I have worked and played with and in many different forms of on-purpose, intentional communities;

permaculture projects, urban and rural,

activist groups from anti-nuke to anti-climate collapse,

parents who birth at home and unschool,

civic change collectives,

groups of peers working to heal early childhood trauma,

mishmashes of genius misfits wanting to dance wildly, share their passions, and allow each other to express their emotions openly,

clusters of homeless addicts reaching for meaning and beauty to return to their lives….

My life is about creating and being a catalyst for transformational experiments in spaces with such people.

Over the years…

In a way it began because I sucked so much at plugging INTO capitalism.

As a kid I had made do with a small allowance and found fun things to do that didn’t cost money. I found I liked thrift shopping and sewing better than buying clothes at the mall, camping in the wild better than time at Disneyland, cooking food at home with friends better than going out to restaurants and making a hullabaloo with drums ‘round a fire better than going to concerts.

I messed up following the Modern Culture check-list once I graduated high school: dropped out…

a sketch I made after closing the cafe, of how I experienced the entities

There had been two weeks of challenge while I had navigated inwardly and outwardly, staying in a community where the offerings I had been invited to bring were accepted by some and resisted by others. I had next navigated externally from one unfamiliar country where I don’t know the language, into another. I had done all this alonsgide a person with whom I share a contextual agreement to be real, which often brings energetic, emotional, mental and physical lurches and swings.

Through all this I had stayed more clear and present than I had expected to be able.

Suddenly, I…

Dear People Who Signed Up on my Website,

My newsletter technology* has failed me! I have yet to figure out something new, so I am writing today using Medium as a hack, from one of the coolest rooms in a very hot community complex.

I am south of Lisbon, Portugal, at SerVivo, where I was invited to come and serve this community’s evolution. What a job to get to have!

In a way, my life has been a series of visits to budding community hubs.

During some visits, I was ‘at home,’ during others I’ve been a guest. Some ‘hubs’…

I have used many ‘outs;’ many stategies for escaping the present.

It’s possible that creating each ‘out,’ during my formative years, was a stroke of genius that made survival possible.

It’s also possible that continuing to use these ‘outs’ to avoid the present is now getting in the way of me living full out in the present.

In any case, I have chosen to develop my ability and capacity to be more present. A key to this, I have discovered, is to catch myself in states where I am feeling emotions: feelings from the past.

I am not saying anything…

The first thing I ever ‘wanted to be when I grew up’ was a mother. The second was an actor.

By the time I was 15, ‘actor’ had edged past ‘mother’ to the top of the list, and I arranged my teenage life so I could perform in seven plays in four years.

I experienced no greater aliveness as an actor than when we, at the end of the show, waited in that silent gap for the audience’s response. Had what I, what we had done here, had what I was, in this part, had it reached people? …

I met another edgeworker man recently who was jacked up about playing in the crypto currency gameworld.

Upon meeting him and hearing about how he thinks it is different from the fiat system, how it builds community, I became somewhat frozen, numb and mentally-oriented. I was torn between wanting to call bullshit, and not wanting to argue. I just don’t buy it.

It’s taken a few days to notice how my mind keeps going back to to this exchange, and to different parts of the story of my life during which I witnessed men in similar modes and had this…

Dear Indigenous Neighbours,

I wanted to say, “Brothers and Sisters” where I said, “Neighbours,” but I was scared to be presumptive.

I am also scared not to presume that we share the same mother, the Earth and the same father, the Sun, the Sky.

I won’t presume to know how it is for you, how you see your relations. I won’t take up more of your time and attention with how it is for me, except to add that I would like to know how it is for you.

How it is, and how it’s been.

I am writing to…

When I was a highschool student I didn’t know what I wanted to be “when I grew up.”

When I became, unexpectedly, yet joyfully, a mother, I wanted to be a different kind of mother from the mothers I knew, so that my children might grow up KNOWING and BEING fully alive as themselves, no matter that the rest of the world threw at them.

I remember when I first noticed, during my eldest son’s first year, that I was NOT being that mother, the mother that I was so determined, so committed to being. …

…after two flat tires didn’t even hurt the camel’s back

YOU saw it. From inside me and from outside of me.

YOU saw, during the days or weeks before I discovered it, how two of my van’s tires became flat.

YOU saw me as I prepared to go out on the morning of the discovery, donning special weather-appropriate clothes, packing my village-adventure-survial-kit, writing my lists.

YOU saw me suddenly discover my tires were flat, and YOU saw as it became clear to me that using my van for ANY adventure was, for the forseeable future, OUT.

YOU know how sad…

Nicole Hartley Bradford

Nicole is, among other things, a Top Keener on the “Help Gaia’s Risky Human Experiment Succeed” Team.

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