With the twenty-fifth anniversary of my Bike Around the Great Lakes Project, I am releasing a book about my travels that is available to those who would like to ponder some of the mysteries of these freshwater seas, perhaps explore the reaches yourselves but want to know more about what you are seeing, or for those lucky enough to have been in those places, like me, why they are capable of casting such a spell over people who visit them. At age seven, I had me own novel approach to the lakes. I must have had the same insight that Nielssen had with the teardrop in his teacup. my being joined with the waters, thast fond day in 1969, at age seven, all of me flowed out into the lakes, from Green Bay to the Atlantic, from Nipigon shores to Niagra, I felt one with the bodies of water that flow through this part of the world. At once, the great power and crashing waves, as well as the tranquil moods that grace this region informed my sense of who I was, although the boundary was not distinguishable, whatever “I” defined myself as had been changed for good. On that day, i had resolved to one day circuit The Lakes, Michigan, Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario, just to thank them for their healing and infinite giving that led my life to purpose. I humbly committed myself to using this intimacy with The Lakes to guide my words and deeds to heal the deep wound and scars that humans had perpetrated upon the earth, speak for her desperately poisoned and abused waters and to leave a legacy of informed individuals through whom to help share the message.
Life is everywhere, crying out with one voice. The call to infinite abundance has been led not through pour leaders, but up from the grass roots, through the people. It was outrage alone that brought people to the first Earthday. Now, we look upon times that are equally out of balance, though many of the assaults are mostly invisible or esoteric in the way they assault us. The EPA has established that fly ash alone causes as many deaths as adding 100,000 new smokers to our ranks each year. Prescription drugs are finding their way into Lake Michigan (and all of the others as well) Fallout continues to occur from toxic compounds that have not been in use for decades, and some are new, like rad wase from Japan. mercury from the brown cloud that belches out from China’s industrial zones carries mercury to our lakes and chemicals we use to “sterilize” our water create chlorinated organic compounds in the municipal water supplies of most towns around The Lakes. Virtually all of the problems we face here are common throughout the world, but my unique perspective comes from the specific injustices that I have found. I continue to study and keep notes about the changing assaults that humankind perpetrates upon the planet. It may seem complicated, but in nearly every case, how we think about the earth has the power to change everything.
An elder and visionary of the modern ecological age once explained that there are two schools of thought. One leads to Srvoglobe, a term he coined to allow for the possibility of technocratic approaches and inherent trust in science, technology and the like to run their eventual course. In this vision, like a giant Disneyland, concrete and steel would dominate the landscape. Shuttles would zip us to and fro, mechanized agriculture and health care would allow farmers to produce food without ever touching the soil. (good thing, because it could be caustic to seeds that are not genetically prepared for the ordeal.) even the air could be treated and prepared for our use rather than having to brave the toxic clouds that would eventually encircle the planet. The plastic raft in the Pacific would grow and be colonized.
My writing seeks to help paint a better picture of the other choice, what my friend called Gaia. I know that the term has become prejudicial, but just think for a moment if this were not the actual truth. Mother Earth is alive.