Leisure and Loiter to Thrive
Accessing leisure can be seen as being “unproductive”. Having to relax and take out time for oneself in any way is often reserved for men “working” “earning bread” and then taking time to relax, individually or in groups. It is often seen as a privilege, it probably is. Queer individuals or women accessing leisure to me is revolutionary, asserting and most significantly, serene. Leisure can add space, pleasure and breathers to our lives. It brings joy and hope through living, non-living things or just myself. I sat at night on the crowded marine drive, with people from all intersections surrounding me while I make my space with kairi (raw mango) and leisure, this helped me thrive, brought happiness, peace and confidence.
With leisure comes loitering which means ‘walk slowly and with no apparent purpose’, often seen as “wasting time” or even being named as ‘aawara’. However, to me, it is powerful to just be, without a ‘purpose’ but still have a purpose. To loiter is to explore, to loiter is to open and to loiter is to be. By loitering, marginalised communities are seen and heard while claiming public spaces, which are often occupied by cis heterosexual males. People tell me “Why waste time. Go home” to this, I resist and to help me have wholesome moments for myself I loiter! I seek leisure in any way that it calls me. Leisure to me looks like drinking tea, sitting outdoors, walking, painting, laughing, watching people, skipping stones, being with animals, plants and insects in all corners of the world and so much more. It is pleasure, leisure and loiter for me. This helps me resist restriction. Thus, making me thrive in all my spaces.
Leisure and loiter help us thrive, hold spaces for us to rejuvenate and most importantly, help us be seen in our most authentic selves. At ‘Pause for Perspective’, we steal leisure and loiter in our nooks and corners.
Therapist & Fellow