How Do You Tell the Kids that Grandma Is in Jail for Resisting Nuclear Weapons?

H14_Ploughshare-activist-arrest-on-US-submarine-base3By Frida Berrigan. Re-posted from truth-out.org.

“Our grandma is in jail,” Madeline tells a woman wrestling a shopping cart at Target.

“She went over a war fence and tried to make peace,” Seamus adds helpfully. “They arrested her, and she is in jail now.”

“Where?” the woman asks, looking from them to me in disbelief and maybe pity.

“We don’t remember,” the kids say, suddenly done with their story and ready to make passionate pleas for the colorful items in the dollar section over the woman’s shoulder. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Dear Trump #2. The perfect gift.

27545226_1517543381692953_9067731188216851540_nBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

There has been a small, weekly vigil happening across from Isaac’s school for a year now. It started when a young girl told a social worker at school she was afraid of her friends and family being deported. When the social worker asked her if there was anyway that we could support her family, the little girl said she would feel better if ICE could see that people cared. So, this small vigil is one attempt at that- to publicly say to ICE that we stand with our neighbors and that we are paying attention. There is a commitment to keep standing in solidarity until there is a justice immigration policy in place and children can live without fear. Continue reading

How Do I Reassure My Children About the Future When the Future Is Terrifying? An activist’s lament.

imagesBy Frida Berrigan, Re-posted from TomDispatch.com and MotherJones.com.

As a mother and an activist, here’s what I’ve concluded as 2018 begins: It’s getting harder and harder to think about the future—at least in that soaring Whitney Houston fashion. You know the song: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way…” These days, doesn’t it sound quaint and of another age? Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Loved by the Generations

IMG_1945By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I was terrified for Isaac’s first day of school. Terrified he wouldn’t go. That we would see his tremendous stubbornness arise. Somehow, we made it. The thrill of the newness got him there. I woke up on Day 2 even more worried. The newness had passed. The daily reality would start setting in and the idea of staying home all day to play with me and Cedar would be hard to leave. Erinn had gotten an attachment to her bike so that they could ride the 3 miles to school each day. We hoped that the excitement of biking would help and that the exercise would help him with the long days of sitting and focus. But by Day 2, the excitement of the bike wasn’t enough. We started hearing “I won’t go.” I kept a smile on my face and a calm, upbeat attitude as my heart raced. I had been on the opposite side of his stubbornness and there had been times I had lost. It is a powerful force that only joy seems to be able to crack. We went downstairs with him kicking and screaming, stepped outside, and there…..was Grandpa. On his bike, helmet on, ready for a race. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Under the Apple Tree Again

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Grandpa, Cedar, and Isaac digging the hole for Scatters under the apple tree.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

The rain is pouring down with periodic rumbles of thunder. It is cold and the sun has set, but we can tell that there is a need in Isaac’s heart to make this trek. We put on hats and shoes and give into the rain as we walk down the street and into the backyard of my dad’s house.

It’s too dark to see the loosened soil, but we bend down low and Isaac says, “This is where we buried Scatters.” Cedar, who is almost two, bends down too and after a minute looks up at Erinn and says “Meow” and points to the dirt. Erinn says, “Is this where Scatters is? Did he die?” Cedar responds, “Meow die.” Continue reading

My spouse was one of the clergy standing before the white nationalists in Charlottesville

PASTORS+By Liza Neal

My spouse was one of the clergy standing in a line before the white nationalists in Charlottesville.  We both knew God is calling us to stand up to white supremacy.  We understood the risk.  Only one of us was going because we didn’t want our child to lose both parents.

That weekend I thought a lot about Peter’s wife.  She is barely mentioned.  In the synoptic gospels Peter’s mother-in-law has a fever, Jesus heals her, and she offers hospitality.  You can’t have a mother-in-law without a wife… Continue reading

Lying awake these nights

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By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I lie awake feeling the weight of the world on my chest. Death haunting our country again. Fifty lives and hundreds wounded. All from guns. I can’t twist my head around any rational for guns. I don’t understand the safety argument. I think of the man in the window and the media argument that he fits “no mold” for motive or terrorism. They can’t say it. That he fits exactly the mold of the violent rampage that rules this country. White men. There is a violent disease filled with numbing, racist hatred. It is a disease that knows no empathy, no kindness, no vulnerability, no self-knowledge, no community. It is a lonely, despicable rotting disease. I lie there with tears in my eyes and rage in my belly at the patriarchy and white supremacy that rules.

And then…I think of these two baby boys that sleep soundly feet away from my bed. I love them more than anything. I love their laughter and their tears and the people they are becoming. I think of this disease that is ready to pounce and swallow them whole. What can I do? How can I mother in a way where they refuse the outstretched hand offered to them as white men? My heart gives in and weeps.