Author Name: Barbara Hosbach
Contribution to Image and Likeness: “Hard Choices”
Bio: Author, speaker, and retreat facilitator Barbara Hosbach has a passion for exploring what scripture means for us today. Hosbach, whose articles have appeared in national magazines, blogs about scripture at her website. Her latest book, Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament, takes a down to earth look at what happened when Jesus healed and the hope it offers us here and now. Her first book, Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes, invites readers to connect with a diverse assortment of biblical characters. Both books received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.Find Barbara on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.
About “Hard Choices”
How did you find yourself inspired to write this piece?
Much of American culture today takes sexual promiscuity as a matter of course. As a Baby Boomer, I well remember the “sexual revolution” of the 1960’s; “make love, not war” was the anthem of a generation. When asked to contribute a story to this anthology, today’s culture and the 1960’s began to come together in my mind.
What drew you to writing about Theology of the Body in this way?
Social climates may change, but human nature doesn’t. The choice is always whether to follow the dictates of self-will or to choose actions in the best interest of ourselves and others—no matter what we feel like doing. That choice transcends all generations.
What is it, do you think, about fiction and poetry that lend themselves to illustrating the tenets of the Theology of the Body?
There’s a parable about Naked Truth, who went from door to door in many towns and villages but was always shunned and rejected. One day, Story, wrapped in a beautiful cloak, found Truth alone in the woods. Story wrapped her beautiful cloak around him and wherever they went together, they were warmly welcomed.
People are afraid of the unvarnished truth. It can be threatening and uncomfortable. Nobody likes to feel judged. Everybody enjoys a good story. We may care about and identify with the characters, but there’s safety in observing their struggles from a distance. From that safe distance, we can afford to reflect on the issues raised more honestly.
Your story, “Hard Choices” is an intergenerational tale that effectively encapsulates the sexual revolution in past, present and future tenses. How do you see the choices of past generations coming to fruition—for good or ill—in our present culture?
I think the choices of past generations, like all generations, come to fruition for both good and ill. In the 1960’s, many bought into the false promise of easy happiness through instant gratification, ignoring or rebelling against the constraints of the previous generation. The price to be paid for the “if it feels good, do it” attitude took a while to show up. On the other hand, maybe it took a rebellious spirit to challenge the hypocrisy of the 1950’s prejudices and inequality. There’s both good and bad in all generations.
What’s another story or poem in this anthology that spoke to you? What in particular in that piece reached out to you?
“Movements” poignantly dramatizes the difference between theoretical decisions that seem to offer practical solutions and the painful execution of those decisions. Michelle Buckman offers readers abundant food for thought wrapped in an emotionally charged, skillfully-written story.