Nostalgia is a strange thing, isn’t it? Some of my most vivid memories of childhood are mixed generously with visceral fear, discomfort, and awkward precursors of sexuality that I didn’t understand at the time. One of the strongest ones, for me, are the memories of hot, hazy, sweaty days spent harvesting and putting up sweet corn for the winter with my sister, mother, and grandmother. If my father wasn’t working on any of the two- or three-day long cornfest, he’d help, as well. It was family bonding on a whole other level that crossed from fun to scary to grueling to anxiety-inducing, again and again, for days every August.
It is both one of the sweetest and fondest memories of growing up in the country, and a chill-inducing series of creepy-crawly recollections.
Anyway. I wrote about it. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this essay for ages, and I finally gave in and published it yesterday at Luna Luna:
“The ears needed to be twisted at the base, then ripped off once the stalk had begun to loosen its grip. I, with my sensitive disposition and twig-like, painful wrists, had trouble wresting them from the plants, equally burdened by weakness and guilt…At the time I could not have voiced why the shame of it struck me so forcefully, but those dark, dry curls spoke something dark and intimate to me.”
Read the rest of the essay! I think it’s pretty good, actually. And it’s very, very personal. I’d love feedback!