18 May 2020, Posted by Nick.

New Eyes in Lockdown

Stories and epiphanies are all around us, even in our familiar lockdown neighbourhoods – we just need new ways to see the “ordinary”

07 Feb 2020, Posted by Nick.

Travel Writing: Having New Eyes

Workshop 23rd May “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land,” wrote the Victorian novelist and essayist GK Chesterton. “It is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land.” What did he mean? When most of us are asked why we travel (leaving aside better weather or business/family necessity), we tend to talk of “broadening horizons”, getting new perspective and encountering difference and cultural diversity. But what stops us getting new perspective Read more [...]

28 Sep 2019, Posted by Nick.

Masculine Soul – resources

Thanks to all those who came to today's workshop on The Masculine Soul and contributed to such a rich conversation. As promised, here are links to many of the resources I mentioned during the afternoon. Enjoy! Nick's websites www.nickthorpe.co.uk - author, speaker, coach www.celebratingboys.com - inspiring workshops for those who help boys flourish - led by Nick Thorpe and Emma Dempsey   Male Rites of Passage & Circles Male Journey Rites: www.malejourney.org.uk/rites Male Read more [...]

14 May 2019, Posted by Nick.

Events: Mentoring Teenage Boys

Teenage boys need male mentors to flourish - but how do we equip men to be those all-important role models? Why not join me and other men and women as we host the first Edinburgh events by the highly-acclaimed Journeyman - an organisation with huge experience in mentoring and rites of passage for teenage boys. We're running both an open evening for the whole community introducing Journeyman UK's work on 31 May, a 2-day immersive training for men on 1-2 June. INNER MENTOR TRAINING (2 days, for Read more [...]

20 Mar 2019, Posted by Nick.

The Tenderness of Boys

Pre-school boys often show an intuitive and joyous lifeforce which they later learn to suppress. NICK THORPE looks at what happens on the road to manhood, and what we can do about it. “There’s great native tenderness in children - in boys as much as in girls,” says the Australian novelist Tim Winton. “But so often I see boys having the tenderness shamed out of them.” Winton’s counter-cultural description of boys as “beautiful creatures” – “graceful, dreamy, vulnerable” Read more [...]

18 Jan 2019, Posted by Nick.

Mary Oliver’s Gift to Men

In memoriam – Mary Oliver – 1935-2019 You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. I can still remember the wave of joy and relief I felt when I first read these lines by US poet Mary Oliver – the sense that it might be possible to call a truce in the inner war that so many of us have accepted as ordinary life. Judging by the outpouring of Read more [...]

15 Aug 2018, Posted by Nick.

Is relaxation over-rated?

HAS anyone ever told you to “chill out”? If you’re anything like me, this injunction creates the opposite effect – intense irritation, followed perhaps by shame that I haven’t yet mastered the art of inner peace. But recently I’ve noticed I’m getting more relaxed about tension. While low-level stress rightly gets a bad rap, I’d like to give alertness its due. A few weeks ago at the airport, for example, I was so determined to chill out about a 90-minute flight delay that I almost Read more [...]

01 Mar 2018, Posted by Nick.

Drawn to Dance

NICK THORPE tries a novel way to let go of perfection and embrace the messy moshing of collaborative art. Recently I learned to sketch with my feet. It was one of several unusual skills I acquired at Drawn to Dance - a bizarre and exhilarating two-day experiment in which twenty of us gathered in a converted barn to find out what happens when you mix dancing and drawing. What was most challenging at the outset was not so much learning to grip a charcoal stick between my toes using a rubber Read more [...]

13 Feb 2018, Posted by Nick.

The leather cathedral

I once met a man who had built a cathedral out of leather. He showed it to me reverently in his back room – a two-foot-tall, perfectly-stitched gothic replica, enshrined on a carpet of rabbit-fur, complete with spires and buttresses and delicate snakeskin windows lit from within by coloured lights. “I started it eight years ago to show that with leather you can do anything," explained Peter, a former hippy who earned his living selling belts and other more recognisable handicrafts in the Read more [...]

19 May 2017, Posted by Nick.

A life-changing friendship

First published in The Porch Magazine In memory of my dear friend and colleague, DAVID DRYSDALE, who inspires me daily to embrace who I am and live life as a gift. I FIRST met David Drysdale in the year of my 40th birthday, at a time when being a man still felt to me like a guilty admission. As father of a newly adopted son, I was determined to defy gender stereotypes and throw myself joyfully into shared parenting, but I found the exhausting front-line reality was triggering all kinds Read more [...]
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