Learning from Laughter and the Trees: He Comes with the Mountains

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Cedar at the Poor People’s Campaign action on June 18 in Detroit.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“You have rocks in your bag.”

Stunned, I said, “it’s possible. I have kids.” I searched frantically through my bag that I had carefully packed that morning in hopes of getting quickly through security at the 36th District Court before court. I tried to gloss over the contraband tics tacs and pencil I had hidden at the bottom- necessities for keeping a 2-year-old silent in the court room that day. I can’t find anything. They wait, “Check another pocket.” Sure enough, there in the front, I find them. I pull out hands filled with mountain stones, Detroit River rocks, and pine cones all covered in sand that pours through my fingers. I hand them over to the security guard who doesn’t flinch as I apologize and she heads for the trash can. Continue reading

Raising Boys

20180722_114619By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Published in Geez Magazine‘s most recent issue on Gender Flex.

“Mommy, baby is tired. I need to put baby in the pack and walk,” says Cedar, my two-year-old. I quickly design a make shift baby carrier tying his baby doll to his stomach. He walks back and forth across the house and then stops and sways. After five minutes, he heavy sighs and says disappointedly “baby is still awake.” He walks on mumbling to himself about how baby needs his milk and how the baby is too little to drink water out of a cup and baby just needs his milk. Continue reading

Gifts on the Shelf: An invitation to a children project

20180717_133052By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

While I waited for my kids to fall asleep, I looked through their bookshelf nurtured by the stories and creativity that rests beside them. There, untouched, were the biographies, the history, the celebrations of protest. These ones always seemed to be neglected when the choices were made with options of talking mice, farting dogs, or gigantic excavators.

I want these stories read and loved. I want them to become part of the fabric of their ancestral history….a movement ancestry. To learn these stories by heart. I want movement history learned as a way to help these boys navigate the scary world they are growing up in. I needed to figure out how to honor the stories and bring the out with gifted anticipation. I needed to create ritual and tradition around them. Continue reading

Why is Grandpa in Jail?

33116241_10214353738810852_6880318968586829824_oBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I wrote this as a children’s book for Isaac during the Poor People’s Campaign. He was very concerned about why Grandpa kept going to jail when we were also teaching about how we dont believe in jails and prisons. So, I wrote this to try to explain it to him. We printed it out and he and Cedar and Ira and their friend helped illustrate it as a birthday gift to my dad.

Why is Grandpa in jail?
We don’t like jails. We think they shouldn’t exist.

If people make bad choices, there are better ways to help them be better.
Talking.
Caring.
Paying attention to what they need.
Teaching.
Loving.

Locking people up for years of their life only….
Takes them away from their families.
Makes people feel lonely.
Takes them away from the sun and the trees.

It is a broken, sad system.

So, why is Grandpa in jail? Continue reading

Into this River: For your baptisms Ira and Cedar from your parents

baptismWritten by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
with  Erinn Fahey, Lucia & Daniel Wylie-Eggert

For the baptisms of Ira Cole and Cedar Martin
June 11, 2017

With the swallows in quick flight
The willows making music in the wind
The movement of the water at our feet
And a circle of people we love
We step into this river Continue reading

A Sermon, A Poem, A Prayer? To Speak as Water

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A dam in Pennsylvania. Photo by Erinn Fahey.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
Preached at Day House Detroit Catholic Worker, February 18, 2018

Genesis 9:8-15
1Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15

Who am I?
I am fierce and gentle.
I am life and death.
I am ancient and new.
I am solid and fluid and gas.
I am in you and around you.
I am above you and below you.
I am the snow and the rain,
The creek, the stream,
the river, and the sea. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: God’s Gonna Trouble the Waters

IMG_7545.JPGLent 1B
Genesis 9:8-15
Mark 1:9-15

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Water flows through our ancient Judeo-Christian texts. Righteousness pours down like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24), and Jesus offers relief to those who thirst (John 4:13–15). Before whales or eagles or humans did, God dwelt among the waters (Gen 1). The creation of heaven and earth commenced through a parting of the seas. Rains fell, destroying all creatures except those aboard an ark, awaiting a rainbow covenant that promised an end to the waters of judgment (Gen 9:11–17). The Israelites flee from their oppressors to freedom through the miracle of a parting sea that offered safe passage from empire into the wilderness (Exod 14). In the Gospels, Jesus was baptized into the wildness of the river Jordan (Mark 1:9f), became living water at the well (John 4), and shed tears over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). From the beginning, water has offered a call to discipleship. Continue reading