Wayfarers All

In the Chapter 10 called “Wayfarers All” of the beautiful book “Wind In The Willows” by Kenneth Grahame, Ratty, the Water Rat, is suddenly overcome by a sense of urgency to leave all that is familiar, and follow the departing migrants for a warmer climate and adventure.

Last week, I experienced a profound sense of needing to do the same – to break with all the trappings of my life, and to embrace fully and completely the homosexuality which exists alive within me, but which is suppressed to the world.

These difficult times, resulting from discourse and unhappiness verging on bitterness at home pushed me to what felt like a point of no return; a tipping point, from which I sensed fully what it would mean to literally break free.

The call of the departing swifts in “Wayfarers All” beckoned Ratty to the South, until his alarmed friend Mole holds on to him and lures him back to his senses with a combination of rest, peace and a sheet of writing  paper and a quill.

I experienced my awakening from within, despite the urge to leave everything, by my capacity even in that place of temptation and desire, to consider the needs of my wife.

I contacted one of our closest friends, a person whom we both hold in high regard and I told her that I was gay.

It was not done for my sake, it was an act of giving for my wife, who had been increasingly isolated in the situation of our marriage, now openly acknowledged by her as a gay husband, but unable to discuss it and seek compassion and solace for her fears.

A toxic mix of frustration; anxiety; unhappiness and hopelessness seem now to have given way to understanding; tolerance and love.

My call from within for freedom, still hopes to find its expression in being recognised and loved in the familiar, but the call of the swifts above and the synapses in my brain remain alive to an otherness which has been placed, for now, on hold.

My next blog will be: Fastening My Shoelace

William Defoe

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