To all those English literature majors, educators, and PhDs; purveyors of the Canadian Press Style Guide and other countries’ equivalents and all those self-appointed grammarians and tight-cheeked editors, lesbians or not, moment is simply a noun.
For those who go beyond literature and venture to work with the consensus groups to define the meaning of words, moment means any and all of the following:
- A brief, indefinite interval of time.
- A specific point in time, especially the present time: She is not here at the moment.
- A particular period of importance, influence, or significance in a series of events or developments: a great moment in her life history.
- Outstanding significance or value; importance: a discovery of great moment.
- A brief period of time that is characterized by a quality, such as excellence, suitability, or distinction: a lackluster performance that nevertheless had its moments.
- An essential or constituent element, as of a complex idea.
- A phase or an aspect of a logically developing process.
Now in the event that any of the aforementioned English educators, grammarians, or editors are lesbians and are reading this, moment moves away from grammar and physics into something else entirely different and visceral:
- the realization that you like girls and in liking, I mean a lot. That moment.
- there is a girl, (or if you came out later, woman) in front of you, and you want to kiss her. On the lips. That moment.
- you kiss a girl (or woman) on the lips and a passion rises from inside your navel. That moment.
- you figure out what to do with that passion and her navel. That moment.
- you realize in a flash that all of you is more with a woman, and you have those moments of a quality that are indescribably expansive, transformative, calm, and loving even as you wash the dishes together and disagree about which movie to watch. That moment.
- when you first use the word lesbian as part of how you describe the concept and process of you and yourself. That moment.
Any of those moments are not about moments or units of time because those moments are when time stands still or is perhaps suspended around you to create that space for the moment of before and after THAT moment. Those moments.
Those moments link; not as grammar or physics but as existence, as a person, as a woman, as a lesbian. A moment in which to accept and nurture or fight and disavow.
Accepting each moment is a threshold. Choosing to step across the threshold is a moment in the origami of you; those moments are the fingers of the hands that fold the lines in the paper that defines and shapes you — the person, the woman, the lesbian you are and will become.
May you have many meaningful moments.