Dear readers, today we have a pre-exposé. Someone big in the blogging world, whom I’ve known for a while in our online playground, is revealing their true identity. And I stand here, like Lizzi, in support, forming an advance guard.
Who is Helena Hann-Basquiat?
Someone stands behind the entrancing persona of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante. I’ve known this from the very beginning, and so has everyone else, because Helena’s never said any different. This person has made me laugh often and weep much. And I’ve read the words – in blog posts, emails, and books (wow, H is prolific!) and always gone back for more. Sometimes wondering how much, if anything, is true, but all too often so caught up in the story that the only truth that matters is already in the words and the feelings they evoke. The mystery, for me, has only ever added an extra layer of intrigue to an already interesting picture.
Helena also writes as Jessica B Bell. A persona with a second pseudonym? It tickled me too. More layers. I think anyone who knows Helena & Jessica even a little would agree that they want, even need, to be heard. And their content demands attention and discussion. And so Helena has become connected personally with people, talking from their hearts to each other, in the comments to blog and Facebook posts, and also privately. Even though she’s not Helena, and never said she was, that’s who’s been presented before us and charmed our socks off.
I can see why Helena could be conflicted about these continuing connections and deepening friendships. And I was touched to be told in advance that the Big Reveal was coming. I felt a little like I did when I once guested Helena, when she released the amazing Postcards from California. When we talked about it all, like the proverbial genie, she offered me three questions that she would answer me true. It was a privilege. But I didn’t ask.
This time around, Helena’s asked me to articulate how I feel about it all. And what I have to say is this…
The reason I love Helena Hann-Basquiat, whoever s/he is, is that I’ve always been talking to a person with a heart and a soul and a voice, someone who has told stories and listened to mine, and been genuine in their intentions and interactions – whatever face they’ve presented me with. And I look forward to being entranced by many words to come from this unique voice, whoever’s name signs it off.
You didn’t ask your questions either? *grinning*
Well, whaddjinknow? 🙂
Haha no way! I did think of you when I wrote that…
Heheheh I got offered the questions and they burned a hole in my mind, and eventually I purposefully squandered them on things of absolute inconsequence, because I didn’t want her to feel any kind of obligation or beholden-ness, or as though I could wield those questions any time I liked…I ditched them and waited to be told, if that was the choice she made.
And look what has come of it 🙂 what a reveal! Lol having questions was just too much to cope with lol.
I couldn’t deal with them. It felt like something I could wield, if I wanted to, and…though I don’t deny being tempted, in a very Machiavellian way, I’m trying VERY HARD to learn not to be unkind and domineering.
I’d seen Helena comment on your blog posts before – and I’m going to be honest and say I thought it was her real name! 😡
This is a really neat story. Even though I use my real name online, I can understand why people would prefer to use a pseudonym – and how deciding to reveal your true identity to your online friends and audience can be intimidating. But with supportive friends like you, maybe it will make Helena’s “unmasking” a little less frightening. Especially when she reads that last paragraph. That was very touching, Sara. 🙂
Ah thank you, Sara. With #1000Speak everywhere, I’m just constantly reminded that the only Best response to anything is a compassionate one. I’m so fond of Helena, it makes it easy to put on her shoes, whoever they really belong to.
I just realized that the “smiley” face at the end of the first paragraph looks kind of P.O.’d. It was supposed to be a shocked / surprised face, not an angry face! *blushes*
Lol oh yeah! I didn’t even notice that lol – in my head you’re always smiling 🙂
A friend with a secret identity? No, not a friend, but then, online we are only names who display as much or as little of our past as makes us comfortable. I became active online in 2008 and except for allusions to my past there are no details.
It’s so true – it’s a choice who we present to the online world, and I believe exercising that choice, in a non-harmful way, is each person’s prerogative.
I don’t know that I got to thank you for this, Sara, but you have my gratitude.
You are more than welcome… Your reveal post was amazing and I hope the other side is a delightful place to dance so far!
Just loved this, Sara. I was Just introduced to her writing, so I was thoroughly tickled to read this.
Blessings to you,
Ah glad you enjoyed Dani 🙂 Helena’s writing is brilliant!