Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
writer editor born-again horse girl

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No Expectations

April 20, 2009

The song's by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, but it's Joan Baez singing in my head:

Take me to the station
Put me on a train
I've got no expectations
To pass through here again

No expectations at the house where Travvy led me. The expectations must have drained away.

Our love was like the water
That splashes on a stone
Our love was like our music
It's here, and then it's gone

OK, so I'm making up stories here: the woman left, the house dwindles, the furniture goes away and the laundry piles up, the freezer fills with trash, and finally a horse leaves a pile of manure on the doorstep. I'm also thinking about lesbians. The call for the next issue of Trivia, what Nicole Brossard wrote:

“Une lesbienne qui ne reinvente pas le monde est une lesbienne en voie de disparition.” (A lesbian who does not reinvent the world is a lesbian going extinct.)

I'm thinking about lesbians in diaspora: do we have a home planet any more, and if we do, where is it? Whileaway, Whileaway, do you read? Can we reinvent the world in isolation? (My fingers typed "we" there, not "I.") I think about Zanja, in Laurie Marks's Elemental Logic series. Her homeland and people are gone. She's out in the world -- not alone, but without a home planet. Who is she? Who am I, where are we?

Can we assimilate and live? If we assimilate, who are we? Can we still invent or re-invent? (Monique Wittig's much quoted line: "Make an effort to remember -- or, failing that, invent.") We're visible in a way we weren't before -- but are we visible in the way we are, or were?

Expectations. I'm on to something here. It's one of my keys. Excessive, rigid, and unrealistic expectations kill spirits, but no expectations ain't so good either. My parents, their siblings, their parents; all the wandering trustafarians of Martha's Vineyard. The morass I'm afraid is going to suck me down, the reason I'm glad I've always had to work for my living. No expectations slides into depression and begins to look a lot like the house where Travvy led me.


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