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 [...]

07 Dec 2014, Posted by Nick.

Michel Faber interview


A STORY OF FAITH AND SEPARATION

The novelist Michel Faber talks about his new book, his Evangelical background, atheism, and the loss of his wife.

ARRIVING to interview Michel Faber, I feel awestruck and slightly puzzled.

06 Nov 2014, Posted by Nick.

My Adoption Journey


In National Adoption Week, NICK THORPE reflects on the most challenging and fulfilling experience of his life... MONTHS before we met our son for the first time, I knew in my gut that I wanted to be his dad. The description from the social worker chimed for both of us: “A lively, sociable three-year-old with a sunny personality and a streak of mischief, C loves to talk about his feelings and listen to story books…” My wife and I put in our application, made a DVD to introduce ourselves, Read more [...]

03 Mar 2014, Posted by Nick.

The Love of Stuff


The problem with our society is not that it values material things too much but that it doesn’t value them enough FROM AEON MAGAZINE On my desk stands a miniature of an Easter Island moai, carved for me by a Rapa Nui craftsman. It’s precious to me, hewn from the same stone his ancestors used for the world-famous monoliths, textured with the tiny air-bubbles of millennia-old lava, and carrying memories of the friends I made on my voyage there. On another level, however, it’s also an uneasy Read more [...]
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