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Ode to a Rubik’s Cube


Remember the cube!

It should be a catch cry we passionately sing as we march in the streets. Battling a Rubik’s Cube was something that required resilience, tenacity, ingenuity and a lot of luck. But most of all perseverance.

You persist and find a way or you take the easy way out and give up. Or you remove all the stickers and put them back on in order. I only did that once. Honest.

The cube dominated spare time at first. But only for as long as it took you not to be frustrated with the bloody thing. What’s more, it was a race.  A test. Which kid was going to solve the thing first.

This was the 80’s. Before the intermathingy. What I mean was there was a solution as is always one with a mathematical puzzle. If there was an internet back then, poor Enro Rubik would be a much poorer man.

See the cube would have come out one day. The solution would have been on the net the next, and the novelty would have cooled off by a few weeks after that.

Still, no internet. So it was several months to years before a book with a solution made the rounds of news stands and book shops. By then of course it was a well know thing amongst us nerds.

Soon the old test was replaced with a new one: which kid can solve it the fastest.

All this recalling of my confused adolescence and giving all of you an insight into why I probably don’t attract women, also got me remembering the one thing about the Rubik’s Cube that was as deep an analogy as anything for the saying ‘It is always darkest before the dawn’.

You see just before you solve the frustrating conflagration of plastic and coloured masking tape, the damn cube looks worse then it did before you started.

Imagine that. A toy with a message. One which I thought needs a platform every now and then.

A solution to a complex problem is not fully appreciated till you step back and see the whole problem. Likewise making a move and then reversing it over and over gets you no where. When the game moved to timing a solution, it changed again. One part memory, one part agility, one part hand-eye coordination, but the really best times came when you trusted yourself that the move you made was the right one.

Sometimes it looks like whatever we are in is one big mess. Like there is no solution. That it is all a waste. Times like that, you need to trust yourself and push ahead.

Because in just a few more moves, it’s all solved.

A. Ghebranious  2011  (All Rights Reserved)

  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Happy easter and thanks.

  2. Harri Benson permalink

    I think that your elegant yet unpretentious corollary here is one I’ll have to read more than twice, Ash.

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