Living in the Land of "Is and Isn't"

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a place where we are powerless to change our circumstances, where we are powerless to fix a situation. Two recent experiences that both Rodney and I had are about this place, a place I've named the land of "is and isn't".

My wonderful massage therapist/friend, Jessica, came to work with me recently.  About midway through our work, Jessica had me sit up on the massage table while she did some energy work.  As I was sitting, I had a vision.  In my heart's eye, I saw and felt Rodney walking down my porch. As he approached my door, Jessica looked up at him, and Rodney put his finger to his lips in the "shh" motion.  I had the strongest urge to turn around to look at him; at the same time I knew if I did he wouldn't be there—yet. This was the most delightful déjà vu of a future experience I've ever had!  So, I didn't turn around and Rodney remained there, smiling, watching the entire rest of the massage.

When I visited Rodney the following week, I couldn't wait to tell him!  I didn't even write about it in a Jpay (that never happens); I wanted the first-telling to be in person.  After I told him, Rodney recounted a similar experience he had the previous week.

One evening he found himself looking around his cell at his photos, newspaper, magazines, and  his stack of Jpays. He found himself thinking, "I have some food, I could make me something to eat. I have some cappuccino, I could make some coffee." He made some "thug mud" and then he sat down on his bunk.  Sipping his cappuccino, again looking around at photos of his sons, grandkids, mom, Jewels and me, at his newspapers (he loves his newspaper) and magazines, he noticed this thought—“This isn't too bad."  The space between "is and isn't" only lasted a moment or two but it was profound.  Profound for both of us that we spent some time together in the land of "is and isn't".

So much of life is about being able to hold the tension between "is and isn't", knowing both are true, allowing both to be, not resisting one or the other. Rodney was here and he wasn't. "This isn't too bad" and it is.