LauraLynn Jansen


Hodge

Keeper of all secrets and guardian of all fears.

 

Hodge entered my life across a chasm of sterile white sheets rumpled from a restless night of pain, angst and confusion.

 

 

His slightly smiling face of soft fuzz arrived into my life just as I was given a potential death sentence at the age of 20.

 

Somehow when I hold him in my arms, even now, over all these decades he reminds me how I have risen from those rumpled sheets to create a pretty amazing life. Looking into his penetrating black plastic eyes reminds me of the capacity we all possess to move from the dark, mucky places. How we can look up from the depths that life can drag us to, to see the sun filtered through the underside of the lily leaves. We see the beautiful soft petals of the lotus, encouraging us to swim up no matter how deep we have been pulled down by life.

 

Hodge’s left ear was replaced after a romp with one of my pooches. I still feel a little guilty I wasn’t there to save the actual ear. Touching the artificial ear is a reminder of things taken from us, AND how we don’t have to remain stuck in the old story/habits created by the loss.

 

 

Yes… it may take some working through to let them go,

AND don’t stop working because something else is likely to come along in its place,..

like a beautiful ear made of a lotus leaf patterned fabric.

 

One foot has been re-stitched along the seam due to another unfortunate moment with another pooch of mine. He has little scars just like me from different little encounters with life. “Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after injury. A scar results from the biological process of wound repair in the skin.” (Wikipedia) Both Hodge and I know that scars are not just about physical wound repair. It took almost two decades for the ugliness of the scars across the tops of my feet to become healed in my mind. Though the flesh healed in weeks after they were cut open and dye was pushed through my body to detect any cancer in the lower portion of my body. A few thoughtless words by someone many years after tore them right back open in my mind. It was the like the first time I saw the wounds permanently manipulating my feet. Ugly. When I run my fingers along the red bias ribbon I used to pull Hodge’s foot seam together I give myself a healing stroke too. I run my fingers along the scars that transverse the tops of my feet. Somehow this action still makes my skin crawl while simultaneously softening the bits of pain I feel when I look at them.

 

Looking at Hodge, even more so touching his fake fur to my skin, reminds me how I have embraced life since we first met. On my latest road trip to a yoga conference, where I presented in the yogic realm for the first time nationally, he reminded me of this again. Each day I arose to his calming face reminding me of when I first came to the practice of yoga. Almost thirty years ago, my practice consisted of sitting in meditation. Sometimes it evolved to an hour, sometimes nauseous propelled me to the toilet multiple times, and sometimes I just fell asleep into a deep oblivion.

 

Even though I could barely stand balanced on both feet,

my brain often mushed up with drugs unable to channel energy in one direction.

I was uniting with a force beyond anything I had encountered in my young life.

Certainly nothing I could logically explain.

It was all yoga for me because it all deepened my connection to the Divine.

 

His nose, once a tan, soft, fuzzy button, is also changed up after being lost somewhere along our journeys. Earthy tones of yarn gently needled to form a nose looking like a flower. I’ve thought about giving him one of my old nose rings as well, but that is still up for debate.

 

Now Hodge sits on my bed all day holding space for when I return from my day out and about. His presence, always a deep reminder of the path the deepest self I continue to discover.

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