I’m still unpacking boxes. Or truth be told running away from unpacking boxes. Come Sunday I won’t be able to run away any longer. So I will roll up my sleeves. To the relief of everyone who likes clean spaces, including me of course.

Meanwhile I’ve seen things breaking. Like the ceramic fish I bought for the kids bed rooms, the puppet theatre, and lots of odds and ends like the bottom bits of chairs. Let’s just say that I’ve finished all the super glue in the house. At least now I know I can fix things. I used to give up when things broke and throw it away with a heavy heart. Now I know better. When I break a beautiful bowl or cup (okay it’s not me it’s the Princes, bless their hearts) I give it to my good, very talented friend who mosaics. She then uses it to make pieces which I swear are more beautiful than before. So out of two white, blue coffee mugs I have two lovely mosaic photo frames that she made for my birthday. I prefer the picture frames – the broken cups were worth it.

And this my friends is a bit of practical advice for all our things that break – reuse it – make it into something more beautiful than before. It’s a shame to throw out what you love.

And now for the really deep point. We are all broken as women, mothers, human beings. We go through experiences which break us. They can be big ones, like child birth, post natal depression, loneliness. Or small ones like being humiliated in a shopping line, a cutting word that shuts us down. As children we are broken by unknowing adults. All these experiences where we fall into the well of grief, depression and general ‘Oh my God’ ness, break us. So we’re all emotionally and spiritually walking around with invisible broken arms, legs and hearts.

Where is the hospital for such brokenness? I would say in a mosaic room. Where the brokenness is what is wanted, where it’s what is appreciated and seen as a thing of beauty. Our pieces are not thrown away in disgusted grief for the rubbish truck to pick up and dump into stench of human sorrow and suffering. They’re not paraded around as examples of how clumsy and broken we are.

No the brokenness is taken and turned into something beautiful and useful. What we want  our broken pieces to be. It’s a chance to retell our story, repaint our picture, remold our pieces of self into something more alive, dynamic and joyful than we ever could have imagined.

The only thing is and any mosaic guru will tell you, it takes TIME and effort and lots of patience. It can take years in a busy life to finish a mosaic table. There are no short cuts unless you pay a shop to do it for you which is great for real mosaic but not for piecing together your soul. I’ve found that it’s taken me years to reach this stage of realisation. That I don’t know so much, and I have so much to heal. It’s actually taken me nine years to see my broken pieces let alone fix them. And I had plenty of help along the way.

That’s the journey, it’s broken, a bit messy and your nails will break whilst doing it, but it’s so beautiful in the end. These days when my beautiful ceramics break in my house a part of me rejoices (not all of me mind you I’m not rave, starking mad yet) at the opportunity to remake all those broken pieces into something greater.