The Hymen’s Tale
15 May 2021
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.
Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D. inspires intuitive-creative women healers to use their healing modalities, speaking voices, and written words to unfold and share the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine.
The Sacred Feminine embraces intuition, curiosity, connection, authenticity, humility, vulnerability, oneness, and the natural beauty of the body and the earth. Linda’s understanding of the Sacred Feminine is formed from a nonreligious spiritual understanding known worldwide as the 3 Principles. [for more information, see www.sydbanks.com.]
Linda offers sanctuaries, intimate small-group programs, to women healers who want to bring the 3 Principles into their work, and to women writers who are ready to share, get feedback, revise, and publish.
Through her Apprentice’s Way individual all-in-one mentorship program, Linda encourages her clients’ spiritual evolution, psychological health, effective writing, messaging, marketing, and content creation.
Linda holds a doctorate in counseling psychology, a master’s degree in counselor education and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Visit www.lindasandelpettit.com to learn more about her programs and array of masterclasses and courses.
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