It’s 8:35 PM – not bad at all!! Week 15. I slept in until around 11am this morning, after having crashed on my couch last night. I had some crazy dreams, about a guy I had dated a couple years ago. I had been feeling overwhelmed from all the excitement about launching my blog, and I felt like now that all the excitement was over, what was next? So I thought about how I want to launch a Youtube channel, and put up my stand-up comedy clip from a couple years ago, as well as a video that Terrence made of me. It is the video that stunned everyone at my party on Saturday. I am so lucky that him and Gosia put this together, with so much love and hard work. It really is a work of genius!
I finally set off at around 2pm, and walked up University Avenue. I asked a couple people to take pictures of me but no one was particularly friendly. I stopped at 525 and talked to Anthony for a bit; he mentioned that he’d had a wonderful weekend celebrating his wife’s new job. I told him about the blog and how I was thinking that most people would probably find it boring since my days are so ordinary, and he said that he thought that most people move too fast in life and don’t slow down to appreciate what’s good.
I walked up Yonge street to Balzac’s, where I ran into Sarah Hussein!! She is the founder of Breath of Henna, who I’d met a few weeks back, and we had a very lively discussion about blogging and all of her ideas for future photo shoots. She wants me to do a bridal shoot, all decked out with hair extensions and lots of jewellery, and of course a dazzling lengha or something to that effect. This is honestly like a dream come true. I have always wanted to do something like this and I can’t believe that it’s finally happening!
Then I read from The Underground Girls of Kabul. I’m at the part where Jenny is meeting with prominent human rights activists, who are aware of the situation of bacha posh (girls who are posing as boys) but are refusing to take a stance on it.
As I leave, after what can only be described as a demonstrable lack of interest by one of the country’s most prominent activists, I wonder if the complexities of the bacha posh may simply be too controversial for a politically savvy Afghan to touch. That may explain why it has remained under the surface for so long, and is still denied even by the expatriates I have approached. As with sexuality here, gender determines everything. But one is never supposed to talk about it, or pretend it exists.
I walked home along University, and stopped to just breathe in the stillness of nature, watch the squirrels play and just absorb the calmness of it all. My head has been so noisy with all the excitement lately, that it was nice to just have a moment of stillness. I need more of that. A lot more of that. I’m glad that I’m going to continue to do my body scan meditation on Monday evenings, instead of spending more time on writing, because it is the only thing that keeps me sane and grounded in my body. As soon as I hear Jon Kabat-Zinn’s voice, I feel at home.
Walking along University, I came across the Ontario Human Rights Code (picture above), which was enacted in 1962. It was designed to uphold minority rights and to provide a legal mechanism for people subjected to discrimination. Since 1982, the grounds for discrimination have been updated twice – once in 1986 to include sexual orientation, and once in 2012 to include gender identity and gender expression.
On the way home, I stopped at Nathan Phillips Square and it was so lovely with the rain and the way the Toronto sign reflected on the water. Gorgeous!!