Monthly Archives: May 2013

Hera and her master

Hera curled up with Geoffrey, May 26, 2013.

Photographed and posted by Mika

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Keep passing the open windows. — John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

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“Keep passing the open windows” is the phrase that comes from the John Irving novel The Hotel New Hampshire, published in 1981. It is a catchphrase among the Berry family, the characters whose story is told in the novel. It is drawn from a story that the Berry parents tell their children, about a street performer called “The King of Mice.” He committed suicide in jumping from a window. “Keep passing the open windows” is the family’s way of saying to each other to carry on when the going gets tough. I read the novel in 1983 and saw the feature film version released in 1984. This catchphrase and the sentiment behind it has remained with me over the years and I have applied it in my own life in “passing the open windows.” However, I understand while it is easy to tell someone who is troubled, having a hard time coping with life, its joys and sorrows, to “keep passing the open windows”, promising them things will get better, sadly, not all stories have a happy ending. Continue reading

Geoffrey’s hunting diary: Trumpeter swan

Video of a trumpeter swan seen on a marsh pond near Spencerville, Ontario, May 20, 2013.

Video shot by Jason Quinn

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise. — Johann von Goethe (1749-1832)

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Recruitment is defined among other things as “the action of finding new people to join an organization or support a cause.” (Oxford Dictionaries) It is so common to come across the claim that you are recruited into being gay, that you choose to be gay having been lured into this “lifestyle.” Speaking on behalf of myself, I can say that I was not recruited into being gay. Same sex attraction manifests itself naturally in me. It is who I am. During my formative years in the latter half of the 1970s the only impression I got of homosexuality (aside from a steady stream of disparaging, anti-gay jokes, remarks and slurs commonly in use at the time), was from a series of news reports about police raids on bathhouses in Toronto,  culminating in Operation Soap in 1981. The impression of the “gay lifestyle” presented to me really came up short if it was intended to win me as a recruit.  I have written about my experience in how I came to accept that I am gay in previous posts, see Tap, Tap, Tap…, for example. It was a long and difficult process that dragged on over several years. I tried desperately to ignore, suppress, will, even pray away the feelings of same sex attraction. For a long time I really wanted the gayness to go away. Continue reading