Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mr. Massey, Naked Statues and Cleopatra VII

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Today’s Blog Post

Mr. Massey, Naked Statues and Cleopatra VII
Talk about a Flash Back! Whoa! In one heart beat I was back in Grade 10 again, 51 years ago. I could hear Mr. Massey’s voice, our history teacher in the classroom of Regina’s Central Collegiate. He was speaking about the ancient history of Egypt and the countries surrounding their world.

The flash back came when I looked up from reading the account of Cleopatra VII.

I had heard what he was saying and was interested in all that he said. I loved history. But at the very moment that we were listening to him go on and on about Cleopatra VII and her consort vs her son… Mr. Massey caught me doing my art work… not history!

I had been doodling in my history text book. There on the left hand side of the page was a carved statue of Cleopatra VII (or someone like her). The poor lady didn’t have much clothing on. I had been drawing a bra on her upper part and panties on her lower part. At 16 I was fully aware of what the undergarments looked like and how they covered the woman’s anatomy… so I drew Cleopatra VII’s under clothing on her.

Mr. Massey’s words were so interesting that I had not noticed his steps as he walked down the aisle to where I was drawing… stopped and grabbed my history book to take a look at my art work. I nearly died at that moment. He held my book high and went on to give everyone a lesson in the foolishness of what I had done.

Mr. Massey went on and on why covering something so beautiful as a naked body – of a statue was plain silly.

I gulped and wanted to die on the spot. I was exposed as a silly student that was covering the naked body, defacing my text book and not listening to what he said.

I guess he was right. I did love my art work and thoroughly loved history… but also was learning to love naked bodies as well. I was 16 years old and was discovering the delightful difference between other 16 year olds’ bodies… and that difference was fascinating!

That was all part of the flash back moment!

I could remember Mr. Massey saying that Cleopatra VII was not Egyptian, even though she was the last Pharaoh of Egypt. She had been in bed with Julius Caesar, the Emperor of Rome and got pregnant. Their son was Octavian. Then Cleopatra VII had also fallen in love with Mark Anthony, another Roman soldier, and they had slept with each other many times and had three kids together.

Then it was about the same time we were studying Julius Caesar in our English Literature class… where I caught the story about these characters being so thoroughly messed up with each other.

As I read the most recent articles(links below) I suddenly remembered what Mr. Massey has said about her heritage. Cleopatra VII was actually from a Macedonian Family and heritage by way of Ptolemy. Ptolemy was one of the body guards of Alexander the Great who had conquered all the lands around. Ptolemy had been given the land of Egypt to rule for being faithful to Alexander.

Now it all came back! Flash back to Egypt. WOW!

Since having this marvelous and almost embarrassing (now) moment of 51 years ago…. I went on to read more about this amazing woman.

She was not old by any means. She had become the Pharaoh or Egypt when she was 18. She died at the ripe old age of 39… but committing suicide… after her most recent lover Mark Anthony died in her arms.

Oh boy – much more to read…. Mr. Massey would be proud I am sure!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


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