JAMIE FRASER on the left is full of hope, curiosity, desire, and a firm conviction that Claire will be his. They have just dismounted after that long, wet ride…..”her lovely round arse tucked tight between his thighs.” The warmth of her body still lingers, the smell of her surrounds him….but she is English, a Sassenach, so there is wariness mixed with wanting. She insists on tending his wounds, so he follows her into the Castle, discreetly adjusting his plaid.
JAMIE FRASER on the right is hungry, haggard, full of desperation and despair. Everything he and Claire have worked SO HARD to stop, is coming at them. He is boiling with anger, as minutes before, the Bonnie Prince left him, stating “Today is the day, James.” (Who among us didn’t want to strangle him with our bare hands)? And soon after, at the Standing Stones with Claire; my skin prickles all over as I write the words down, he tells her “My destiny lies on Culloden Moor.” So much grief between them, between us….it flows over. Nothing can contain the loss we feel.
Diana lifts us up, fills us with joy….then plunges us into the abyss. All is lost….or so it seems. Except….it isn’t. I will never tire of this Story……Their Story.
I’ve been standing under a high bright moon, surrounded by the peaceful benevolence of all the half lit, shadowy shapes of the plants ….apart from the huge old Peppercorn Tree, every one of them, planted by me. As I grow older, the garden gets wilder, the birds don’t mind that I’ve not weeded….they thrive on the grasses soon to be seeded. Nothing moves here, but light and shadows, as the warmth of Spring makes everything grow, growing daily towards the sun, resting under the moon when the day is done. Peace on earth. Goodwill towards men. I go to my bed To rest, to sleep To rise again From my big oak bed And go once more Leaving dreams I’ve shed To go Once more To the Day Garden. Circles turning round And round Nothing lost Nothing found Back in my house completely surrounded I’m still cloaked in the comfort Of the plants In the ground The plants that grow Planted by me Beneath the benevolent Old Peppercorn Tree.
Cold winds, brooding sombre sky Morning Coffee outside White plum blossoms drift like snow flakes As I take my small instrument and play Moody weather music….. And I held within its spell, listen As the wind tells me Stories of the day.
“You’re mine, mo duinne,” he said softly, pressing himself into my depths. “Mine, alone, now and forever. Mine, whether ye will it or no.” I pulled against his grip and sucked in my breath with a faint “ah” as he pressed even deeper. “Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach,” he whispered. “I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul.” I struggled slightly and he pressed me down, hammering me, a solid, inexorable pounding that reached my womb with each stroke. “I mean to make ye call me “”Master””, Sassenach” His soft voice was a threat of revenge for the agonies of the last minutes. “I mean to make you mine.”
Outlander The Reckoning Page 444 Diana Gabaldon
Anyone reading this excerpt without knowing the whole story, without having read my other writings, could understandably be appalled….for it is so easy to misinterpret what Diana is offering us, in the above. For what has gone before (in the Book version of the Reckoning), to bring Jamie and Claire to this passionate scene. For my response to those two simple words, “You’re mine.” “YOU’RE MINE.”
I wonder how many other women crave to be claimed in such a way. Claire is Jamie’s equal in all ways, except strength…..there is so much power in those words. He has already vowed he will protect her with his body, so she knows when she is with him, she is safe. But she will never be as physically strong as Jamie….why would she wish to be?
Something happened to us all, men and women during the “sexual revolution,” so much of it good and necessary…..but so….much…..lost. Roles reversed, Men became unsure of their roles within marriage, within the family…..and many woman began to emulate men, losing their vital femininity along the way. Many men were completely emasculated by the sexual politics of the time. From my observations, we haven’t recovered from those years, yet. For a man to say “You’re mine”, could be interpreted as a form of intimidation and abuse in our society.
Yet Claire owns Jamie, equally.
When she playfully says “Yes, Master” he understands her love for him, her need, desire to be possessed completely, and moments later, he whispers to her, “It seems I canna possess your soul, without losing my own.”
Those words have a very strong effect on me….I long to have a man who is strong enough, confident enough of himself to say, “You’re mine.” Otherwise what are we, after all…..anybody’s? To be claimed by someone you love and desire, in this deep visceral way, has tremendous attraction to me.
I WANT SOMEONE SO STRONG IN HIMSELF, TO WANT ME….ONLY ME.
So much lost in the battle for equality….and we will NEVER be equal, because men are by nature, the stronger sex. And when Claire is kidnapped and brutally beaten and raped, Jamie’s words, “KILL THEM ALL.” (my final photo), is his way of showing she is now safe….the slow journey to healing and recovery begins from these words, and leading her around the clearing, showing her, “See, they are ALL dead.”
We need honourable, courteous Gentlemen in our lives, but let’s not kill off the necessary savage that lies at the heart of many men. Soldiers, Hunters, Warriors…..we need that true original part of all men to live again, to own us as we own them, but to give us their protection.
Those blessed words, “You’re mine” pierce me to my core, with longing. “Where are the men of old, did they all fade away as women tore their bras off and burned them. Things had to change, but the pendulum swung too much the other way.”
The Warrior/Hero is what all strong women crave.
Say those words to me. “you’re mine,” and so it will be.
THAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL ATTRACTION OF JAMIE FRASER. HE KNOWS CLAIRE OWNS HIM, AS HE OWNS HER. SHE HAS THE STRENGTH OF THE HEALER, THE WISE WOMAN, LOVING WIFE AND MOTHER…..BUT HE IS A MAN, A WARRIOR…..HER PROTECTOR.
Here is the power and magic of this Story….two equals, who acknowledge both their strengths and their weaknesses…..and support each other.
He stands behind her Guarding her back There’s both softness Strength and a steadfastness In his beautiful face In the way he faces the world Whatever is coming He’ll be ready, he always has been Hasn’t he….
And she, she has that same strength In her femininity Her beautiful face hides her ruthless courage Sharp as a blade when needed For both healing and protection He for her And she for him Mirrors of each other’s iron will And whether in the bedroom Or the battlefield Soulmates still In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Nothing can part these lovers Not even death They are invincible, as one Guarding each other’s back Bringing each other home.
He was rain soaked Blood smeared And wounded When we dismounted….. The chill air came down Engulfing me For we had been riding Through long nights and days I had already become used to the ways Of him His voice, his smell The heat of him…. And lowered my eyes That he might not see My wanting him.
For despite the strangeness Of this time and place I could hardly bear to feel the space That now separated me from him…..
He was rain soaked Blood smeared And wounded….. And I could barely wait To lay my healing hands on him To walk through that grim Castle door And feel once more The heat of him.
Everybody loved him Claire, the heart and soul of him Knew him for who he was Needed to be
A bloody man A warrior born and bred But at home, at rest He was kindness itself Husband, Father, Chieftain Provider, Protector Laird
But to the children Who he sat upon his knee He was simply “Granda” As he told them stories Wiped away their tears As they vied for his attention As they plaited his hair
“Granda” As he lifted one upon his shoulders Held the smallest girl’s hand “Oh aye”, he said To each of them Crowding all around him Handing each a sweet Teaching them to swim To hunt To fish
Then looking up He sees Claire watching From her Surgery window Lovelight in her eyes Her secret smile Feels himself quicken Still burns for her A sudden need….. Returns the smile….with interest
“Oh aye”, he says again “Now off wi’ ye and play Yer Grannie needs me” They turn, running, tumbling, squabbling But he hears nothing But her soft, steady breathing As she reaches up Removes the spectacles from his tousled auburn head Takes him by the hand And leads him to their bed.
Let me say this, first and foremost…..over the entire five seasons of Outlander, we have seen many changes in both Claire and James Fraser, but Sam Heughan’s embodiment of Jamie, in these three episodes in particular, left me weak, wet and wanting. I was responding in a purely visceral way to a force of such powerful masculinity, the film critic in me was shoved brutally aside, along with the straggling farmers, cotters, misfits and miscreants. There was enough active grey matter still ticking over, paying attention to the story, but particularly during the field training and then the preparations and battle at Prestonpans, I was eager to lay down my body for the cause. His proud stance, looking back over his shoulder as he lays down the law to his Uncle Dougal…..My Artist’s eye traces the curve of muscled back, and buttock, the easy swing of kilt, that commanders voice, deep down in his belly….he watches, struts, bellows commands……the morning light shines upon his hair, flaming red windblown curls around his shoulders. The Gaelic war chant, as they march, turn, march and turn again….as Murtagh roars, as Jamie whispers words as soft as silk, coaxing the men to laughter, then turns it all around, putting the fear of god , death and James Fraser, into them. He is the epitome of every breathing woman’s dream…..fiercely beautiful, a living monument to nature’s gift….testosterone.
“There’s only two things they do with it”, Claire says to Brianna later in the story, “and one of them is to try to kill each other”, ….”and the other?” We gazed at each other with perfect understanding, “I’ll take care of your father, but Roger is up to you.”
And so amid the the eerie whining of the pipes, beat of drum and clash of metal, bodies formed in regimental blocks, marching….the deep baritone song of war, the thrust and lunge….there he stands, watching over them, correcting, commanding, challenging….terrifying his men to keep them safe…..reducing me, the observer, to my most primal female need….
I ache to be the one he reaches out for At the closing of a long hard day To give what needs giving when the blood lust is upon him Open myself entirely to his need Wrap arms and legs around, and rock him Till the voice of war recedes, until he spills his seed And lies, emptied of all the madness and ferocity A man child letting go, safely held, who knows In the hours while he sleeps, I will watch over him Watch the grim lines slowly fade from face and brow The corners of his mouth, relaxed, at peace Long lashed eyes, closed…..too tired to dream of war There’s nothing more he needs, as he lies heavily upon me The Warrior man child held, I keep him safe, for these few hours Until the battle pipes once more, summon him to fight As the dawning sun creeps over hill and moor, to morning’s light.
MargaretArlen Winter, Central Victoria, Australia 2020 (Claire’s words to Brianna, regarding testosterone, by Diana Gabaldon)
Two as one, now After all the long lonely years The heartache and sorrow Their love renewed In their marriage bed And come tomorrow Whatever fate throws in their way They will stay together ….. For they are bound By vows that held through time And space They are one, now Held in grace.