You know those rides at May festivals -- whirly gigs or merry mixers or the scrambler? I am on one of those. In fact, I have been for quite some time now. I love those rides -- Mari and I used to stand in line for them over and over, beg to stay in our car to keep riding, but what makes merry-mixing repeatedly so exhilarating is the pause between trips, the brief moment when the body is reassembled, when gravity, sky, ground reassert themselves, before you hurdle into space again.
Riding one of these contraptions for days or months on end, however, is another story. It's hard to know what to do, really -- jump off mid-motion and slam into the wall, stay on and risk walking lopsidedly for the rest of my life bent by centripetal force, scream at the top of my lungs into the blaring music, throw my shoe at the controls in hopes of jamming them and risk killing us all (or it could just get funny, like when KV kicked his sandal off on that ride in NJ and hit that old woman -- maybe I'll try that, laughter usually does heal in some way or another...).
The truth is that young motherhood is hard. Hard in a way that's deep and gut wrenching and most of the time buried under survival and looking at the sunny side (which, to be fair, is bright). Yes, it is flexible and exploratory, oozily relational and often funny. But it is also utterly uprooting and messy because the need to give never lets up; the demands on my time and body and attention stretch out ahead of me in an unending line, like the yellow brick road but without Oz.
So here I am, hurling through space, around and around in this red metal car.