18 September 2006
Stress Relief for Cubists
If you were a Cubist painter in the early twentieth century, you probably spent time reducing objects into basic geometric shapes and reassembling them on the canvas, utilizing a two-dimensional artistic medium to present a three-dimensional view.
I like to think of myself as a Cubist, but for a different reason, and that reason is just that I like squares.
In junior high, instead of socializing with other teens or practicing my violin, I played Tetris. I spent hours and hours and hours trying to fit shapes made with squares into holes made from the absence of shapes made with squares.
Also, when teachers told me to circle something on a worksheet, would I circle it? No. Rebel that I was, I would put a square or rectangle around it instead.
I even developed my own block-letter font:
Years later, I maintain my affection for all things square by coming home from work and commencing to chop things up into cubes. I obtain copious amounts of glee from cubing potatoes, hard cheese, and occasionally raw lamb meat.
Chopping objects into squares can provide stress relief for self-proclaimed Cubists like me. Similarly, abstract expressionists might find inner peace by throwing raw eggs at walls in order to experience the pure emotion of the color yellow. If one is in a less destructive mood, smearing an entire countertop with chocolate icing has the same soothing effect.
Perhaps you are a Cubist and you don’t even know it. Next time you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the trammels of everyday life, and you only have 34 cents, which is not enough money for a vacation or even a massage, but does happen to be enough money for a potato, try chopping that potato into squares and see if you feel better afterwards.
Start with slicing a side off of the potato to give you a flat surface.
Place the potato on the flat side and continue to slice off the rounded edges, until you are left with a block of potato. Blockato.
Cut the blockato lengthwise into rectangles about one centimeter wide. Turn the blockato on the next side and cut lengthwise again. You should have long rectangles that look like square French fries. Fun!
Now cut the blockato crosswise, so the long rectangles are divided into squares.
Hooray, happy potato cubes!