What Happens When The Broken Become Wild.

Sometimes, when people have had to become very wise very early in life, when they’ve had to grow up quickly, or make themselves into a partner or a parent when they were not quite finished being childish or gotten to spend much time alone, they might go a little off the rails later on.

When you make vows and promises and covenants and pacts in your youth, you often have to break them again sooner than you thought you might. It’s not a thing to feel ashamed of. It is what it is when you can’t stop a thing from falling apart, when you realize love really isn’t all you need. It simply is what it is.

But when it happens, the person who is breaking it, or who gets broken away from, might scatter for a little while, then do this other thing where they seem to run in five directions at once, all of them terrifying and dangerous and risky and apparently self-destructive.

When this happens, we might be tempted to rush in and save them from themselves. We see the wild abandon and the tightrope walking and we cry out, stop! It isn’t safe! You’re vulnerable right now! Come back, come back! Be small for a while! Let us protect you from yourself!

Grief is a peculiar animal. It has this way of making us long to force the unfinished parts of us into process. It drives us towards dangerous people and dangerous places, because we long to feel something other than numbness and loss. We want to feel like conquerors, instead of conquered. Grief makes us feel around for the young, vulnerable, untested aspects of our psyche and grasp them to us tightly, kissing them tenderly on the forehead, before we drag them out on the town to get tattoos and meet dangerous strangers wherever they can be found.

Breaking a promise you made in your youth is often a kind of death to hope. But it is also often the rebirth of the self that stopped exploring the wild, wide world when that premature promise was sealed.

If you do not finish your exploration of the wilds when you are young, the wilds wait until you are free again. Then, if you allow them, they come back to claim you.

You will heal all your grief with process, my friend. And the school of process is out here, in the wild.

Trust You. God Does.

Why don’t you listen to your own good heart?

Why don’t you wrap your arms around yourself and soothe your troubled soul?

Why don’t you give your power to yourself, and not to others?

Why don’t you acknowledge those feelings as visitors, as mirrors, as signs of life?

Why don’t you treasure your intuition? Why don’t you trust you?

God does.

Invisible.

I’ve picked up this peculiar habit lately here on the farm. I’ve become addicted to wandering around the old, abandoned houses and cottages, scouring the paddocks and the sheep ruts, my eyes fixed on the dirt and silvery stubble and grass, looking for – well – stuff.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I noticed a few pieces of broken pottery in the field next to our cottage. Blue and white china, the edge of a smashed plate. And glass; thousands of pieces of broken bottles, glasses and other household sundries. Blue, green, brown, clear, and some the tint of amethyst.

We’ve lived here almost a year, and I’ve never seen it before. But now, I see it everywhere.

Every little fragment speaks to me. They are like treasures. They hold the story of the whole they once were. A piece of plate, once part of a valuable dinner set stacked in a cupboard. Probably saved up for, in pennies and pounds. Carted out in a crate, out back of a horse. Brought out for guests and washed with care, lest it be chipped or broken. Now laying in a million pieces in the dirt. Forgotten.

Invisible.

I shard of broken glass, half an inch thick, the same minty colour of the sea. Once a bottle? Medicine? Wine? Champagne? Some tincture, ointment, perfume? A vessel discarded once the contents were emptied? Or did it spend months, years on a shelf, guarding whatever was once within, keeping it safe, suspended in time? How did the beautiful whole come to be smashed in the grass, it’s fragments frosted by weather and years? How was it shifted from the gaze of a proud owner to the grasp of the slow, reclaiming earth?

Invisible.

Wine glasses for joy, for celebrations. Dinner plates for family reunions and end-of-day meals by fireside. Medicine bottles for fervent prayers at a beside. Liquor vessels and beer bottles for raucousness, ignorance, addictions and violence, sorrow, loss, stoic perseverance, repentance, forgiveness. Scent and cosmetic for luxury. Milk bottles for sustenance. Coffee and teacups for conversation. Sit a while. Pass the cup. Share with me.

They think it’s funny, my family. Whatcha want with all that busted stuff? I brought my treasures home in bags and the apron of my shirt front, and washed them carefully in the kitchen sink. Scrubbed off the dirt and washed out the pond scum. I held each one up to the light and enjoyed it, gave it a story, blessed it, placed it with all the others.

I put them all in bowls and sat them where I can see them. Owned.

No longer invisible.
………..
Went out again yesterday and walked in the pre-twilight across the dirty common where the sheep scour the ground like a shallow plough on their way down to the creek. And there was more again. Bits of plates and bowls and bottles. Every little piece a postage stamp sized snapshot of an era in human taste and fashion. The leaf-shaped scallop of a plate edge. The crazed blue and white brushstrokes on a teacup fragment. The smooth, clear bevel of a bottle base. The story of us, and the story of the ones who lived here. Stories; love, loss, joy, growth, riches, poverty, prosperity, lack, life, death. Owned, they were once. Whole they were once. Like us.

Like me.

Treasures, they are. Treasures to me.

Once invisible. I see, I see.
……….
I lay last night in a half sleep, after two weeks of increasing low, grey skies and cold winds both out there on the farm, and in my head. We haven’t had a summer, and I feel trapped by seasons that refuse to turn, refuse to give. It’s too long we’ve been not knowing. And I’ve felt stuck here; not home, and not travelling, just biding our time in three month increments of wait-and-see. I love the farm, but this is not my home, and may never be. I am ready to move on. I feel like I’m slipping into obscurity here. Like the world is forgetting about me. I write my stories and think my thoughts, and wonder if a person exists of nobody is there to see them, hear them. If a tree falls, and all that. Day after day, out here miles away from anyone, surrounded by a hundred and fifty years of attempts people made not to be forgotten. And yet, here I am, and I know them only by the broken things they’ve left behind.

I shiver.

I closed my eyes and thought about how a thousand years ago all I wanted in this world was to be famous. Known. Seen. I taught myself to sing because people see you when you do that. But I don’t sing any more. I am too honest for that any more. I write instead, which is like drawing a different naked picture of yourself from different angles every day and posting it on a telegraph pole. And yet, even though I get out the paste and post my bill as a habit, I feel unseen, unknown.

I wanted for so long to be free. I did not want to be owned by others, to need to sell what I could do for money and approval. I wanted to be allowed to be broken. Because I was, and I couldn’t help it. And I wanted to tell my story, to anyone, everyone, and not care what they thought.

And I was broken, and was not owned, and told my story. I was free.

And something happened, so slow I didn’t see it. I found out what happens to things that get broken, to things that are disowned and unowned, to things that get themselves lost or misplaces, things that are allowed to fall back into the earth, that have nothing left to prove, that are unfashioned from their utility, allowed to chip, to break, to fall into the ground, to be honest, to be untied from their apportioned function. I felt in me the process of what a piece of earth endures when it stops being a thing of value to people because of it’s use, it’s beauty, it’s colour, it’s use, it’s imbued value, it’s transferable status.

They end up in a thousand pieces in a sheep paddock. Forgotten. Untied. Free.

Invisible.

Then God said something to me.

“Are you willing to be invisible?”

Me? No! Who would want to be invisible?

“Are you willing?”

Is that even a question? Seriously?

“What if this is what it takes for the ones who need you, who need what you are, to find you?

“For you to be hidden?

“For you to be secreted away?

“For you to be needing to be found?

“You go seeking treasures in the field. You want them because they are hidden, unseen, unknown, forgotten, rejected, abandoned, unwanted.

“But you want them.

“Those who need what you have are also seeking a treasure in a field.

“Think on this; they seek what they themselves are, not what they are not.

“Are you willing to allow yourself to be what it is they seek?

“Are you willing to be invisible?

“Are you willing?

“You need only let go. Like those broken pieces in the field, you must yield.

“Yield to the brokenness, to the breaking.

“Yield to the rejection, to being abandoned.

“Yield to being and becoming forgotten.

“Yield to being covered, subject to the seasons, trampled into the ground.

“Yield to rain, to feet, yield to weight, to dirt. Yield to becoming a part of where you fell.

“Yield to anonymity, invisibility.

“Yield to the discovery. Because they will find you.

“If you wish to be treasured, you must be willing to be lost, then discovered.

“Your work is to be the treasure.

“You are already worthy. Worthy is who and what you are.

“The losing is not for you. It’s not because of you, or anything you’ve done. The losing is because seekers need to seek.

“Seekers need the seeking.

“Let it all be broken, lost and forgotten.

“Let it be and become invisible.

“Let the treasure be buried out there in the field.

“Your your treasure be buried in the field.

“Seekers need to seek, and they need to find.”

……………..

I trust you may also find a comfort in the season you’re in at the moment. A rest, and a letting go. God bless.

Selah.

Jo xxxx
………………
– (c) Jo Hilder 2015

Invisible.

I’ve picked up this peculiar habit lately here on the farm. I’ve become addicted to wandering around the old, abandoned houses and cottages, scouring the paddocks and the sheep ruts, my eyes fixed on the dirt and silvery stubble and grass, looking for – well – stuff.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I noticed a few pieces of broken pottery in the field next to our cottage. Blue and white china, the edge of a smashed plate. And glass; thousands of pieces of broken bottles, glasses and other household sundries. Blue, green, brown, clear, and some the tint of amethyst.

We’ve lived here almost a year, and I’ve never seen it before. But now, I see it everywhere.

Every little fragment speaks to me. They are like treasures. They hold the story of the whole they once were. A piece of plate, once part of a valuable dinner set stacked in a cupboard. Probably saved up for, in pennies and pounds. Carted out in a crate, out back of a horse. Brought out for guests and washed with care, lest it be chipped or broken. Now laying in a million pieces in the dirt. Forgotten.

Invisible.

I shard of broken glass, half an inch thick, the same minty colour of the sea. Once a bottle? Medicine? Wine? Champagne? Some tincture, ointment, perfume? A vessel discarded once the contents were emptied? Or did it spend months, years on a shelf, guarding whatever was once within, keeping it safe, suspended in time? How did the beautiful whole come to be smashed in the grass, it’s fragments frosted by weather and years? How was it shifted from the gaze of a proud owner to the grasp of the slow, reclaiming earth?

Invisible.

Wine glasses for joy, for celebrations. Dinner plates for family reunions and end-of-day meals by fireside. Medicine bottles for fervent prayers at a beside. Liquor vessels and beer bottles for raucousness, ignorance, addictions and violence, sorrow, loss, stoic perseverance, repentance, forgiveness. Scent and cosmetic for luxury. Milk bottles for sustenance. Coffee and teacups for conversation. Sit a while. Pass the cup. Share with me.

They think it’s funny, my family. Whatcha want with all that busted stuff? I brought my treasures home in bags and the apron of my shirt front, and washed them carefully in the kitchen sink. Scrubbed off the dirt and washed out the pond scum. I held each one up to the light and enjoyed it, gave it a story, blessed it, placed it with all the others.

I put them all in bowls and sat them where I can see them. Owned.

No longer invisible.
………..
Went out again yesterday and walked in the pre-twilight across the dirty common where the sheep scour the ground like a shallow plough on their way down to the creek. And there was more again. Bits of plates and bowls and bottles. Every little piece a postage stamp sized snapshot of an era in human taste and fashion. The leaf-shaped scallop of a plate edge. The crazed blue and white brushstrokes on a teacup fragment. The smooth, clear bevel of a bottle base. The story of us, and the story of the ones who lived here. Stories; love, loss, joy, growth, riches, poverty, prosperity, lack, life, death. Owned, they were once. Whole they were once. Like us.

Like me.

Treasures, they are. Treasures to me.

Once invisible. I see, I see.
……….
I lay last night in a half sleep, after two weeks of increasing low, grey skies and cold winds both out there on the farm, and in my head. We haven’t had a summer, and I feel trapped by seasons that refuse to turn, refuse to give. It’s too long we’ve been not knowing. And I’ve felt stuck here; not home, and not travelling, just biding our time in three month increments of wait-and-see. I love the farm, but this is not my home, and may never be. I am ready to move on. I feel like I’m slipping into obscurity here. Like the world is forgetting about me. I write my stories and think my thoughts, and wonder if a person exists of nobody is there to see them, hear them. If a tree falls, and all that. Day after day, out here miles away from anyone, surrounded by a hundred and fifty years of attempts people made not to be forgotten. And yet, here I am, and I know them only by the broken things they’ve left behind.

I shiver.

I closed my eyes and thought about how a thousand years ago all I wanted in this world was to be famous. Known. Seen. I taught myself to sing because people see you when you do that. But I don’t sing any more. I am too honest for that any more. I write instead, which is like drawing a different naked picture of yourself from different angles every day and posting it on a telegraph pole. And yet, even though I get out the paste and post my bill as a habit, I feel unseen, unknown.

I wanted for so long to be free. I did not want to be owned by others, to need to sell what I could do for money and approval. I wanted to be allowed to be broken. Because I was, and I couldn’t help it. And I wanted to tell my story, to anyone, everyone, and not care what they thought.

And I was broken, and was not owned, and told my story. I was free.

And something happened, so slow I didn’t see it. I found out what happens to things that get broken, to things that are disowned and unowned, to things that get themselves lost or misplaces, things that are allowed to fall back into the earth, that have nothing left to prove, that are unfashioned from their utility, allowed to chip, to break, to fall into the ground, to be honest, to be untied from their apportioned function. I felt in me the process of what a piece of earth endures when it stops being a thing of value to people because of it’s use, it’s beauty, it’s colour, it’s use, it’s imbued value, it’s transferable status.

They end up in a thousand pieces in a sheep paddock. Forgotten. Untied. Free.

Invisible.

Then God said something to me.

“Are you willing to be invisible?”

Me? No! Who would want to be invisible?

“Are you willing?”

Is that even a question? Seriously?

“What if this is what it takes for the ones who need you, who need what you are, to find you?

“For you to be hidden?

“For you to be secreted away?

“For you to be needing to be found?

“You go seeking treasures in the field. You want them because they are hidden, unseen, unknown, forgotten, rejected, abandoned, unwanted.

“But you want them.

“Those who need what you have are also seeking a treasure in a field.

“Think on this; they seek what they themselves are, not what they are not.

“Are you willing to allow yourself to be what it is they seek?

“Are you willing to be invisible?

“Are you willing?

“You need only let go. Like those broken pieces in the field, you must yield.

“Yield to the brokenness, to the breaking.

“Yield to the rejection, to being abandoned.

“Yield to being and becoming forgotten.

“Yield to being covered, subject to the seasons, trampled into the ground.

“Yield to rain, to feet, yield to weight, to dirt. Yield to becoming a part of where you fell.

“Yield to anonymity, invisibility.

“Yield to the discovery. Because they will find you.

“If you wish to be treasured, you must be willing to be lost, then discovered.

“Your work is to be the treasure.

“You are already worthy. Worthy is who and what you are.

“The losing is not for you. It’s not because of you, or anything you’ve done. The losing is because seekers need to seek.

“Seekers need the seeking.

“Let it all be broken, lost and forgotten.

“Let it be and become invisible.

“Let the treasure be buried out there in the field.

“Your your treasure be buried in the field.

“Seekers need to seek, and they need to find.”

……………..

I trust you may also find a comfort in the season you’re in at the moment. A rest, and a letting go. God bless.

Selah.

Jo xxxx
………………
– (c) Jo Hilder 2015

Seeking The Place, whilst The Place seeks us, Part 2

Last night, as I rested my head on Ben’s shoulder, I said, “I am there again.”

“Where again?” he replied.

“You remember about ten years ago, when we were being really pushed in on all sides, and we didn’t know how to move forward, and it was such a huge faith thing, and I said to you I felt like Samwise Gamgee, when he and Frodo first leave The Shire, and when Sam reaches the boundary marking the furthest he’s ever been before, and he stops and says, ‘if I take one more step, I’ll be further than I’ve ever been before out into the world’, or something like that? Remember that? This is that, again. I feel like that, right now.”

We set off a year ago, we thought to go volunteer at a drug and alcohol rehab. We sold or gave away most of our possessions, put the rest in storage. Pulled our son out of school. Ben took a voluntary redundancy from his job. We sold his motorbike and a car. We knew once we got to the rehab, we’d have to trust God and live by faith to survive – no salary. Well, we never got to the rehab. We decided to pull our application just weeks before we were due to move in. We knew it was the right thing to do, but there was no plan B.

So for twelve month, we have been winging it.

We’ve had incredible things happen. Time spent with friends and family. Six months spent caretaking a beautiful 1850’s built mansion and sheep station in Victoria, living in a gorgeous, historic stone cottage with a white picket fence. Travelling thousands of kilometres and seeing things we’d wanted to see for years. Wonderful experiences. But while this has been fun and exciting, this is what most people do for their holidays. Or what they do for a break away from their real life. When this is your real life, when there is nothing to go back to when you run out of money or the fun wears off, it can kind of take the gloss off it a bit.

I romanticised about becoming a gypsy. But this life is far from romantic. Apart from the stresses about money (we still have bills and financial commitments despite having no regular income), the biggest struggle for me has feeling like I don’t belong somewhere. I have this deep longing to be home. To be in my place, the place that’s mine. I don’t even want to go there. I’m over going. I just want to be.

We know we could at any time pull the pin and rent a house, get jobs and put our kid back in school. But you see, we are headed home. There is a place where we belong. And we know we will know it when we see it. We have this dream. We believe there’s a place where we belong, and it isn’t just for us. It’s a place where others can come and stay, a place of refuge and healing and grace. We are listening for that place, for it’s call. It already exists, and it wants us to come home to it, to restore it, to breathe life into it, and to bring all the pilgrims in who are also looking for a place to lose their shit, and get their shit all put back together again.

It’s a big dream, and we don’t know how long the place will have to seek to find us. So we just keep putting ourselves out there, waiting, hoping it will somehow grasp us by the hand, and pull us home into itself. I’m so, so looking forward to that. I feel it searching for us. I imagine myself resting in it, taking care of it, sleeping in the open upon it, unafraid, content and safe. feeding us all from its generous, fertile self. Building it up, girding it around with angels and goodwill and friendship. Holding it lightly, holding it close, as one holds a gift, a treasure, a beam of sunlight.

“If I take one more step, I’ll be further than I’ve ever been from home.”

I don’t know of any other way to get closer to my true home than to keep leaving the familiar, to keep placing distance between me and what I’ve always known, step by step, until at some time, in some place, home and I meet one another on the road.

Home, I am coming to you.

Have a great day,
JO xx

Seeking The Place, whilst The Place seeks us, Part 2

Last night, as I rested my head on Ben’s shoulder, I said, “I am there again.”

“Where again?” he replied.

“You remember about ten years ago, when we were being really pushed in on all sides, and we didn’t know how to move forward, and it was such a huge faith thing, and I said to you I felt like Samwise Gamgee, when he and Frodo first leave The Shire, and when Sam reaches the boundary marking the furthest he’s ever been before, and he stops and says, ‘if I take one more step, I’ll be further than I’ve ever been before out into the world’, or something like that? Remember that? This is that, again. I feel like that, right now.”

We set off a year ago, we thought to go volunteer at a drug and alcohol rehab. We sold or gave away most of our possessions, put the rest in storage. Pulled our son out of school. Ben took a voluntary redundancy from his job. We sold his motorbike and a car. We knew once we got to the rehab, we’d have to trust God and live by faith to survive – no salary. Well, we never got to the rehab. We decided to pull our application just weeks before we were due to move in. We knew it was the right thing to do, but there was no plan B.

So for twelve month, we have been winging it.

We’ve had incredible things happen. Time spent with friends and family. Six months spent caretaking a beautiful 1850’s built mansion and sheep station in Victoria, living in a gorgeous, historic stone cottage with a white picket fence. Travelling thousands of kilometres and seeing things we’d wanted to see for years. Wonderful experiences. But while this has been fun and exciting, this is what most people do for their holidays. Or what they do for a break away from their real life. When this is your real life, when there is nothing to go back to when you run out of money or the fun wears off, it can kind of take the gloss off it a bit.

I romanticised about becoming a gypsy. But this life is far from romantic. Apart from the stresses about money (we still have bills and financial commitments despite having no regular income), the biggest struggle for me has feeling like I don’t belong somewhere. I have this deep longing to be home. To be in my place, the place that’s mine. I don’t even want to go there. I’m over going. I just want to be.

We know we could at any time pull the pin and rent a house, get jobs and put our kid back in school. But you see, we are headed home. There is a place where we belong. And we know we will know it when we see it. We have this dream. We believe there’s a place where we belong, and it isn’t just for us. It’s a place where others can come and stay, a place of refuge and healing and grace. We are listening for that place, for it’s call. It already exists, and it wants us to come home to it, to restore it, to breathe life into it, and to bring all the pilgrims in who are also looking for a place to lose their shit, and get their shit all put back together again.

It’s a big dream, and we don’t know how long the place will have to seek to find us. So we just keep putting ourselves out there, waiting, hoping it will somehow grasp us by the hand, and pull us home into itself. I’m so, so looking forward to that. I feel it searching for us. I imagine myself resting in it, taking care of it, sleeping in the open upon it, unafraid, content and safe. feeding us all from its generous, fertile self. Building it up, girding it around with angels and goodwill and friendship. Holding it lightly, holding it close, as one holds a gift, a treasure, a beam of sunlight.

“If I take one more step, I’ll be further than I’ve ever been from home.”

I don’t know of any other way to get closer to my true home than to keep leaving the familiar, to keep placing distance between me and what I’ve always known, step by step, until at some time, in some place, home and I meet one another on the road.

Home, I am coming to you.

Have a great day,
JO xx