Sunday, 16 March 2008


Even before her descent from the marble pedestal Galatea was beautiful. Her features had been sculpted in the likeness of Aphrodite: fairest of all, and while Athene had breathed life into her, she had been blessed by the Graces and had the Muses Clio and Polyhymnia  bestow upon her their passions. And yet man, be he king, sculptor or lowly scribe is never satisfied, and though presented with his heart’s desire, the embodiment of a goddess, Pygmalion began to find faults in this woman; Faults he couldn’t believe had been present in his statue. He knew that like his creation this woman was delightful to behold, but he wouldn’t admit it to the world.  Instead he preferred to display an affectation of modesty all the while drawing his own eye to the ever-so-subtle changes between the living, breathing woman before him and his nostalgic remembrances of the cold forbidding statue he had spent so many months in creating.

The statuesque Galatea was no longer what he wanted: he saw her as flawed. Pygmalion wanted his dream, his statue, his goddess back. He wanted back the smooth and perfectly poised figure who remained with him always and steadily gazed at him through unblinking eyes. She, who was moulded to his beliefs, his desires, and his interpretations of beauty and her sex. But lightening does not strike twice in the same place, and so the blessings of the Gods are not again bestowed on those who sneered at the initial gift. Galatea, by all means as divine as men chose to call her, was indeed no match for a mere mortal; She could returned to her infinitely more appreciative sisters who graced Mount Olympus and the paradise of Mt Parnassus. As for the sculptor, well… his pedestal remained forever empty, for where a gift from the Gods is but shunned, no mere mortal can ever hope to succeed. 

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