I was pleased to see that along with the retooling of Star Wars came a turn-back to the mysticism of the Force. No longer was it explained as the midi-chlorian count within living beings that could be measured through devices, but instead as the energy that surrounds us, binds us and keeps the galaxy together. To me, this makes the Force much more real, powerful and true.
Though I would not learn about the Force until I was nine years old, I believed that there was something keeping me from being totally destroyed in the school where I was abused. At the time I was experiencing the worst of my abuse at the hands of Brother Ignatious I believed my days alive to be rapidly dwindling away. He had become increasingly hostile towards me as the abuse became more severe. I can recall one day when he grabbed me violently by the back of my neck and walked me towards the stairs at the back of the school that led to the basement. With a violent shove I was thrown down the staircase. My fall was broken with my chin. Somehow I had managed to survive breaking my neck during the fall – to this day I believe he was trying to kill me. Thankfully it would be only a matter of days before I was whipped with an electrical cord and the welts on my body would be the cause of my mother removing me from that school and out of the clutches of the monsters who presided over it.
When I hit the floor of the basement, my chin had struck the ground first – or at least I remember it that way. To be more specific, the bottom right side of my chin. Blood was everywhere. Brother Ignatious was angry to see such a mess and he picked me off the floor and threw me towards the basement bathroom and ordered me to clean the blood off the floor and off of my face. My chin bled for what seemed like hours. It was, as I had mentioned earlier, the beginning of the end there for me.
I often look back at that event as the realization I was supposed to live for some reason – that there was something resilient within me that was helping me survive and navigate the tumultuous seas of the school I endured – that I was perhaps strong with the force.
As the years passed, and the wounds from that school turned to scars of experience, I am constantly reminded of that particular event. I have a scar on my chin from that day. It follows the line of my square jaw, hidden to an extent by the natural curvature of my face. I see it every time I shave, and every time I shave I remember that day. The day I was the boy who lived.