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My Outlander Love Affair - Happy Anniversary my own...

My Outlander Love Affair ~ Episode 16~ Rising from the Ashes of Wentworth Prison ~ Forget the Fairy Tale.

 

"The story is told of a bowl that was much loved by a military ruler. One day during a gathering, a servant accidentally dropped the bowl, which broke into five pieces.  Everyone paused, fearing for the young man as the military leader was known to possess a quick,  harsh temper.  Then one of the guests improvised a comic poem about the incident, provoking laughter all around and restoring the leader to good spirits. 

This story goes on to say that instead of the break "…diminishing [the bowl's] appeal, a new sense of its vitality and resilience raised appreciation to even greater heights."  The bowl had become more beautiful for having been broken.  The true life of the bowl "…began the moment it was dropped…"

The origin of this story is unknown to me , but nonetheless it is beautiful. 
 

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The long awaited Outlander Finale ~ Episode 16 was powerful, compelling and utterly devastating. It was also one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. I was moved, touched and inspired by it. The acting was brilliant...So brilliant in fact that I forgot that they were acting. I'm not one to have worried this whole time about whether Sam was big enough or whether Cait's  eyes were the right color. I could care less that Ron Moore and company deviated a bit from the book. The whole of it, book and TV are now woven forever into the beautiful tapestry that I know as Outlander.

This brings me to another point. I've been reading so many articles since Saturday, many are quite complimentary but just as many aren't. There's still a lot of complaining going on in the fandom..." Jamie was broken too easily...My Jamie wouldn't have given up or given in so quickly...He would have fought harder for Claire...He looked weak."

I read these things and I wonder. What do women really want? Do they want a man or do they want a fairytale superhero? Do we really want the fairy tale ? If so stay with the books which are exquisite, but allow the reader to project their own fantasies onto them. That's fine, but not for me.

I'd prefer the man thank you...the risen one, the one who walked through fire and came back more human than before. The problem with seeing something  like we saw on Saturday is that the fairytale exploded right before our very eyes.

I, for one, am glad of it. Rape is real. So is torture. It still happens everyday even in this country. Just last year in Cleveland where I live, three young women who had been imprisoned by their abuser were freed from the house where they'd been kept the whole time. It happened after ten years of captivity. They were repeatedly raped, starved, kept in chains and regularly beaten.  there were babies born...No one knew they were there...they'd been given up for dead. We were gobsmacked when the news came in that they'd been discovered. How did he get away with it was the question on everyone lips. They were freed and have been making lives for themselves slowly and with lots of love and support but the fact is that something was stolen from them...it was the feeling of inner safety...of peace, of strength. When they were first photographed they looked like ghosts. It is up to them to reclaim that strength for themselves. No one else can give it back to them. they are choosing, each in her own way to go on.

 

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 So let's talk about Jamie Fraser.  We saw a sexually innocent 23 year old man who'd already been flogged nearly to the point of death once in his life and then flogged again. His father died as a result of seeing him flogged (so he thought) . He meets a woman , falls madly in love with her (as 23 year olds often do) and loyally and idealistically gives his life, body and virginity over to her keeping.

She then runs away, gets captured by his worst enemy, he then braves almost certain death and rescues her and then has to rescue her again from almost being burned at the stake after he warns her not to leave the castle. Then he finds out that she's a time traveler and has another living husband. He does the right thing...gives her up (remember he's 23!) and then she chooses him and they go back to his ancestral home whereupon he is learning how to be the Laird, (He's 23!) gets completely blackmailed by a British deserter and betrayed into the hands of the British.

 Then he's delivered from the noose by his worst enemy and subsequently saves his wife's life by courageously surrendering his body to his worst enemy. No one else knows where he is. He's brutalized, tortured , raped repeatedly, branded and eventually in exhaustion and delirium, made love to. He orgasms and is totally ashamed. He's betrayed himself and he's a 23 year old Husband, Laird and Warrior living in 18th century Scotland. The one small mercy that his tormenter could have given him was cruelly taken away from him.

There was no heroes death.

Think about it. If this was your real life experience, don't you think that your soul and psyche would be a bit shattered? Might your humanity be shaken? He's not Superman for goodness sakes and he was never written that way. Claire is the sci-fi hero here, her part of the story is the fantastical bit. Jamie is a flesh and blood man living in a violent and unpredictable bit of history which happens to be quite real.   Nothing more and certainly no less wonderful because he's really human. That's what they showed us...they gave us the brutal truth.

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What you saw at the end of the show on Saturday was a broken man who'd make a choice. Sam Heughan portrayed him remarkably well, the gauntness, the pain in his eyes..the grasping at happiness upon the news that his wife was with child.  The last scenes were of a man still haunted but who made the choice to live for his wife and unborn child. That doesn't mean that he suddenly decided that all was well.

I have had many clients on my table, men and women who have been repeatedly raped, abused and tortured.  I'm usually the healer of last resort because you've got to be pretty freaked out to try something as out there as Shamanic Soul Retrieval or regression work.  I'm kidding really, because for the record , I don't think that it's out there at all!

They come to me broken through no fault of their own, but because the psychology of the human being can only stand so much before it shatters in shards that are sharper than glass. They are scared to endure any more pain...but even more afraid to let it go unseen forever.

My article last week spoke about a beloved friend of mine who went through a period of great depression and subsequent redemption. In that article I spoke of the suffering and torture that we kept uncovering through the regression work that we did, lifetime after lifetime of it.

What I didn't mention was one of the things that he shared with me after the work that we did together. He said that the rape, torture and humiliation weren't what left him feeling so powerless...he could have endured that. What was so shattering was the arousal, the feeling of needing and giving into the pleasure in the middle of all that pain and then having it sadistically turned on him. It left him with no idea of reality...no identity. If you no longer know who you are and you don't know who you've become what's left in the middle is chaos. 

One of the things that the critics seem to forget is that all of these actors really prepared for their parts. These scenes were raw and shattering for a reason. They had to become people who could rape and torture and they had to become victims of that abuse. It took a long time to film for that very reason. How do you create that without losing a bit of yourself for the time that it takes?

The answer as to why Sam looked  as terrified and haunted as he did, is that he's a magnificent actor who dove straight into the part fearlessly. So did Tobias. It was utterly the bravest thing that I've ever seen because it was as close to real as we're ever going to see. Men don't emerge from that unbroken, including Black Jack Randall and I don't mean because he was trampled by cows.  Those that appear to, usually become closed off and cruel themselves. There's no question that many victims of abuse go on to become abusers.

So I'd like to offer up a different perspective. It takes time to heal. It takes constant inspection. It takes magic, but not of the fairy tale sort. It takes rebuilding from the inside out.  Just like the Japanese bowl that I offer to you here, the broken man can be healed with threads of gold or silver and he is more beautiful, more compassionate and understanding because of having been broken. He is no longer a boy. 

He is broken...not beaten. A vulnerable man allowed to express his anger, fear, confusion and pain becomes a stronger man. I am grateful that Ron Moore and company allowed us the glimpse into the real man...not the fantasy. We are allowed a glimpse into the becoming of Jamie Fraser the man that we love so much. Until Wentworth, he was still Jamie Fraser the boy.

Every man has the moment when he chooses to really live. 

  

 "The true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped." 

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None of these pictures are mine....

Comments

Mlridgway

I love this summary of our Jamie's story, especially the reminder that he is only 23. The story of the broken bowl and it's life beginning when it was dropped sums things up perfectly. After re-reading the whole series again when the TV series started, I realized that older Jamie, through all of his experiences, is the 'king of men' and the man I would prefer (you know, if he was real).

Secolerice

Beth,
You are so right & this was so beautifully written! I was missing the healing scene from the book & was especially wondering how the non-book readers would understand it. My husband,who has not read the book, said the healing was too fast. But you are right that on the boat he is obviously still haunted. Having gone through a lot of junk myself, I understand that look. I was wanting the magic and mysticism but it is probably better for the TV to see the long reality of recovery that will happen as things progress. It is there in all the books but translating it to the screen is different. Since I am spiritual person, I really like that aspect of the books. The show is more raw & probably has to be. The acting has amazed me more each episode. What the actors have to do to become these people in these circumstances is amazing. I may nitpick parts but never the acting and what these actors have given to us. Thank you so much for your wonderful article.

WolfeTales

OMG - thank you. I've seen so many comments about the series 'emasculating' Jamie and I just kept thinking WTF are they on about?! You succinctly pointed out all the hard, mature choices Jamie made - and perfectly articulated Wentworth. I hope Sam especially has someone to just hold him - I've seen first hand what playing such a part can do to an actor.

LolettecookCook

Beautiful!

KLazzaroWeaver

I found this on twitter from my friend Angela Sasso - and completely agree with your take on this magnificent episode. Sadly many of us have been broken - but we're better sometimes because of what we've endured - and our appreciation of kindness and beauty is much more pronounced. Thanks for writing this. (I'm also a Clevelander)

Auntgoggie

Beth - I love this. It is just beautiful and you have captured the true essence of Jamie's journey. The analogy of the bowl is perfection! Thank You!!

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