Opinions: Politically Correct?: “It’s Alright Ma'”

On Friday afternoon I tried to ignore the horrible news that I had read on Twitter though the Huffington Post. I went through my sixth hour Creative Writing class in vain. All that I read was that 18 elementary age kids were pronounced dead.

By the time I heard Wolf Blitzer’s voice blasting through the house when I walked through the kitchen door, my heart was already heavy.

I trudged up to my bedroom and collapsed on my damask patterned duvet. The innocence of my pink hamster cage and the vanity of my makeup deeply contrasted the serious tone of the last half of they day.

Through all the intense emotions I was harboring, all that I could think was to play a Bob Dylan song I hadn’t listened to in months. I opened my laptop and searched Spotify for “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).”

I pressed play and let all the unidentified feelings I had been holding in since sixth hour out.

Why did this Bob Dylan protest song written in 1964 pop in my head? After the first stanza I knew why.

“Darkness at the break of noon

Shadows even the silver spoon

The handmade blade, the child’s balloon

Eclipses both the sun and moon

To understand you know too soon

There is no sense in trying”

The idea that Bob Dylan was trying to convey 48 years ago was that although profoundly disturbing things will happen and overshadow the good in the world. There is no sense in trying to understand why they happen.

Even though I too believe this philosophy the only thing I could think to say to my mom when she walked into my bedroom was “why?”

Why would anyone want to take someone else’s life? It is something I will never be able to comprehend. It is something most of the world’s population will never be able to comprehend.

The only thing my mom could respond with was “I don’t know,” and we both could only repeat, “It’s so sad. It’s so, so sad.”

My half-sister, who has two preschool boys, posted an angry facebook status damning the shooter to hell. And I saw multiple statuses from my liberal friends about how this should spark a change of the second amendment. And I saw the rebuttal.

The stages of grief were playing out on facebook.

I tried to identify with feelings of anger. But I couldn’t. I tried to blame the incident on our political system. But I couldn’t. All I could do was listen to the words of Dylan telling me “You’d just be one more person crying.”

I don’t want to be quick to blame when it comes to 26 lives lost. I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to force my political opinions into the situation. I don’t even want to think about it.

Later Friday night I was riding in the car with my boyfriend, and I told him that I couldn’t stop thinking about Sandy Hook elementary school. While looking out the passenger side window images of confused kids hiding in closets next to boxes of crayons and Kleenex while teachers tried to calm them, haunted me.

He had only one thing to tell me. It wasn’t my burden to carry. And he was right, I wish I could stop thinking about it.

I want to know why something so heartbreaking could happen so fast like glass shattering suddenly leaving only the desolate shards. But there is no sense in trying to understand.

Perhaps all that one can do is to try and move on while memorializing the 26 lives lost.

The only thing I could think to tell my mom when she came to say goodnight to me on Friday while she was still worried and upset were Bob Dylan’s words, “It’s alright ma’, it’s life, and life only.”