I wasn't sure what went wrong. In fact, I still don't. I stood in the parking lot of the jail with the Yoga instructor wondering why we couldn't play for the women. I wrestled with feelings of disbelief as I combed through the email correspondence confirming that we would hold the yoga/violin class. I held my phone in my hands. Yes, here it is. We're to give the class on April 12th...but the email didn't matter.
A few minutes prior, I forced a deep breath as the women working the front desk said she couldn't find the paperwork about the yoga/violin class. "I recognize you from before and know what you're here for, but I don't have the authority to let you in the unit without the paperwork..." "Does control have the class list or anything indicating that we're holding the class tonight?" I replied in haste. As she dialed the control station's number, I silently prayed they would have what we needed. "You don't have it? Okay, thank you. Sorry, I can't let you in."
I moved aside and tried to think of something but I couldn't. All I could do was simply tell the yoga instructor that nothing could be done. We did everything on our part to schedule in advance and arrive on time. We even had confirmation from the facility's coordinator.
I walked outside feeling defeated. I kept thinking about the time an inmate told me she hadn't felt peace since being admitted to the jail and that she would be able to sleep well. Another inmate wondered when we would be back. Another hoped we'd come again soon. I could hear their laughter in my head as if it had just happened.
I told the instructor, my friend, that I wanted our class to have a ripple effect. To make a big impact. She asked if I had watched the 60 minutes special about the difference yoga made in jails. She said what we do is unheard of and magical with the music.
She's right. What we do in jail is special. Although we face much administration pushback, people continue to say they love what we do. I told her that I want this to grow. I want to do anonymous interviews and create a story. I want more people to know and be inspired. With a smile, she said, "Well alright kid. You let me know how I can help."