Because naming a thing might call it into existence, categorize it, situate it within a structure, a frame to contain and limit it. Naming confers meaning and therefore purpose, gives it a space and place, a label and a frame by which we can stand back, look at it and perhaps think about it. Naming provides a vocabulary that can be shared. We can talk about it. Maybe understand each other.
Because naming a thing calls it into existence to be acknowledged, it can then be owned and ignored, used and abused, loved, liked and hated, wanted, desired and rejected, worshiped, destroyed, used as art or food or a conversation piece, or in rarefied circles in privileged rooms in the world, as a tool for lesbian processing.
Her smile. Her kiss. Her touch. Her love. Her name. This thing we have. The thing that existed before it needed a name. Because naming a thing is what we do. Name, name, name, name it into a corner. Explain it and say it. Name it all, everything. Damn you, name that feeling, that sense, that energy; name you and me and us and what you want, and how you want and what this is and what it will be and what you will be and what we can be and what we will be. Tell me what this is now that it wasn’t before. Name the thing that makes it all real. Tell me the true story of the origins of life on Earth and name the route that got us from there to here, then to now; us.
n. fear that learning the name of something—a bird, a constellation, an attractive stranger—will somehow ruin it, transforming a lucky discovery into a conceptual husk pinned in a glass case, which leaves one less mystery to flutter around your head, trying to get in.”
From nothing comes something. Names come after. After the longing of unknown cause, the wish never whispered, the thought never shared, the feeling that explodes, the experience that sparkles and blinds, the inventions, the creations, the ache that flares, the thing, the something that was not there before and now is here, big as a house and wide as the sky; the feeling of her as she steps close…
Naming captures. Holds. Forever. Even if what is named changes, evolves, morphs into something else, fades, disappears, goes extinct or magically reappears. Like animals long thought vanished from the face of the earth.
A woman loves a woman. Some name it lesbian. Naming a thing calls it into existence, calls it to attention, heralds its arrival and achievements and failures and its place, its right to exist — and to be — in our very human world.