” ‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’ ”J.R.R. Tolkien
Although I made my living as a college professor, I have been an activist for my entire adult life. I am convinced that, in the end, it isn’t so much what you have said as what you have done that really counts.
During my career I founded the first National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter in Atlanta, co-chaired Georgia Citizens for Hospital Abortion, directed Feminists Against Academic Discrimination, and took on discrimination against women at the University of Wisconsin as a whistleblower. Then I threw my Full Professorship out the window to become a full-time activist in the Detroit Metropolitan area: I founded Supporters of Regional Transportation and developed workshops on how to be a white ally. Lately, I have devoted my political energy to environmental activism, principally through the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL).
You can see how convinced I am that the words I write must be borne out in actions I take. In recent years I have had the extraordinary good fortune to make the acquaintance of Impakter.com’s editor Claude Forthomme, who has welcomed me as a columnist and encouraged me to blend my love of words and my passion for practical solutions to our political and environmental problems.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
And, all of this time, I have been a nature lover, particularly of rivers, marshes, and the ocean.
I have been messing about in boats as long as I can remember. I spent hours rowing my dory into sea marshes full of greenish mud and hermit crabs and sea gulls and herons. I fished for flounder and eel with a drop line and trawled for mackerel with a shiner. I caught blowfish for my mother, who considered their lower regions a great delicacy, and captured horse shoe crabs for my Aunt, who ate their stomachs.
As a teenager, I sailed with my friends up the New England coast, learning what it feels like to capsize, what tearing a hole in the hull sounds like as you go over the rock, and how bleak and cold and utterly without hope you feel clinging to the mast in a northeast gale.
After I made Wisconsin my home I explored the Wisconsin and Kickapoo Rivers, Lake Wingra and Lake Mendota by canoe, foraging for mushrooms, wild garlic, spring beauties, nettles and curly dock. When I moved to Michigan and a cabin on a natural wild river, the Betsie, I got even closer to the action in my kayak. I learned how dragonflies mate (stuck together in a circle), when bats take to swimming, where salmon spawn, the sound of otters chuckling at night and mink mothers scolding their kits across a creek.
My Marshlanders share my joy in nature’s splendor as they struggle to protect their wetlands from merchant adventurers and land developers.
Telling their story is my small step on behalf of our lovely planet.
WorldCat Identities lists my 23 works in 106 publications, with 5,607 library holdings. I’ve recently completed a four-volume novel trilogy, Infinite Games, with the publication of The Battle for the Black Fen by Moon Willow Press