'm going to. That's queued up in my Kindle. I was really reflecting on how your particular brand of wisdom is just so honest. I think as someone who is young and who has grown up in this culture of social media and platitudes, if you know what I mean? It's refreshing to hear someone speak about death and about life in this very real way. And that doesn't sugarcoat the poignancy and the beauty and the grief and the tragedy and the majesty of all of it.

 

I came across death at about 25 for the first time in a real way. And I think it was a massive pivot for me. I'm curious if you could share, you had a brush with death as a child. Do you think that that was sort of the thing that put you on your path to do this work? Or how are you here? I'm really curious about that.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah, so am I.

Tahnee:

That's a good start.

Stephen Jenkinson:

I think I'm still trying to figure out how I turned into this. It's not like this was so obvious to me from the origin. Like everybody does, I stumbled and I tried being somebody else for a while or several people probably. And none of it worked out apparently. I mean, there's a couple of moments I guess to answer your question faithfully. One of them was, as you've alluded to in 1958, it sounds like a long time ago now, I got spinal meningitis. And in those days somebody of that age would probably die of that. That was the norm.

Tahnee:

You were three, is that right?

Stephen Jenkinson:

I was three and a half or something. Yeah, that's right. And I have a body memory of a lot of it. And it's not a body memory of horrible suffering or disfigurement or any of that kind of thing, fever or nothing. I was so attuned to the tone of the nurses, the feeling tone of the nurses actually. I realise now it was my hyperbaric chamber was how they were with me. And they were fighting desperately to keep me alive.

 

I do remember being touched as if I was being claimed as one of the living by them. And then I remember that at a certain point that changed because I guess in their team meeting or whatever. It was acknowledged that the likelihood was I was going to die. So they began to not distance themselves so much as just simply readjust their claims upon me so that I would slip through their fingers instead of remain in their hands.

 

That's how it was. I remember it clear as day. And so certainly that's formative, isn't it, that those kinds of things stay with you and they form your understanding of things feminine. Certainly that's in there too. And the notion of care and compassion is all informed by that kind of thing. And the sense of being in the presence of a remarkable irreducible power of consequence and genuine presence death that is, and certainly that was there. I mean, I tried to get into priesthood when I was in my mid 20s or early 20s at Harvard Divinity School and they wouldn't have me as it happened. I didn't think they refused anybody but I-

Tahnee:

I loved that piece in your bio. It's probably for the best.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah. It's probably for the best.

Tahnee:

How did they reject you? What was the basis of that?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Well, there was a detail, which I didn't think was a big thing, but clearly I was mistaken. And the issue was that in the interview of discernment, let's call it, that I was obliged to take my first week there. It emerged that I'd never been to church, which was true. I'd never been to church. And so they just looked at me and said, "Let me understand this. You proposed to go to the priesthood of something or other and you yourself have never been to church?" And I said, "That's true." And they kind of looked at each other like, "Nah."

Tahnee:

Not happening.

Stephen Jenkinson:

That's what happened. And I was shunted off into the more academic programme. I did graduate-

Tahnee:

That's the master programme that you did?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah. I did graduate, but I didn't graduate with the white collar. No.

 

Stephen Jenkinson:

I've been practising as if probably ever since, I think.

Tahnee:

Yeah. Is that normally the pathway that you go to theology school and then go into working in?

Stephen Jenkinson:

You're asking the wrong guy, clearly. I mean [inaudible 00:07:49]

Tahnee:

You didn't do that?

Stephen Jenkinson:

I'm not one of those guys, so I wouldn't recommend my own strange meandering, tortured path though. I really wouldn't.

Tahnee:

But it's grist for the mill. I think like reading your book and even your stories about travelling Europe, and I recognise in that, I guess a worldliness that when you sit beside someone, I guess you're able to hold a lot because you've experienced a lot. And I think that's a really special thing.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah. I certainly was lucky in that I didn't perish when I easily could have a number of times.

Tahnee:

I felt like you've lived close to death from reading your work.

Stephen Jenkinson:

But not in a violating sense, not in a daring sense, in a kind of parallel life sense of the term that death sort of ran alongside me, it would appear and slipped its calling card into my vest pocket at some point and said, "See you later." And so I've never really been without that presence probably from the early days that I described to you or certainly somewhere in my teens until now. I don't find it in any way macabre or melancholy making. Well, sometimes a little bit melancholy. When I think the thought, for example, that this is 2023, the likelihood of me seeing the end of this decade.

 

You see, this is what you must do to put meat on the bones of mortality. You can't speak in hyperbole and impression and feeling. You actually have to talk in terms of as I did with dying people routinely. I would say to them to help them locate themselves in their own lives, I would say, "Are you likely to see another summer?" And that's how we began to situate... Or Christmas or wherever we were in the calendar. And I think that helped them tremendously to arrive at the place they already were instead of playing maybe poker all the time, which they were encouraged to do by hopeful people around them. But I was never hopeful when it came to dying. I was faithful instead and I think there's a big difference.

Tahnee:

Yeah. Your piece on hope in the book was really powerful actually, because I think of friends and people I've spent time with who have had either big diseases or terminal illness and yeah, there is a temptation to bypass or almost bandaid over it with hope. Like, "Oh no, you're going to be fine. You can fight this. You've got this." And I think to sit in the reality of it is such a gift and something I've come to learn as I've been older, but not something I had in me as a younger person. Do you think that's a cultural... I mean, you do speak about this a bit in the book, but it was something I really sat with.

 

I'm a yoga teacher and you spoke of the yoga teacher who said that the woman had... I think she might've had a brain tumour. She was doing really well. My yoga teacher said, "I'm doing great." I was like, "Oh my God. That is such a funny reflection on the wellness industry and people in the spiritual world that really do disconnect from reality of what's actually happening a lot of the time."

Stephen Jenkinson:

I have to say that my experience, and this is going to sound unnecessarily transgressing perhaps because there are of course exceptions to everything that we're saying, but it's important I think to point out that there's a high degree of intolerance in the wellness industry and the intolerances for imperfection and half measure and limits and frailties. And I'm telling you, those things belong. Endings belong. And if you attempt to banish them with more vitamins, and ayahuasca and bending over backwards as much as you can, and you imagine that this is somehow going to confer upon you a clarity of mind that would otherwise be unavailable because you are in with the unwashed masses who don't get it, who are just going to die on schedule. I mean, dying on schedule used to be called God's will. What's it called today? It's called giving up today.

Tahnee:

They gave up hope. They died exactly when the doctor said they would.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah.

Tahnee:

I have a teacher who's older and it took me a while to find him, but he speaks of death all the time, and he speaks of how our bodies aren't perfect, and they aren't symmetrical, and we aren't ever going to achieve some holy grail of asana or spirituality. He meditates without any sparkles and he keeps doing it because the other benefits are there. I remember meeting him and thinking, "God, this is the first time I've ever met a real yogi in the yoga industry." He's in America, so I only get to see him infrequently these days with small children and COVID. But I find it's actually been the most healing and spiritual experience of my life is sitting in reality with those subjects.

 

And yeah, I guess, it's almost like it's the stuff that I wish I'd been able to get from my parents and my community growing up is what I get from him. I've really reflected on it a lot over the last couple of years. My husband lost his father two years ago and my grandfather passed and just witnessing how we've all navigated that. You talk about learning to be with death and learning how to help people. It's not innate. It's not something we just know. And I've found seeking education and understanding has actually been really helpful and it's something that I've had to actively find.

 

So I think your work and people who are willing to have these hard conversations with us, they're such gifts, I think especially when we are younger because one thing I remember reading in your book, and I hope I read it there was that you said like waiting until you're in that terminal space or you're with someone who's dying. That's not a great time to start learning about death.

Stephen Jenkinson:

There's such a thing is too late.

Tahnee:

Yeah. I'm probably more familiar with birth being at the stage of life I am. But I actually recognise a lot of parallels in birth and death.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Absolutely.

Tahnee:

Yeah. People don't start thinking about what birth is until they're pregnant, and that gives you a very short window of time when you're pretty exhausted and moving through a lot of just stuff because of being pregnant. And then you approach birth with your cultural programming and your personal programming and all of the stories, the projections, the industrial medical system. I see so much overlap and I think it's really important that we reclaim those particular rites of passage.

 

I think what I love about what you talk about is the adolescent rites of passage, and even I haven't heard you speak to this, but it's something I think about is that sort of midlife crisis, rite of passage. We aren't as a culture prepared to handle these big shifts we make as humans as we move through life. So could you speak a little bit to the rites of passage and what you see in your work, how that plays out?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Well, when I used to meet midwives when I was actively employed in the old days, we would start to swap war stories basically as we would call them, and very quickly it became apparent we were doing fundamentally the same thing. Our fundamental responsibility was to get out of the way, to get everybody else who claimed to be wanting to be helpful out of the way, to understand that this doesn't give you something, it asks something of you. It's a fundamentally different orientation.

 

These kinds of experiences are not... How should I put them? Adventures and self-improvement. These things are life having its way with you without asking you first if you mind. That's what they are. And so the older you get, I think the more fundamentally is your responsibility to live in the presence of these things, not in anticipation of them, because the fact of your dying and mine is not in the future. The fact of your dying is now. It's present now.

 

The truth of it, the availability of it is now. The moment is to come, but all the meaning is available to you now. Excuse me, all the consequence. So apropos of rites of passage, well, I mean there aren't any. In Anglo North America fundamentally, there aren't any. There's what you could call [foreign language 00:16:59] rites of passage. They're "wouldn't it be great" kinds of rites of passage, there're birthdays and I mean there's-

Tahnee:

Getting a car or something.

Stephen Jenkinson:

By and large, they're celebratory. But the lion's share of life is not amenable to being celebrated because it's not principally and cavalcade of upsight. The majority of life is consequential without being necessarily beneficial in the narrow sense of that term. It's consequential and you have an obligation to live out... Well, I mean there was an old [inaudible 00:17:38] prayer that dates to I think 12 or 1300s. It says it very beautifully. Once you've heard it, you tend to remember it because of its brevity and its clarity. And this is what it is. It said, "God help me. My boat is so small and your sea so immense." There. Everything is there. It's not asking for things to be different. It's not asking to be saved and removed and lifted up, it's asking simply to be helped because the chances are not in our favour, right? It's an enormous circumstance this thing of being alive.

 

And to realise its temporariness is to be periodically overwhelmed. I mean, you grow accustomed. Being alive is a habit-forming thing. And it's very important to challenge the habit-forming this of it all. Because what you don't want to do, and I can promise you this, because man, did I ever see it happen. What you don't want to be doing is entering into your dying time, petulant, miserable, haunted, grievance driven, feeling betrayed. These kinds of things. They have no place in a demise.

 

I'm not saying that they're not understandable, but there are consequences of the fact that you probably lived your life in a death phobic culture and you took your instruction and you took your example from those fears and you thought that was life-affirming by being all you could be. But death is not being all you could be. Death is the end of you. So it's very advisable to practise.

 

There's a poet named Elizabeth Bishop who's from the Maritimes of my country, but grew up in the United States, so they claim her. But anyway, she's got a poem called One Art, and it begins this way. She says, "The art of losing isn't hard to master for everything that was made was made with the..." Uh-oh, I'm blanking on one word here. "Everything that was made was made with the intent to be lost. And so losing it is no disaster. Practise losing something every day, not misplacing something, losing for good."

 

Look at yourself and say, "Baby, it won't last." Enjoy your strengths right in your range of motion. All of those things. They belong to a certain time and there will be a certain time... Well, they won't come back no matter what you do. And you've got to find a way to not to regard that as life betraying you because you are a good person. You see it? These two things have nothing to do with each other. You being a good person and the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune finding you are not mutually exclusive. That's how you find out about your goodness.

Tahnee:

How did we keep this morality piece without the spirituality piece? I'm lost on that. I feel like we have all of the morality of religion without any of the juice sometimes. I don't know if that's an observation you share.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Well, I think I understand what you're alluding to. It seems to me that... I can tell you, I've done a lot of interviews, as you may have discovered. Probably too many. Yeah.

Tahnee:

Yeah.

Stephen Jenkinson:

And a fairly routine question in the early days went something like this, "So did you find in your time in the death trade that dying people who had a kind of spiritual orientation to their lives or religious affiliation, or something like this had better outcomes?" That's what they would ask me. "Better outcomes? You mean like not dying?" But anyway, you know what they wanted to find out? Is there an upside to going into the last round like that? And I can tell you my routine answer was no. There was no inherent benefit. And here's why. It might be very surprising.

 

It's because of the spiritual orientation, the spiritual practise, the wellness thing, whatever it is, whatever stripe it is, all of these things were undertaken covertly to contend victoriously with limits and frailties and endings. Boom. Okay? So this means that all the realities of your dying were your principle adversary or enemy as you practised being all you could be. And when it finally comes around, it's a complete and utter defeat, isn't it? If that's the way it's gone.

 

What your spiritual practise should be, or at least include, I would say then, it should gather around the things that you will not prevail over. That's where it should go. It should be deep long meditation of a... I suppose the Buddhists have this practise in their corner that they practise a degree of dying consciousness. Maybe we could call it that. Fairly routinely. And it's an-

Tahnee:

On yourself as dead? Is that the one?

Stephen Jenkinson:

I'm sorry. Could you say it again?

Tahnee:

Is it the one where you meditate on yourself as being already dead? Is that the meditation?

Stephen Jenkinson:

I'm not that guy, so they wouldn't have me, remember?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah, nobody. Nobody would really have me, you know? So I think at the end of the day... Here's a question. It's going to sound simple and unnecessarily bright, but it's this, who dies? Answer is only living people die. There's a lot to meditate about just in those two phrases. Who dies? Everyone? No. Oh, really? So there's an alternative. Sadly there is. What do you mean sadly? Shouldn't we be celebrating the alternative to death? Not once you learn what it is. No. The alternative to dying is to die, refusing to die. Nobody would want that if they knew what it meant for them. But many people died that way on my watch, I have to tell you.

Tahnee:

So that was the big thing that happened for me at about... I think I was in my mid 20s. I watched a man die who had a hard life and a non... Not done, I guess the work you're speaking of, of arriving at death in a place of acceptance, forgiveness. It was also a heavily medicated death because of cancer. It was quite an inspiring experience to watch a 64-year-old man cry to his mother in the dark of the night, even though in his lucid state he would say that he hated her and she was awful and all these things, and begged for her to come to him. It was a really powerful thing to witness.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Agreed.

Tahnee:

I still haven't, obviously, fully reconciled what that was, but I remember thinking, "I do not want to go that way." And that was what really started for me. About two weeks later, my aunt passed of a heroin overdose, so I had these two really unconscious deaths, and I'm using air quotes because I don't want to say death is death. But they were both really pivotal in informing me to start to think more about what it might mean to die and to do so in a way where it's less medicated and less painful and less numb, I suppose to... And I don't know.

Stephen Jenkinson:

These two examples that you've given us are very persuasive on the following principle. This is the principle. How you die is not your possession. How you die has consequence for everyone around you that's exponentially greater than the consequence it will have for you. You won't live the consequences of your dying. The rest of us will. The people around you will. Well, I should exclude myself for obvious reasons.

Tahnee:

Well, you never know.

Stephen Jenkinson:

No, you never know. But the benefit of the doubt is on your side. So I'm acknowledging that. How you die as you read in the beginning of Die Wise is it's a political act. It's an ethical and religious event. It's a moral obligation to die mindfully, deliberately, consciously. I'm not making a case against, for example, sedation or anything of the kind because there's a lot of subtle suffering in the business, you see? What we're talking about here is you die almost certainly in the manner of your living.

 

They become indistinguishable. Okay? So if you've lived as the man that you were describing did with a overt tragedy called his mother, be not surprised then when the curtain call comes that the old grievance that he had towards her is not strong enough to drag him across the threshold that he wants salvation to come from the one he heaped the most calmly upon. You see? And this is not playing gotcha with one man's rough and wretched example. I mean for everyone you have, I've got four-

Tahnee:

A hundred. And I even relate to that on my own level of... I think all the listeners can probably pick out that it's not about that person, it's about those little seeds inside of us that we allow to fester and remain unexamined, I think, in our lives. I guess one thing, the suffering piece I think is really interesting because you spoke about suffering in the book and you did make the point, I believe that you would not personally discount the idea of medication. And that's fair to say. Sorry.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah.

Tahnee:

And I guess I've had a bias against that because I mean, I chose unmedicated birth and I guess I've had the personal thought that I would try and die aware whatever that means. But I guess I'm curious if you could unpack that a little bit. Is that just something you think helps to ease the physical journey so that the mind and spirit can move into acceptance? Or what role do you see medication playing in death?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Well, first of all, the distinctions you're making between body and mind and spirit and that kind of thing, I don't find that distinction overly persuasive to be honest. I understand the draw and the clarity that it seems to bring. But man, I was there. I have no reason to misrepresent things to you or exaggerate them. And based on that, I'm saying to you that people died as a whole person event. And the distinctions that we can make in our relative youth or our relative health, those distinctions begin to crumble and corrode when you're in the trenches and you're not getting out.

 

Things work differently, things look different. Things smell different. I'll tell you a story. This is going to really challenge a number of people who are listening. And perhaps you, I don't know. But it's a true story, and it happened exactly like this. So we were in a team meeting as we had every week, and everybody was talking about cases that they thought the other people on the team needed to know about because there's something particular that's gone on since we last met or whatever.

 

One of the nurses relating a story with such disgust and disdain that you could almost see her sneer as she was recounting the story, which took her about 40 seconds to do. It wasn't a long one, and it went like this. She was attending to a man, I'm going to guess he would've been in his 60s or his 70s, which I used to think was frigging ancient. It's not so old to me now at the time. And she related to that she reached sort of across him to get something from the side table or whatever it was. What did the man do? He inhaled her.

 

He just took her in. She was close enough to him. I mean, probably like this. And he just took her. She found it degrading. All the words you can imagine. Violating and all the rest. Was he supposed to ask permission before? So what's the etiquette that she's appealing to? The answer is apparently this guy is supposed to die respecting the kind of professional silos that we work in, function in, and that we tend to believe in and seem to require. But I'm telling you that when dying people are dying and they're fully inhabiting the kind of ramshackling power that begins to be unleashed at that time. The notion that somebody has a personal space is not very compelling any longer, you see.

 

I don't believe as she told the story that he in some fundamental way violated this woman. I say quite the contrary what he did was he was praising her aliveness, her bodily aliveness, something he would never know again. Not only sexually, but in every other way that that word can be meant. He would never know it again. I ask you, would you not want to somehow come to be that for somebody? I mean, what does it take from you? Where's the violation really? I mean, where's the training for God's sake in the sensitization of who these people are to us as we are so fully alive and so frigging capable and everything?

 

We are watching them shuffle on the dark road heading out of town. I mean, how do you think it's going to go when your life collides with their death? Anyway, it's a little story, and I don't mean to pile too much on top of it, but you get the idea I hope from it that I'm trying to give that dying people have the opportunity to have an engagement with life unfettered by the old allegiances. It makes normal people. It boxes them out. If they haven't done their work and they don't know what they're looking at, whether they're a professional that's paid to be there, a volunteer, a family member, or just Joe Public or Jane Public, the dilemmas are so extravagant, the kind of poverty of our death wisdom is so acute in those moments, and it's ghastly really. It's so unbecoming of educated people, sensitive people that they don't understand how deeply the dying do long after the living.

 

Not envy, long after. We have a show, the Knights of Grief and Mystery, and one of the lines and one of the songs that we perform is the singer says, "You can't come with me. I wish you could." Everything is there in those two lines. The longing, the full throated, full-bodied longing, not just the spiritual thing. It rises in what's left of the body. Of course it does. And of course it has presence and of course it's real and it's alive. Of course it's life affirming. It's just not very respectful of all the ill-considered pseudo etiquette social forms that we bring to bear in the moment.

Tahnee:

It reminds me so much of birth though. My son is 16 months old and my husband and I birthed him together alone. I was doing stuff that was weird. I was throwing my legs around and I wanted to go to the toilet and I didn't want to go to the toilet. I wanted to go here, and I wanted to go there, and I wanted to lie down. I wanted to be up. And I think if anyone had watched that, it would've looked completely fucking insane. But it was so primal and just unfettered because of the container of my husband and our home and not needing to be on anyone's schedule that that was what it was. It just was what it was. I can feel a visceral relationship to what you're describing with that man inhaling her. I'm like, I get it. I get that. It's like being around a newborn. You just want to almost eat them because they're so alive.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Exactly, yeah.

Tahnee:

And I think that I have been in a few birth spaces recently and everyone is altered by the energy of that. I guess that's where the drug piece for me is interesting because I believe and I don't know if you believe, but I believe that our bodies produce some portal into another dimension when we birth and die. And that's as far as I understand it, a bit of a chemical cascade that's going on and I wonder how drugs interfere with that. I wonder if you've experienced that and if you agree with me on that, I don't know.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah. I understand the appeal of a kind of drug-free... I will say it's a kind of puritanism. It's a kind of reverse puritanism, the notion that the only real thing is the thing where you don't need anybody or anything that you got it all.

Tahnee:

I relate to that.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Okay? So it's in the nature of dying that you don't have it all. Okay? You're not the boss. You're not a hero. You're not there to prevail or win. There's no victory involved. There's no crossing the finish line with your arms extended. So what is there? Well, it's a hard road, okay? It's a hard frigging road with no promise of new life there at the end of it unlike delivering a child, for example. I know that's not guaranteed either, but you take the point I'm making.

Tahnee:

I do.

Stephen Jenkinson:

So it's your death that you're giving birth to. It's a very counterintuitive proposition as far. As the medication, I mean, there's pain medication and there's sedation. They're not quite the same thing. Although they often overlap to some degree. It's very hard to argue if you've been in the trenches and you've seen the implacable suffering that can ensue from cancer and all the rest. Your ethics or I don't know what they would be, your stance cheaply arrived at stance about medication.

 

It suffers and breaks down in the teeth of the storm you see. This is not to say that anything goes and give them anything, give them everything, knock them out and so on. There's a lot of people who want to maintain a degree of alertness and awareness unto the end so that they don't "miss anything", which is, it's a beautifully articulated... I mean, it's not very articulated frankly, but it's beautifully wrought that understanding that they want to be there for it. They don't want to be gone, you see?

 

At the same time, acute pain can gone you at least as effectively as sedation can gone you. So the point is to take instruction on the matter and not be in the trenches the first time when it's your turn. You really want to learn a lot about what this looks like in real life by volunteering or not keeping your distance from the death, whether it's slow or fast of anybody around you. You want to understand that anybody's death before your own is you getting a PhD in life, is you getting a chance to get it right without having to pay the considerable tuition of it being your turn at the same time.

 

And that's why people's deaths should properly be way more public than it is in the West, way more publicly accessible. It is a kind of cultural richness that's available to us, that you can't get in many other ways, not that kind of acute alertness to life. And you don't want to come to it when it's your turn as a rank beginner or an amateur.

Tahnee:

Are you speaking to... I've spent a fair bit of time in say, Bali, where the whole community will... Everyone stops everything. There's a bunch of days where they're preparing the funeral pyres and they're carrying... The whole community is present, and it's quite an incredible thing to witness. Is that what you're speaking to more?

Stephen Jenkinson:

In part? Yeah. And the reason I'm recommending that very deeply to us is that one of the things that happens when you attended these things as a child and as a teenager and through in your 20s and your childbearing years, and you're exposed to all this too, is that one of the things that comes to you every time you're engaged with this stuff is... So here's what's going to become of you when it's your turn. Here's what we're going to do. I can tell you in the West, virtually nobody knows the answer to that question. What's to become of me when I die? But in places like the traditional enclaves in Bali, people do know. They genuinely know. It's not a fantasy, it's not a wishlist, it's a culture.

Tahnee:

We've replaced culture with medical care, I suppose? And like-

Stephen Jenkinson:

Personal truth.

Tahnee:

Yeah. I guess the individual kind of sense of meaning. Because one thing I guess I'm thinking of when we think of a traditional culture and death is there would probably not be as much intervention in end of life care. I guess the extension of life that you speak of. I found that a really conflicting, not from your perspective, from my perspective, reading about your... I guess I grew up in that sense of I had a cousin with a brain tumour and he was seven, and it's like, "No, everything to extend his life, even if he is not in a good way.

 

My husband's mother is disabled and her life support was turned off and she was supposed to die, but she didn't. So she's alive still 11 years later. So we've got a lot of this in our family of exposure to these complicated situations, I suppose, which are in part due to medical choices that were made. I have a teacher, a Taoist teacher who he speaks a hard truth, but he's like we keep a lot of people alive that we shouldn't. We save a lot of babies that we shouldn't. And the first time I heard him say that, I remember being quite shocked that someone would say that out loud. And then also kind of reflecting on it, aware of the seed of truth in that.

 

I know it's a hard thing to talk about, but I'm wondering if you have a take on that phenomenon of intervening and prolonging and whether... I know there's no black and white answer to this question, but yeah, I'm just curious your thoughts.

Stephen Jenkinson:

It's supposed to be difficult. Okay? It's not supposed to be easy. It's not supposed to be clear. It's supposed to be work. There's the first thing. Here's the second thing. If you live in a culture that's so heavily technically sophisticated, then you will be a stranger to that which maintains your life. It's not part of your life, it descends from God knows where, from big pharma or whatever it is, and you've no way of understanding how to make a place in your life for what this is doing to you.

 

Three, more life at the end of life means more death. I've never heard anybody say what I just said to you. Literally never. But that's exactly what it means. That's not a matter of opinion, that's an observable fact. So who among the people that you know is ready for more death as a direct consequence of getting what they want for themselves? Nobody. And sadly, the powers that be rarely, if ever, inform people that this will be the consequence of them gambling for more time and winning. But they should tell them. They should. They should make it more difficult to choose. They're not doing anybody any favours by shaving the language in such a way that you make it sound like, "Well, good outcomes, a good outcome is a good outcome." And getting what you want for yourself is inherently a benefit. No, it isn't. No, it isn't.

 

So if this is what your person meant by should, as in we shouldn't be keeping these people alive, I mean, I can't occupy that position. It's a little too glib to me, but I understand the spirit and what it's engaging with, and what it's contending with when somebody says something like that. Absolutely. I can understand where it comes from and I don't condemn it in any way. I just say it's a bit easy to say we shouldn't be keeping them alive because the part that doesn't show up in the sentence is... And what shall be the consequences of us collectively refusing to keep them alive? Who's anticipating and elaborating those consequences?

 

Because we could, but we didn't, which is a much different thing from we couldn't, isn't it? And unfortunately, we're in the land of, there's so much medical sophistication that it's almost a permanent condition now that we could. We could overcome all the things you would've died of 10 or 15 years ago. Temporarily in a zombie-like fashion, we could. So then it becomes a question of who's ready to say goodbye? Oh my God. That's the criteria you're using for decision-making? Who's ready? How are people supposed to get ready? If you live a life so distanced from the things you and I are talking about now, your lack of readiness will finally show itself.

 

But that's not what it is, it's truancy. It's a radically different condition. You failed to grow up in this matter. You failed to occupy an adult position. Now you don't know how and it's crunch time, and there's a crisis. It's not even your crisis. It's a crisis of somebody you love. And so you die the way you live, just as I said 10 or 15 minutes ago.

Tahnee:

Yeah, which is like-

Stephen Jenkinson:

And it doesn't have to be like this, but you can't change things at the 11th hour and 59th minute because there's such a thing as too late. You have to change things while you're able to, while you're in peak showroom condition. That's when you're supposed to be getting close to this material. And so you practise. You practise with all the little endings, all the little frailties of life as they come and visit you. The little disturbances that turn into permanences, all that kind of stuff, the little things that go away and don't come back. Let's call it in a sort of universal sense of the term, the spiritual stretch marks.

 

Those are the things that stay. And if we paper them over by being all we can be, we lose the scent of what it's all for and how things could go if we were a little more life affirming and a little less personally personal truth addicted.

Tahnee:

And you're a father?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah.

Tahnee:

How many kids do you have?

Stephen Jenkinson:

One of each. Although these days, that's not clear what that means.

Tahnee:

I know what you mean. I have one of each too.

Stephen Jenkinson:

I'm just going to say, got one of each.

Tahnee:

My eldest is seven-ish. She's six and a half. She has seen a couple of dead bodies now, and we've encouraged her to touch them and spoken to her about what's happened and taken her to funerals and things. We've had some sort of side glances, I guess from people who don't know if that's appropriate, which I respect that line of questioning, but for me it feels like, "Yeah, how is she to know life if she doesn't understand that side of death, of life"

 

And similarly, we have pets, which... And that's been a process of teaching her about caring for living things, but also about the demise. I'm curious if you have any other thoughts on... Now, we're going to a parenting chat, but on how to raise children that are able to navigate these big questions as they grow.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Well, I think being able to navigate is not really the goal. Navigate still gives you a sense of some kind of personal mastery involved or personal agency, all of that jazz sovereignty and so on. That's not what we're talking about here. That's not what death affords you. Death should crumble that stuff, turn it into dust in your hand, and it could happen this way, but it doesn't the way I'm about to describe. Routinely when I was in the death trade, I would be asked by a well-intended... And I mean that sincerely, a well-intended parent who would... And I'll play it out for you. It went something like this.

 

Do you think I should bring my son to the funeral home graveside, or deathbed, or all three? And I would say, yes, it's always a good thing to wonder about, but why wouldn't you? So you flip the question. So you turn it into, you don't automatically agree that it's a perilous proposition. You don't agree that it is. You turn it so that the person who's trying to exercise all the caution is responsible for the caution. They're not necessarily doing the right thing. This is how you begin to plant the seed of a different understanding. So why wouldn't you?

 

And you make them say it and they would say routinely things like this. "Well, grandpa looks pretty rough." Indeed, he does. That's absolutely true. And so? Well, I wouldn't want my son to be traumatised. Indeed, nobody wants their kids to be traumatised by it. But what would be traumatising to your son in the circumstance that we're talking about now? Well, I want him to remember grandpa the way he was. Bingo. We're getting very close to the heart of the beast now. There's one authorised memory of grandpa, and that's when he was up and at em and he was playing with the kids in the backyard and rolling around in the grass with them.

 

That's the grandpa they get to remember, but not this guy with no teeth, drooling and incontinent in the bed. Nobody gets to remember that if they're young. I ask you, what kind of a sterilisation of the memory do you think goes on when we craft memories that are uniformly easy to have? What do you suppose we're doing to kids by disabling them when it comes to the three dimensionality of life? So I proposed to you this, the trauma, a heavily overused word today. The trauma that this parent was mythically afraid of didn't come from exposure to grandpa in the deathbed. It came from the fact that the kid was sitting there looking at grandpa in the deathbed and then looking at the concerned parent and couldn't make the connection between the reality that was happening in the bed and the behaviour of the parent to the point where the child has to choose which reality he or she is going to align himself or herself with.

 

What I know to be so in the deathbed, which includes my grandfather, that's not, not my grandfather, it's also my grandfather, until I have to deal with this parental example where they're disowning this one in the bed clearly for my sake. And you know what happens? Most kids choose the parent, not the almost dead person in the bed. Not that reality, the parental reality about concern and hovering at trauma and all of that, purifying and protecting and oh my God.

 

So there's a cognitive dissonance for a four-year-old or a seven-year-old, and that's where the trauma comes from, I'm telling you. And it's so easily easy to avoid that whole dramatic passion play of mistakes. How? By obeying the dying, that's how. Not the dying person, the process of dying. You respect it and you understand it to be as true of life as these flowers are. As true of life as your kids are. As true of life, as a well wrought day is. And everything else that we could mention.

 

None of these, even the hard, hard examples of dying under acute pressure with terrible symptoms and all the rest, none of this stuff is anti-life. It genuinely isn't. What it does, it stretches your understanding of what constitutes life. Yes, it challenges your understanding of mercy and justice. It certainly does. There's no doubt about it. I'm just saying maybe it's supposed to be challenged.

Tahnee:

It reminds me of that Rilke poem where he talks about the questions themselves. The answers I think is the quote, but it's the sense that there isn't any easy or right way, but there's a present way. Like a through is the only way, I guess. And if we can be in it fully... That's what I watched with my husband, which was something that I guess I learned so much from was his father died of sepsis basically, and he was just so in it. He was there in the hospital for a couple of weeks and it was the middle of COVID and there was lots of stuff going on.

 

I just really watched him be just present to reality through the process. I've not seen that before. I've always seen the washing away of what was happening and the, "No, he's going to live and it's going to be fine." And there were days where he's like... I think he's dying today. And then he's still alive, but he's in a lot of pain and he eventually died in surgery. And then my husband and his brother washed the body and did all of the clipping and the grooming, and the preparing.

 

That for me felt like such a gift to our family in terms of healing and recognising that death and it's felt. It's obviously very big to lose your father, but it's felt like quite an integrated... It's been a couple of years now and I still feel this real sense of ownership of that death. I don't know if that's the right word. It feels really close to us as opposed to other deaths I've experience where I feel a sense of discombobulation with them. I can't quite place them.

 

I wonder if you have ever observed if there's... Because I was speaking to a Chinese woman yesterday and she said, "In my culture, when people die, we keen for them and we cry for them. We tell them they're dead by grieving them." And I thought, "Oh, that's such an interesting thing because I think we often don't talk about our dead." Is that something you've observed if there's a speaking to or being more involved. Does that help the grieving in your experience?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Not necessarily.

Tahnee:

Okay.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Because people don't inevitably grieve in a circumstance. It seems designed for that and nothing else. I mean, if grieving was automatic, I would've had no job to do. There would've been no book to write, no movie to make, no Nights Of Grief And Mystery Tour.

Tahnee:

No coming to your show.

Stephen Jenkinson:

 

in your country. None of that. Well, because everybody already knows about it because it just comes with the territory. It's like a reflex. But it's not a reflex. It's an accomplishment. That's the difference. It's an accomplishment. I mean, here's the best indicator that you can use to give yourself a sense of how this sits either with you or with someone you're listening to. When they begin to refer to the recently dead person in the past tense there, everything changes now. This is what the language that you used a minute ago lost actually sounds like.

Tahnee:

I remember you speaking about the grammar in your book. You can't be actively dead. Is that right?

Stephen Jenkinson:

No. If you're using the verb of dying.

Tahnee:

My brain.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yeah. If you're using the verb to die in the English language, you can't use it in the passive voice. It's impossible to talk about it as if it's something that happens to you. It's only the active voice, which means it's something that you do. That means it's possible to refuse to do it, to not learn about doing it, to not know that you're supposed to do it, and therefore you don't do it. You expire, of course. No vital signs in the rest, but maybe that's not what dying is.

Tahnee:

So when we see you speak, I've noticed you seem to do a couple of different shows, and I guess from your book, it seemed like you had a lot of your life speaking to people who were trained in the medical system or in therapy, counselling, maybe more of academic background. Would that be fair to say? That was a lot of your original lecturing and teaching?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yes.

Tahnee:

And now we're talking about you doing more public events. So you're speaking to people like myself who have no real background in death, I suppose and even in-

Stephen Jenkinson:

I gave up on the professionals basically.

Tahnee:

Right. You went straight to the public. Because that was my question, I guess, like how do you present... There was one piece in your book where you spoke about being in the UK and you'd done the professionals and it wasn't really a thing. And then you had this random night that you thought no one was going to come to and then heaps of people came and you spoke before hours. Has that been what you've recognised as where the magic lies for you in teaching is sharing this stuff with the public?

Stephen Jenkinson:

Well, I stopped teaching a long time ago. I understand teaching to be basically pointing elsewhere. I stopped doing that a long time ago. I realised if I was going to be of any use really to anyone, I had to find a way to incarnate what I was talking about. Not constantly refer to something else, but do the best I could do to make what I was talking about, a living reality in the room in real time now. And that's what the Knights of Grief and Mystery, the touring show that we've done off and on for eight years now. That's where it came from. It didn't come from just wanting to become inevitably persuasive to people or make things easier to say.

 

It doesn't make things easier to say when I'm performing in that sense, but I'm definitely not teaching. What I'm doing is in the course of storytelling, in the course of song delivery and so on, I'm doing something that's so old that most people in the West don't recognise it. But people elsewhere do tend to recognise it, or little corners of the world where modernity is not so prevalent. They come to me and they say, "I know what this is. We used to have this until fairly recently when the television came and then the computer. Now this is gone now from among us. It's amazing that it comes in the form of you though. Because you don't look like us at all. But my God, you sound like we used to sound." That kind of stuff happens.

 

So it's clear to me that we are onto something. We're doing something that the psyche of the West, the humanist secular tradition of the West longs for a kind of remaking of the sacredness of the ordinary. I'm absolutely persuaded this is true. And so this is what we do. The show's about two hours long, give or take if there's encores and so on. I know. Strange, but there's encores all the time. We just came from Scandinavia, a week and a half ago. Everywhere we went, I think there was an encore. I would come to the stage and I said, "Just so I understand, you want more grief?"

 

And they would agree that they did. You see? But what they want is of course, incarnations of how livable this stuff is, not how extraordinary it is, how ordinary it is. It's an incarnation in real time, right in front of them. This is what it sounds like. You have nothing to wait for now, that kind of thing. I'm very, very proud of it. It's not an easier version of what you and I have been doing for the last hour. It's a completely different thing. When I said earlier, who dies, do you suppose? And the answer is only living people die. So the Nights of Grief and Mystery is for living people.

Tahnee:

I'm so excited because you're also... I saw you were doing a talk in Bangalow. So for those listening in the Byron area, you're going to be coming to Byron Bay on the 19th. You're also going to be all around Australia. You've got-

Stephen Jenkinson:

Of October.

Tahnee:

Sorry, of October. Yeah. You're going to be all around Brisbane, Adelaide, Victoria, Tasmania, Newcastle, orange. But you had a talk in Bangalow, which was hosted by a different group. Can you speak a little bit to... Is that more of an opportunity just to hear you tell stories or what are you offering that night?

Stephen Jenkinson:

It's focused around the book that you've mentioned called Die Wise.

Tahnee:

Okay. So it's more about-

Stephen Jenkinson:

Sometimes there's people who want me to... As we've done here, mostly in this conversation, to focus on the realities and the, "Please, God, make it real" realities of what dying should properly be in a civilised place. And these talks are my translation of those things. The subtitle of the book is A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. So manifesto, it's not a gentle word, is it? It's an aggressive word, right? Why? Well, because we've got a lot of work to do to break even on the dying thing. Nevermind to do it well. Just to stop doing it so crazily, you see.

 

So I've given myself the task as long as I'm able to breathe into life another possibility. And I don't have to argue because the stuff you're hearing from me is not my opinion about anything. All you're hearing from me is what I saw and what didn't happen, so I didn't see it. That's all this is. The beauty of the arrangement as I understand it, is for most people, it's very challenging to defend themselves against what I'm saying because I'm not talking about politics, I'm not talking about beliefs. I'm not talking about convictions. I'm just talking about what people do to each other or fail to do with each other. That's all.

 

In that sense, it's not an argument, it's a plea. It's not an argument, it's a prayer. It's not an argument, it's a love letter. That's what I'm doing. I'm speaking love letters in real time to real places in this world. And I have to tell you, your country, and this is going to sound like I'm just... I say this all the time, I promise you. I don't. Your country has been particularly welcoming to me since the first time I came there, which feels like about six or seven years, something like that, years ago, somewhere in there.

 

I think this is the third time coming. I don't know if I'll get a chance ever to come back for all the obvious reasons. And the COVID thing is something we should really take seriously how this possibility can so disappear so quickly and can be gone for years. So for the moment, I'm able and I'm healthy, and I've got all my wits about me and everything is working. And the window is open again and the door's open wide and the invitations have come. So Australia, and as you mentioned, Tasmania are on the menu this time.

 

We're lucky to be able to come. I don't presume that it's the "same" as it is where I live because it's not the same. So I have a lot of respect for the regional differences, the differences in custom and language and all the rest and history and so forth. But there's something about the Nights of Grief and Mystery that people who are faithful to their own traditions don't feel diminished by. They feel recognised by what we're doing and I think they're right.

Tahnee:

Well, I think when you speak of it being incarnate, there's a recognition that we can all... I think about that with a lot of cultural artefacts that they aren't from my culture, but I recognise what's inherent in them. And I think that can be... To be in the presence of that is so human, I think. Because I used the word bard at the beginning and I chose that really intentionally because I think that act of telling stories is the way we tell ourselves stories and the stories we tell ourselves about the world. I think it's one of the most unexamined aspects of our human lives is story.

 

I think that's something I really took from everything I've seen of your work is what a masterful storyteller you are. So for me, that opportunity to be in a live space with you, I think is it's awesome. So I've booked my tickets, but I wonder just one last question on COVID because I was thinking about that when you... I'm just going to jump to something for a second. So I just finished reading Nick Cave and Sean O'Hagan's book on-

Stephen Jenkinson:

Love, Hope, Carnage.

Tahnee:

Yeah. Have you read it? Did you-

Stephen Jenkinson:

Yes, I have.

Tahnee:

I loved it. I thought it was one of the best things I've read in a really long time. I'm so grateful for Nick Cave's writings and willingness to speak on grief given he has quite a lot of experience with it. And they spoke about COVID quite a bit in that and how the audience changed after COVID and how there was this almost longing for real talk to go past the superficial facade of performance and just get to the meat of the matter, I guess. Is that something you've observed having restarted your work. Are audiences really longing for something a bit more substantial?

Stephen Jenkinson:

The people who come, yes. So you can tell, I'm telling you, one of the things that's happened since COVID is the people don't come like they used to.

Tahnee:

People are afraid to be out.

Stephen Jenkinson:

I would say, for every person who has an appetite that's been tuned by the COVID and everything that went on and everything that didn't go on. For every person who's got an appetite for the real thing, there might be two or three people who've had enough thanks. And Netflix will do. And personal distractions will do, you see? So in many ways it's not what it was, but I am not saying I think it's "better", but for the people who do come, because they're smaller audiences and it's much harder to make any kind of a living by this kind of touring around than it was four years ago. Absolutely.

 

And you take your financial life into your hands by touring now. But for all of that, there's absolutely nothing, no regret for me in undertaking one more time because for those people who do come, there's probably a thirst for the deep running thing that may not have been there in the free and easy days of 2019. So they deserve the best that we're capable of and they'll get it.

Tahnee:

I am completely convinced. I am. I will link to your events in Australia on our podcast, but we also do have people listening all around the world. So if you could jump on Stephen's website, it's orphanwisdom.com You'll see a list of all of his grief and mystery events. I do notice that the Bangalow one isn't on here, so I'm going to put that on our show notes and maybe people can just Google you and their area and see if you're coming. I know I have a few friends who are performers of live things, theatre and music. I know that there's a reluctance for people to be in public spaces still as well, which I understand given the last few years. But I think we've been so fortunate in our area and in Australia to have reasonably compared to some places in the world, gentle experience with COVID. So I think it's really important we support people that are coming all this way to teach us and to be with us and to share.

 

I know you're not teaching, sorry. I shouldn't say that. But yeah, just to share your experience. I think we didn't get a chance to talk much about elderhood, but I think you are incarnate in that as well. And the more we see, I think these kinds of events and expose ourselves to these ideas, the more we start to, I think, be able to build a stronger culture and hopefully reclaim some of... Maybe not what has been lost, but I don't know. I guess I'm just going to.... There's one little tangent I have here in my head. There's a book called American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and he talks about how America lost all of their gods and replaced them with television and medicine, and drugs.

 

I feel this longing in myself having Celtic roots and things to understand my history more. And you speak about ancestors in Die Wise, so people want to know about that. They can go have a read, but I think people like yourself remind me of my lineage in a way, and that's a really special thing. So I wanted to just... Yeah, I know it's a lot for you to travel and especially as you're getting older, but I'm really grateful and I want to say thank you.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Listen, I can tell you this. What I have comes from where you come from.

Tahnee:

That's what I recognise. You've got-

Stephen Jenkinson:

Not tropical. It's not tropical. It doesn't come from anywhere on the planet. It comes from a very specific part of the planet, from a very specific time and place. And I recognise that. I've been to places. Ireland would be a really good example where people look at me and say, "By God, I know exactly what this is. But I haven't seen it in a long time." That kind of stuff. So you're welcome. And this is yours anyway.

Tahnee:

Yeah. I can feel that.

Stephen Jenkinson:

This is yours anyway.

Tahnee:

I know the times we're in. To speak about anything of depth at the moment when there's so much crap flying around, it's huge. There's a lot of noise. Just know that you're being heard and we're all grateful.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Thank you. Thanks very much.

Tahnee:

And thank you for your time. I know it's late, so I'll wrap this up. But if people want to check out Stephen's work, I'll link to all of his books. I've also just recently purchased your book with Kimberly Johnson, so I'm going to have a listen to that, but I'll pop that there as well. I know that was a great project during COVID for you guys. I want to thank you again for your time. I'll be seeing you in about a month and a half. We'll hopefully have a good Byron contingent there to welcome you.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Indeed.

Tahnee:

Yeah. Enjoy the rest of your loud waterboat weekend. I hope there's a lot happening in your neck of the woods.

Stephen Jenkinson:

There it is. Thanks so much for the time.

Tahnee:

Thank you, Stephen.

Stephen Jenkinson:

Welcome. Bye-bye now.

Tahnee:

Bye-bye.

 


 

Back to All

Next

Rewilding The Beauty Industry with Montana Lower (EP#204)

Tahnee takes the mic in today's special episode as she welcomes Montana Lower, founder of holistic skincare company Bluem, on the show. Tahnee and Montana share a beautiful discourse around the raw nature of mothering, what it's like to be a...

Read more
SuperFeast Podcast Episode #204 Design Tile