I am Your Witness – Write Now Columbus – May 2020
My old friend, impostor syndrome, has returned.
“Who do you think you are?” it chides as I try to pen this essay. It says I have nothing to offer since I have barely written all month.
Ed, my husband, continues his amazing recovery from open heart surgery, the complications of which left him unable to swallow. He left the hospital on March 26th on a feeding tube. Two weeks ago he had just begun to eat soft foods. Today, he is eating full meals and swallowing all his pills. A surgeon will remove the tube next week.
I’m darned proud of how hard he has worked to heal and just as proud of myself for how quickly I learned the home health aide duties his care required. You may have seen my #accidentalhomehealthaide tweets. They began in jest, but he and I have been in a home health care bubble since he got home. I had neither time nor energy to do anything more authorial than the occasional social media post.
But things are turning.
As mental health awareness month begins, I have a podcast recording scheduled, a mental health-related feature interview, a lovely chat with author Mag Dimond set on Facebook live during the month, and the new writing journal, You Should Be Writing, coauthored with Brenda Knight out in the world.
Still, my mind could care less.
“Who do you think you are?”
Across the room sits a statue of the Buddha in the “earth-witness” pose with his fingers touching the ground.
Legend has it, in the final hours before the Buddha’s enlightenment, Mara, the demon taunting and tempting him with all manner of things, made one final challenge: doubt.
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
The Buddha touched his fingers to the ground and said, “I am here.”
The Earth responded, “I am your witness.”
We writers are all Buddhas.
When doubt arises, we touch our fingers to the keyboard or put our pens to the page.
Let’s say it together:
“I AM HERE!”
I see you. I am your witness, and you are mine.
Doubt, be gone.