It’s all right

Ten weeks ago I got a once in a lifetime invitation to eat my way around Southeast Asia in the company of the most extraordinary person. It’s amazing, really, how it all came about. See, I was on the plane coming home from Nashville, and you’ll never guess who was sitting in the seat next to me!
Okay, not so much. That would be a much better excuse for my absence than the truth. The truth is that my real life, the life I live outside of this cozy cyber nest where my biggest concern is whether or not the yeast will bloom in warm water, kicked my butt recently. For a variety of icky, personal reasons I spent the last few days, weeks, months, forevers (it seems) moderately depressed and basically useless. I couldn’t bring myself to post here pretending to be witty and sunny, pretending everything was fine. I also couldn’t bear to post the truth. Day after day of “Didn’t get out of bed today. Ate nine fun-size Kit-Kats. Ordered Chinese again,” hardly seemed worth it. At a certain point, the fact that I wasn’t posting began to feel like a failure in and of itself, one more reason not to get out of my pajamas.
Thankfully, the worst seems to be over. The gears seem to be turning again. I’m cooking, nothing worth noting, but it’s nice to feel like I’m finding my feet.
I thought about turning up here again, apologizing in passing for my time away, and continuing without further comment. When you live part of your life on the internet, there’s always the question of how much of yourself to reveal. It’s more fun to show the cocktails and nibbles part of me than the unwashed hair, red-rimmed eyes, and pizza delivery part. In the end, I decided to address it largely because I kept getting e-mails from people wondering where I was, if I was okay, and whether or not I’d been eaten by a bear or something. At the time, I didn’t really know what to say to those people (Hi Sean! Hi Payal! Hi Whitney!), but it made me think that something did need to be said.
Some years ago, Stephen gave me an acoustic cover of “Here Comes the Sun” by a folk singer named Richie Havens. The first time I heard his version, I realized it was actually a rather sad song. When George Harrison sings it, it sounds like everything bad is in the past. Richie Havens sings like all his troubles are very much in the present. He sings with a desperate hopefulness, like he believes, must believe, that he’s finally seeing a sign that everything will eventually be better. He says, “I feel that ice is slowly melting;” I think I know what he means.

Posted in Food, Tasty Ponderings
10 comments on “It’s all right
  1. Anita says:

    I’m so glad you’re back. I was just getting started reading your blog when you ‘disappeared’, so it’s a nice surprise to see you turn up today in the blogreader. :)

  2. payal says:

    Hi Martha,
    SO happy that you’re back :)

  3. Sean says:

    Hi Martha! Glad to hear the ice age is receding … we’ve all been there by and by. Cookiecrumb posted something similar about a month or so ago, and the response was amazing. I think you’re right about the need to be honest and strong. As opposed to failure, it is the greatest achievement.
    I leave New York today — made some abortive attempts to see Tejal, but our schedules clashed. Were it not such a hit-and-run trip for me, I am sure we would have crossed paths.
    Let’s get together — and NOT for delivery Chinese. :-)

  4. Whitney says:

    So happy and surprised to see something other than Tejal’s photos this morning! Good omens!
    (and break a leg or whatever it is you do today.)

  5. Julie says:

    I think people appreciate hearing what’s going on with others when it isn’t all sunshine and happiness. Most of us find that those parts of life that aren’t sunshine and happiness can kick our ass and have great feeling for others who are going through something similar. Plus, I think the fact that you choose to write about something like this gives more depth to your blog and makes it a more interesting thing to read.
    Hope you continue to feel better.

  6. Jessica says:

    It’s so good that you are back dear sweet cousin. I hope that all is well. I miss you and I love you

  7. Vanessa says:

    You know, even here in Ireland where the weather is grey pretty much all year round, every now and then the winter surprises you with those crisp blue-sky days when the sun shines through the turning leaves like they are stained glass, and the shadows are clear and defined, and things make sense.
    Life isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s all grey, but the blue-sky days are worth waiting for.
    I’m glad you’re back.

  8. martha says:

    I’ve missed y’all too!

  9. mary says:

    You are brave. I’m glad you shared the truth. I usually don’t fully realize the glum and sad times are happening to me until they pass. This year I went through a phase where I decided it was okay to not bathe every day. There were of course other (somewhat funny to me now) signs that I was down/depressed but it is difficult to take time and put it into writing in a way that makes sense to me. I don’t know if and when I will, but having you do it gives me hope that it happens to people and is not something to necessarily hide.

  10. martha's mom says:

    That’s my girl! I’m sooooooo
    glad your back on line – WRITING. Hang in there baby girl, cause we know that all things work for the good….

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