When I was in high school, algebra did not make sense to me.
Class started out great. I showed up with sharp pencils, crisp lined paper and a mind naive with confidence.
I listened, watched, and copied from the board. I dutifully used the given formulas, worked through exponents, checked work and still, STILL came up with the wrong answer more often than not.
In college, philosophy, psychology, literature, and any other shade of gray fueled my brain. I prospered in those lawless lands; infatuated with imprecision and subjectivity. Eclectic variants of written voice and human experience became a comfort zone. My world became defined by indefinables.
How can you ever get a wrong answer if there is no formula?
Now, after living almost 40 years as a lover of outliers, unpredictables, and randomness, I am no longer comfortable.
It is not OK that this world does not make sense, that when you follow the given formula, do the hard math, check your work and find that X still does not equal A.
Those parents sent their children off to school exactly like we did Friday morning. Those children were viciously attacked in their safe place while ours were not. Those teachers protected and shielded their students like the warriors we wish to be and still STILL so many suffered and fell at the hands of unpredictable terror.
I no longer appreciate the beauty of a world that is very much as horrifying as it is inspiring. And because I'm a mom, I can no longer care with one heart. My desire for order and fairness has separated into countless irrational hearts that splinter off to reach illogical and wrongful suffering.
There MUST be as many splintered hearts that help heal as there are wounds that writhe and suffer.
As of Friday, I am sure there are not. Some people must tragically and grievously suffocate with deeper pain than they should. For no damn good reason.
Sometimes, in our earthly world, X just does not #%& equal A.
And now, for me and the rest of America that keeps learning the devastating details of Friday's massacre, we will not be fine existing in any more shades of gray.