Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Cube

The Cube is a game. To optimize the effect of these next few sentences, I ask that you please take your time with them. When you see the “* * *” close your eyes. Take a moment to visualize what you’ve been asked to picture in your mind.

Start by picturing a desert. Be specific but don’t think it to death; just go with what comes to your mind when you hear the word desert and make note of its features.

* * *

Picture a cube. How big is the cube? What is it made of? Place the cube in your desert.

* * *

Add a ladder to your landscape. Where is it in relation to the cube? From what is it fashioned? How many rungs does it have?

* * *

Picture a horse in your landscape.

* * *

Picture a storm in your landscape.

* * *

Picture flowers in your landscape.

* * *

You’ve just been cubed. Even though much of what I learn about the world comes through the written word, this probably works better as a verbal exercise. If you’ve never been cubed before, I’m sorry. It can only be done once.

The cube is you. The landscape is how you see the world. The ladder is your friends. The horse is your lover (although "partner" seems to be what people want to use, I'd rather bring lover back into vogue; doesn't matter if you have one right now - that's part of your interpretation). The storm is difficulty, drama, struggle.

I was cubed many years ago. My cube was large, taller than a grown man, directly in the center of my landscape. It was clear, glass, impervious to the surrounding world, yet a direct blow would shatter it.

My desert was endless, something like the ones my uncle used to paint and which I imitate; mountains in the distance, no water, no trees, no scrub, just odd colors of earth. I see the world as magical, I suppose. Was your landscape barren or filled with brush? Solid or ever-shifting?

A single rose grew inside my cube. In the cube landscape, flowers represent children. They can be literal or metaphorical.

My ladder was solid wood, tucked into the sand and leaning against the cube, a sturdy tool without many rungs.

My horse was white, powerful, wild, hooves kicking up dirt from the desert floor as it pounded a path toward the cube, the storm nipping at its tail. When the horse reached the cube, the cube would open, offering shelter from the storm.

Although a direct blow cracking me may be more accurate, I believe my cube and my ladder were and remain decent descriptions of myself and my friends. I have a big ego and I feel like I'm running my life, which account for the size of the cube and its central location. It’s also clear, like my emotions. My ladder is carved from one large piece of my power element. Not a lot of rungs, but each of them able to take my weight.

The cube landscape is like dreams- there are a lot of theories out there, but only you can interpret your own. For instance, if flowers ran wild across your landscape, maybe you want a large family. Maybe you love children but don’t want to raise your own. Maybe you don’t know what you want. What do you think?

My single rose, inside the cube; either I wanted one child to keep sheltered and safe, I wished I could get pregnant, or it was my inner child. At the time, it made me realize I'd been repressing my desire to be a father because I thought that was what my relationship with Andi needed. We never could decide 100% whether we wanted to raise children. Seeing that beautiful rose, the brightest color in the landscape, it made me see my paternal side.

My lover, coming to warn me of the storm. Me, offering my lover shelter from same. I’ve always loved that. I remember her, a blinding white coat, no saddle or bridle, foam-flecked lips. Not just wild, but untamable. True enough, in the end.

Did your storm pass you by, or was it approaching? Did seeing it in the distance fill you with a sense of adventure or foreboding? Maybe you were in it. Was it frightening or refreshing?

I want to be cubed again because my life is so different now. It would be nice to trick my mind into easy self-examination, like I did all those years ago. There are probably different versions out there. A scene in Ann Packer's excellent Dive From Clausen’s Pier has a similar exercise. Picture a river, and birds, and a boat, something like that. I guess it’s not important.

Since I can’t cube myself again (re-cube myself?), I have to be content with this blog.


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  2. This was amazing. The storm was in me, in my cube. So beautiful and terrifying.

    Thank you. And yes, I read your blog. :)

  3. Whoa. Like the Nick Cave song - "I once knew a storm in the form of a girl."

    Since I said you're the only one who can interpret your Cubescape, I won't hazard a guess as to what that means.

    But, whoa.