The Hymen’s Tale
As a young woman, I checked my wild creative nature and sexuality to preserve my cherry. Later, I discovered that the hymen was but a crescent flap of embryonic tissue; a remnant that men and religion imbued with high moral meaning.
I had two nicknames in high school: “Miss Advent” and “Sassy.” Translation: irreverent and rebellious.
Miss Advent stuck after I perched an Advent wreathe, complete with candles, on my head and danced to Christmas music. One of my peers, a photographer, snapped an iconic photo. It freeze-framed a girl’s hourglass body costumed in an asexual Catholic school uniform; her waist length red hair crowned by a Christian symbol of expectant waiting.
“Sassy” was the gift of the journalism teacher, a nun, who first noticed my writing. I called her, “Mom.” A nuclear power plant of a woman, she radiated kinetic strength and luxuriated in adolescent female rebellion.
“Mom” was a maternal hallelujah chorus, a pan del cielo, my bread of heaven, sky bread, holy bread.
After I left for college to major in journalism. “Mom” was assigned to a different high school.
I missed her like the night yearns for the moon.
During my first Christmas break, I drove to her new home, a drafty, echo chamber of a convent in central Detroit.
The convent smelled of oiled floors, aged wood, and old women. We sat on a floral sofa that sagged under the ghosts of countless guests.
Breathless, I filled her in on my collegiate classes, accomplishments, and jobs.
She interrupted. “I want to hear, Miss Advent, about your dates, your pleasures, and your fun.” I stared at her kind rounded face, framed in the dim light by a white wimple and black veil.
“Tell me how you open your senses and respect the poetry of your soul,” she said. The cuckoo clock on the wall stopped. “There’s nothing to tell,” I said. Her crone hand cupped my wrist.
I kept every letter “Mom” wrote me. One is on a piece of stationery that quotes George Eliot: “’Tis what I love determines how I love.”
George was a woman, Mary Ann Evans. Known for her realism and psychological insight, she shrouded her Victorian-era writing under a male pseudonym. To not make waves. To breathe. To publish.
Intuitive. Creative. Sensual. Fierce. So many women have secured wild poets in plain brown wrappers. We have cloistered erotic hearts. We have barricaded sensuality, sexuality, and passionate creativity behind the façades of pleasers.
My life. My life as a young woman was the tale of a cherry preserved in a too sweet syrup of constricted beliefs and false values. My life as an old woman will be no hymen’s tale.
Copyright 2021: Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D.
I write for the sheer joy of it. And I write for others, too. I’m all in when it comes to writing from the Truth of an authentic voice.
Website copy, ads, social media posts, blogs, program descriptions; if you can give me your best shot at what you want to say, I can polish it for you. If you do a few short exercises to help me identify the tone and tenor of your authentic voice, we can create magic. See my Copywriting page for a description of services.
I do other things, too. A priestess-at-heart and a helper-healer who devoted close to 40 years to counseling and psychology, I now offer psychospiritual and intuitive conversations based on an understanding known as the Three Principles. I love putting my intuitive nature, listening presence, spiritual understanding, and counseling experience in service to others. If you can get on the Zoom platform or call me by phone, we can work together!
Perhaps the project closest to my heart right now is helping women speak their Truth from their deepest, most authentic voices. Check out the I’m Speaking programs I do with You Are True North Coaching, Lydia Randolph.
She’s Speaking, an intensive small circle for women ready to put a distinct message out in the world is coming soon. In the meantime, check out my longer-term individual Apprentice’s Way packages.