I was born the first child of my parents, in 1944, when my mother was 31. I was raised mostly in Columbus, Ohio. My neighborhood had a legal prohibition against residents who were not white-skinned. Across the street from my house was the Olentangy River. It flooded most springs so the river bottom was forested and was a place of great learning and solace for me.
My father was trained as a geologist, moved into college administration, and during my boyhood was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State University. My mother did graduate work in genetics at Smith College before marrying. They were avid birders and shared this love with their three children, along with a life-philosophy of scientific humanism.
I was a bright but unfocused student, attending public school until age 15, when I spent a year in Germany, living with friends of my parents. On return to the U.S. I attended a boys’ private day-school. I was an undergraduate and graduate student in psychology at the University of Michigan.
I became politicized into the hippie subculture during the Vietnam war. I performed two years of service as a Conscientious Objector, a service which coincided with a brief marriage.
In 1974 I left graduate school to become part of Movement for a New Society (MNS). This first involvement with MNS lasted only two years and was followed by years of soul-searching and efforts to find my place in the world. I left Ann Arbor for Madison to hang out with the new-age Lorians, a Findhorn offshoot, and returned to graduate school at UW-Madison.
From 1983 to 1986 I was helped with a bout of suicidal tendencies by a Jungian analyst in Chicago, and accepted (co-created) the diagnosis of being on a shamanic journey. From my point of view (at that time) I left the known world, accepting the non-rational calling of a Gaia Troubadour. This act and this new understanding of myself allowed me to make commitments previously beyond my reach: I became an actual Member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and settled down with my life-partner, Betsy Raasch-Gilman.
Moving to Saint Paul in 1988, I worked 14 Years at Hungry Mind Bookstore and became active in the life of Twin Cities Friends Meeting. It is here that I “came out” as a Gaia Troubadour, on the occasion of my 50th birthday, at a party held at the Meetinghouse.
I am now semi-retired and devoting as much time as I am able to my work as a