Um, what’s a ‘zona pellucida’? (And why would I name a website after this?)
I get these questions a lot.
then why on earth would I *consciously endow* a website with an obscure, Latin URL?
I’m happy you asked.
First: If you are an ‘average’ person with an ‘average’ attention span, and if you are enraged that you’ve already been reading this page for the past 15 seconds, then I’ll give you the short story: I named this website zona pellucida because I am a geek.
Next: Are you curious about the longer version of the story? That’s only natural. (I knew right away that you weren’t ‘average’, anyway.)
Please: read on.
It started long ago in a land far, far away…
I first encountered these two magical words — zona pellucida — while I was providing counseling services at a sexual health center in Alberta, Canada. At the time, I lived and breathed all things Reproductive Wellness, feeling an overwhelming, magnetic compulsion to absorb as much knowledge about women as I possibly could– about our bodies, our health, our relationships, our experiences– everything.
In my quest to know All The Things there were to know about being a woman, I even purchased (and subsequently lost myself in) a book about menopause entitled, It’s My Hormones, Stupid!. I was 22 at the time and was nowhere even close to menopausal. I just had to know.
Anyway. During a particularly memorable literary escapade, I found myself devouring a book by Natalie Angier. It was called Woman: An Intimate Geography, and quite early into this book (in a chapter all about Eggs), Angier introduced a little something called the zona pellucida. In her words:
“[The] thick, extracellular coat [of the egg] is the famed zona pellucida—the translucent zone—the closest thing a mammalian egg has to a shell. The zona pellucida is a thick matrix of sugar and protein that is as cunning as a magnetic field. It invites sperm to explore its contours, but then it repels what doesn’t suit it. It decides who is friend and who is alien…
The zona also thwarts the entry of more than one sperm of its own kind. Before fertilization, its sugars are open and genial and seeking similar sugars on the head of a sperm. Once the zona has attached to the head of a sperm, it imbibes the sperm, and then it stiffens, almost literally. Its sugars turn inward. The egg is sated; it wants no more DNA. Any sperm that remain at its threshold soon will die.”
Pp 13-14, Woman: An Intimate Geography. Natalie Angier, A Peter Davidson Book, Houghton Mifflin Company, NY: 1999.
Are you swooning yet?
When my bright eyes first drank in those words, I was mesmerized. Captivated. Falling in reverence at the altar of the pellucida. (Remember: I was 22. I was also a teensy bit nerdy. Ahem.) So I did what any fascinated, poetic, romantic-leaning young woman would do: I made a mental note to myself to name something, anything after the zona pellucida, at my very first opportunity. As luck would have it, blogging became A Thing within a few short years, and my URL was promptly (and lovingly) adorned with the two words I loved the most– zona pellucida. And here you are now.
“I still don’t get it.”
I see. You’re having a difficult time discerning a meaningful connection between women’s eggs and a website about intuition and energy healing. Makes sense. Well, to me,
The zona pellucida represents the space that I ‘read’ in a person with my clairvoyance. It’s the translucent, shimmering layer of pure soul energy.
The zona pellucida lies beneath the veneers of ‘identity’, ‘roles’, and ‘job description’ that we all wear in this world– the faces that we present to others and desperately want them to see.
The zona pellucida communicates the essence of who we really are on a deep, energetic level. It communicates this essence with me… and it’s also communicating this message with you— always. Without fail.
The zona pellucida also symbolizes the sheer magic of creation.
As women, yes: we can make babies, but on a figurative level as well, we have astonishing capacities to bring forth magic into this world. Whether it’s a book, a business, a piece of artwork, or the path of our very life purpose, we are uniquely equipped to create. (And I am uniquely equipped to support you on your path!)
We can combine the smallest and the simplest of ingredients together and make something remarkable. We can give birth to ourselves, over and over again, endlessly uncovering new gifts within our depths– endlessly discovering new ideas and inspiration and bringing them forth.
Once again, the zona pellucida (bless it) is heavily involved in this process. Creatively speaking, what are you inviting in to your field? What are you repelling? Think about this…
Most importantly, the zona pellucida is all about choice.
We get to decide for ourselves. This isn’t some active sperm/passive egg sort of narrative– no. The choice is always and eternally ours to make, and my mission is to continually shine a light on this– to remind you of your divine capacity to choose and to create your own best life. (Amen.)
So. To summarize– this website is called zona pellucida because:
1. I am a geek
2. I adore seeing past your formal facade and deep into the essence of who you really are
3. I am thrilled by our capacities to create!
4. I’m all about choice.
(Mostly, though, it’s because I’m a geek. Obviously.)
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