We picked some corn.
Actually, we picked marginally more corn than we expected, given all the potential for the adverse weather conditions to do their worst. We had hail and wind claims this year and, in face of this drought, are almighty thankful we are on the water mound resulting from the canal irrigation system established two generations ago.
Corn harvest is inherently emotional because it’s the capstone of my farmer’s year.
The standard corn-harvest farmer emotion is such a mix of things. There’s the feeling of denouement and accomplishment, the feeling of being verklempt, and exhilaration and disappointment. There’s aspiration and desire, and anticipation, and planning. And stress.
Jeremy is pretty chill, and you may never know all these things are on his mind. That is kind of old-school farmer style emotion. People on the outside are given to see laughing-happy, neutral, and angry. Not much between.
For me, you can see all my harvest emotions where they live, right there on my sleeve. My own association with harvest is not an autumnal sort of thing; it’s perpetual. So for me an additional emotional part of corn harvest is having not-my-dad pick our corn and also having my brother not be harvesting at all. This is the second year of it and, well, it would be fine if those particular emotions could shift a little further back on my sleeve so I couldn’t see them myself.
In quite a few scenarios, I can’t help but have the emotions on my sleeve. Harvest is one where the pieces that are a little sore to the touch are offset with enthusiasm. I show enthusiasm for math and science and reading and good design. When there’s a good book, you’ll know I think so. If I’m upset by the way parenting is going, or irritated by the way a leader is behaving, or conflicted over the dynamics of a group — you’ll know that. It’ll show.
On the other hand, sometimes I try really, really hard not to show that I have whatever feeling, and I come off as cold. I don’t like that.
Unsurprisingly, I have thoughts on this topic.
I recently took the 16 Personalities quiz for the second time in my life. (I previously took it on paper, so that tells you how long ago that was.) It appears I’m an INFP-T, a gobbledygook series of characters translated as Mediator, the description of which is shockingly accurate. Last time my result was ISTJ; this time the percent margins on the last three letters were minimal, and I could see either way depending on the day, so whatever works is fine. But, not shockingly at all, I’m 90 percent introverted.
One reason I work to hide emotion (even if I already know the hiding will fail) — what kind of introvert wants that kind of attention? No introvert, that’s what kind.
This includes things like I can’t show my kids how much it hurts that I ran over Jenna’s kitten, and the guilt because it maybe possibly almost could’ve been avoided, maybe. I hate that I ran over the kitten. But farm kittens cannot last forever — they just don’t, most of the time. If Mom is all broken, then there’s a ton of comforting that has to take place, and not only is that an introvert’s heck-no scenario, that also doesn’t set a great tone for the reality of the situation. So, no showing that emotion.
Ever heard of RBF? I bet you have, and if not, it has a Wikipedia entry, so feel free to Google. I have it, but I hate the term. I recently identified someone else who has it, I think for the same general reasons I do, but (not to my credit) it’s taken me 20 years to realize it. I think I would like her and I’m going to try harder to be friendish that direction. My personal opinion is that RBF is just an effort at self-protection for the introverted-est among us. There’s an emotion there, trust me. We’re just not sure how you’re going to take it.
Another reason I tend to hide emotion is that I don’t quite walk in a social lockstep with other humans. Lots of things I find humorous, others don’t. Lots of things others find humorous, I don’t.
My skepticism is vast and sometimes includes things people might hold dear, and often people themselves. I have a hard time reading body language, and most nonverbal cues are a mystery to me; this feeds my skepticism and tends to make me very cautious. There’s absolutely no need to show an emotion if it’s going to make someone angry or somehow be hurtful; and I count as someone, so if another person’s response will make me angry or hurt, then let’s just avoid that.
It is interesting to me that it’s a crapshoot as to whether I’ll show or hide — big emotions and small emotions seem to fall on either side alike. That could use some self control, probably. And, while emotion is normal on a human level, I feel like there should be some kind of faith aspect to handling some emotions, but I don’t think I ought to tackle that at the moment.
So, upshot, harvest is emotional, but at least I can sort of interpret the whys to it and how to handle that. It would be neat if I could do that with pretty much everything in life, but such is not the case.