Welcome, dear friends, to the first day of Star Wars Week!
It took a great deal of deliberation to decide what to post first this week. But in the end, Obitine got relegated to second place. *cue chorus of awwww’s* HEY! Buck up you sad sacks, there’s still fun to be had! (I don’t really “ship” Obi-Wan and Satine much anyway. Then again, I scarcely ship anyone at all… :-P)
Without further ado, the first story of Star Wars Week on the Upstairs Archives! Enjoy!
You Can Not Catch Nor Hold the Wind
My name—my real name—means wind-bound wanderer. At least, that’s what tradition says. My real name is Ae’enn Narshala, but everyone calls me Obi-Wan because it’s simpler. In my tongue, my other name would be sacred silence, but “Obi-Wan” is not Shendi.
Even before I was sent to the Jedi Temple, I lived in a blending of two cultures—the ancient Deshann, first colonists of my homeworld, and the Shendi newcomers. I was born to a Shendi family, but we were great friends with the Deshann as well. On Steujan, there has never been much animosity between two cultures.
The Shendi are a proud people, and most of them are warriors, like the Mando’a. Some historians and archaeologists debate if we come from the same or very similar roots. My family came of one of the three clans that left the great nomadic tribes long before human memory in search of peace, but they were still not to be trifled with. Many an invasion has been turned back from Steujan by the prowess of the three Shendi clans; they led the Deshann against the foes who sought to take their land.
When I was taken by the Jedi to the Temple to become a Jedi, I still lived in two cultures, only these two did not so easily mix. There was some animosity against me. Racial prejudice runs deep, and once the Shendi had fought against the Jedi. Even among the other Shendi at the Temple—except for my cousin, Basil Kastrilley—I was shunned. They thought me a coward. Some of my teachers took it on themselves to beat the aggression out of me, so to speak. I had to fight stereotypes every step of my path as a Jedi, but there were others who were more discriminated against than I. And at the same time, deep down inside I could not forget the ancient whispers of my heritage. I heard a banshee once, or so I think; it wailed for the men who were going to be lost in the Stark Hyperspace War. Perhaps it was a dream. It frightened me. My master held me close until I fell back asleep.
By the time I was twelve, it wasn’t so much racial prejudice that I feared and fought every day. It was my own fears and my too-quick temper. They said it went with my ginger hair and Siri Tachi even called me “carrots” once, trying to annoy me in a bizarre gender-exchanged version of Anne of Green Gables.
Ironically, I did not break a slate over her head. But maybe that was because I had a deeply-ingrained chivalry that forbade me from fighting girls.
Unlikeliest candidate that I was, I became an apprentice after all. My Master was the kindest and best man I have ever had the honor of knowing, and he came closer than anyone (except for maybe Siri) else to knowing me. Still, though, there were depths within my soul that he could not quite reach, and though I told him all my secrets, my time with him was still too short for him to really grasp me as I was with all the twists and knots in my strangely contradictory personality.
Bruck Chun had joked once, mockingly, that I had multiple personality disorder.
After Qui-Gon’s death, I started to think he was right.
I never fully came to terms with my master’s death. For years, I struggled with it; an open raw wound that I could never fully let go. I wanted to stop hurting, yet I didn’t want to forget. I had been closer to my master than most Padawans are to their mentors; our bond had just happened, in the way that things that Yoda (and, ironically, Qui-Gon) would later call “the will of the Force” happened. I understand that it was a miracle that I didn’t die from shock when I lost Qui-Gon. All the same, I couldn’t let my master go as I should have. I was diagnosed with delayed-onset chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, and the mind healers were very concerned because they thought they caught the beginnings of suicidal impulses. I did not ever consider suicide, though. My condition wasn’t debilitating, but it took up too much of my time, time that I should have spent with Anakin.
I tried to understand Anakin. Oh, I tried my hardest, until both of us were in tears. But it never seemed to work, we were so radically different, and I sometimes wondered if the problem wasn’t Anakin, but me.
I came to know Anakin, to know how his head worked, but I still couldn’t always understand him. I didn’t know that for Anakin, love required confidences, and I was too hesitant to let anyone else into my wounded heart. I was too young to know that I should have pushed harder to get him to confide in me, that I should have not let my secrets go without demanding recompense in kind. I wasn’t ready to take a Padawan, not even one from the Jedi Temple, so how was I supposed to help a child from the Outer Rim who did not really grasp the full implications of his gift?
Anakin kept secrets from me. I kept hoping that he would bring them to me at last, that he would confide in me, but he never did. He was content to keep his secrets, and I didn’t want to destroy our tentative friendship. I should have known that if I wanted to make our friendship deeper, I would have to test it. It was tested, but not in the way it should have been.
The Clone Wars came. Anakin drifted away after his knighting. He had a Padawan of his own, and he was happy. I did not realize that it was me that was turning him aside. I was like a drifting mangrove, putting down its first weak roots in the midst of a storm. You can not tie the wind down, not with ropes or threads, or even heartstrings. Anakin’s secrets became a burden to me as well as to him. They haunted my nightmares, but I still did not speak of my fears.
Then it came. The pedestal we had stood on cracked, and we fell—hard. Anakin broke me. He trampled on my already bleeding and broken heart a thousand times over. Padme, a good friend to me—always—fell to his blind rage. The Jedi fell to his thirst for vengeance. I was all alone, except for Padme’s children.
I did not dare to think of them as Anakin’s.
Luke was very like Anakin in appearance, and every time I saw him I could almost choke. If all my losses had taught me one thing, it was that wounds to my soul never healed well. I still bore with me every scar, every ache from the Clone Wars. I still carried within me every memory of every person I had ever killed. Their faces haunted me at night. I sometimes wish I was blind, but like the lamia I was always forced to watch my own horrible actions, and I never forgot any of those nightmares.
But Anakin was not like Luke in personality.
Where Anakin had always been impatient, Luke had the potential to learn patience.
Where Anakin had always been hungry for more power and affection, Luke was wise enough not to always be hungry for more, to content himself with what he had.
Where Luke had Anakin’s face, he had Padme’s voice and personality. Luke gave me hope again.
I faced Vader on the Death Star, one last time. My destiny was already written; I had foreseen what was going to happen to me. When I died at Vader’s hand, only my cloak remained behind. After all, you can not grasp the wind in your hand.
And when Anakin joined us and the cycle was complete, I finally had found the peace that was never mine in life. After all, you can not catch nor hold the wind…
Until it is at rest.
Author’s Note: Wow, this thing must hate me… It just posted like a block like that… *sigh* I have yet to figure out how to transfer Word to WordPress smoothly. Anyway, hope you liked it, please comment and tell me! 🙂 Thanks for reading, and God Bless!