Her death is important 

Maryam Mirzakhani died today.

She was a brilliant  mathematician.

I’ve been crying since I learned of her death.
Partly because she was the first woman awarded the Fields Medal. Partly because she loved Riemann. Mostly though- I don’t know.
Some people impinge on your ( by which I mean my) life in unexpected ways.
Mirzakhani meant a lot to me


My body. 

I read something dispiriting the other day.

A lesbian, who had been raped by a man (with a penis), asserted that penises disgusted her and feared that her disgust indicated transphobia. A trans person responded that yes, it did so indicate, and she should work on it (because she was bad for not desiring trans women, penises and all).

So yeah, disgust for a group, or even lack of desire for any members of that group might be bigotry. And yeah, work on the bigotry if it shows up in your professional life, or expand your friend groups maybe. But no, you aren’t required to sex people you don’t desire. You’re not required to change your desires either.

People who tell you to change your desires, especially if the change privileges them are coercing you. They are wrong.

My body is not up for other people’s political agenda.

Shame on you if you push for people to have sex with people they don’t want.


You often read “follow your gut”, “your instincts will guide you correctly”, “always listen to your gut”, and the like.

My gut is not a good guide. 

I’m not very intuitive. I work hard to understand what people do and why, but the intuitive flash doesn’t come to me. I have to think.

Most of the time my gut says “Sure! Go for it!” I can’t remember an instance where it was my gut and not my rationality that warned me off something. (Except heights. I’m scared of falling off things. So my instincts can scream “Don’t climb!” at the same time as my thoughts point out “Remember the roof party? Leave the ladder alone.”)

Those boys that my “gut” should tell me are bad? Never did. Now, sometimes I thought through whether I liked them, and decided not to bother. But my instincts were and are “Oh yes please” for just about anyone like Trig in Ten Indians.

There are good things about my (lack of) protective instincts. I take people at face value, and if they are trustworthy, they warm up to me. I don’t worry a lot about other people’s reactions (I am pretty sure that the reactions are out of my control). 

So let’s hear it for thoughtfulness as well as intuition.

Self centered

A friend posted about how frustrating it is when your partner decides to teach you, regardless of what the teacher is doing.

So I’ve been thinking.  What do I want to teach? How do I understand my partner’s needs?

The title is, of course, a spoiler.

On good days, my focus is on each moment of interaction. No, that’s not  right. On good days, I’m open. How you move is a delight.  I meet you and laugh (internally) as the thing I was turns into a joint presentation.

On days which are not so spontaneous nor so beautiful, my concerns consume me, and I (gently, I hope) complete technique in a way the teacher opened for me.

In other days, we are lost. I try to express how we can meet, and incorporate technique.

On bad days, I drop you on your head, and laugh.
I hate bad days.