On the subject of Holly Boswell

Some of you may remember an earlier post entitled “Experience first, then theory…” in which I made it known that I am inspired by the writings of Holly Boswell, who lives in my quaint little mountain town. Since that post, I have met Holly, and interviewed her about the 16th annual Kindred Spirits Retreat in Hot Springs, NC. If you click here, you can read the article I wrote about the retreat.

I have found Holly to be quite the inspiration in person that she is through her writing. And I am feeling the need to clarify the “fear of celebrities” I mentioned in that earlier post. See, I don’t fear meeting Tom Cruise (actually, I kind of do, but for wholly different reasons) or Lindsay Lohan or people most consider celebrities. In fact, I don’t fear meeting folks most people consider celebrities. What I fear, is meeting people whom I hold in high regard but have not yet met. Holly Boswell fit that criteria quite nicely, actually. I’ve read almost everything she has ever written, and agree with 99.9% of what she argues. I can’t clarify where that other 0.1% might be, I don’t know if I could find it, but I’m leaving my options open at this point. I almost never agree 100% with anyone – as if numbers could ever quantify agreement.  But Holly Boswell is someone whose thoughts I respect. I might fear meeting someone like CA Conrad whose thoughts and art I respect… though I have found e-mail exchanges with him to be quite entertaining and warm. I might fear meeting someone like mattilda bernstein sycamore, whom I have not yet met in person (though we’ve exchanged comments on each other’s blogs in the past), because I hold these people in revered positions. These people, for their thoughts and courage deserve deference. It is not rich people I have nervousness and anxiety about meeting – I know to expect kicks in the teeth… life teaches us early not to expect mutual respect from the rich. But when I come to respect someone for their ideals – those things they write about believing – I expect them to live by them. And what I fear most is that I will be disappointed – that they will not live up to those ideals on a daily basis. It has happened in the past… [insert name of queer activist here].

What have I learned from Holly Boswell? Mostly, that living with respect for other people is the only way to live a truly fulfilling life. It’s not about treading lightly on our words or walking softly on people’s hearts – it’s about telling the truth no matter how much it might hurt. It’s about knowing that what you say, even when it is hurtful truth, is coming from a well-meaning heart – an honest heart, a good heart. Oh yeah, and that love is what will save us.


3 Responses to “On the subject of Holly Boswell”
  1. “It’s not about treading lightly on our words or walking softly on people’s hearts – it’s about telling the truth no matter how much it might hurt.”

    That is gorgeous!

    I’m guessing that I never live up to my ideals, but I try…

    As for love, I feel like it’s hurting me right now more than it’s saving me, but that’s because of the collapse of my closest friendship, oh no…

    Thanks for the delicious words!

    Love —

  2. Thank you, mattilda. The truth is, we all try, and we all screw up sometimes… the difference is that when we admit we’ve failed, we’re admitting humanity. When we say we’re working for one thing and live by another without admitting slip-ups, then we’re just being hypocritical… it’s the hypocrisy I have a problem with. Somehow, I don’t believe you’re a hypocrite. I have had experiences with others who can’t admit when they’ve slipped up, and can’t see where they might be contradictory – recognizing the paradox is important…

    ::hugs:: & Love


  3. Jessica Britton says:

    Very nice thoughts on Holly! She’s one of my best friends and you described her quite well. Thank you!

    Jessica Britton

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