EDITORS NOTE

Creative Outlets

Settling into the rhythm of lockdown life during the third COVID wave has brought on a mixed bag of emotions and thoughts. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we’re out the other side, and a state of normalcy is returning to South Africa. (If I never have to hear the term ‘new normal’ again, it’ll be too soon.)

I’ve felt frustration (probably the dominant emotion), sadness, anger and concern (about certain events that unfolded in parts of South Africa recently), and then also varying degrees of contentment, upbeat, fortunate, ch...
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Creative Outlets

Settling into the rhythm of lockdown life during the third COVID wave has brought on a mixed bag of emotions and thoughts. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we’re out the other side, and a state of normalcy is returning to South Africa. (If I never have to hear the term ‘new normal’ again, it’ll be too soon.)

I’ve felt frustration (probably the dominant emotion), sadness, anger and concern (about certain events that unfolded in parts of South Africa recently), and then also varying degrees of contentment, upbeat, fortunate, challenged, and inspired. Through incremental gains I’ve learnt to embrace small positives and triumphs, in a world that’s felt mostly dominated by dissonance.

One of those small victories recently was teaching myself how to solve a Rubik’s cube. Except for a few occasions where I’ve lucked upon a solution for a single side, I’d never solved a cube in its entirety before.

So, starting out, I was a complete novice. Having watched a few tutorials, I went out and bought a cube, and set about learning to solve it. In case any of you are also up for the challenge, I won’t include any solution hints here, except to say you should rather consider the cube as three levels, than six individual sides. I’m proud to announce that, after eight days, I’m down to solving the cube entirely in around two minutes, without referring to my notes. My goal is under 60 seconds.

It’s been a nice go-to activity, instead of automatically reaching for my phone when I have some downtime, to mindlessly scroll through Instagram, or read more depressing news articles.

I’m also reading a whole lot more, and have several woodworking projects marinating in my mind that I plan to tackle soon. Perhaps the cube-solving part of my brain is also responsible for my creativity. After all, I did create my first piece of painted artwork (as an adult) recently too – it’s nothing to write home about, but brushing the acrylics on to the canvas felt hugely rewarding.

Maybe the state of the country and world lately has also left you feeling disheartened. I’m no psychologist, and don’t profess to have any formal insight into this, but I can highly recommend channelling your creative side, and trying out a few things you may never have done before. And it really doesn’t matter how good or bad you are – I’m confident that, like me, you’ll feel a welcome sense of accomplishment afterwards.

Also, enjoy this issue; it’s another goodie in my unbiased opinion. Grab a cup of coffee, kick back with your feet up, and let POPULAR mECHANICS take your mind off to a miscellaneous mix of innovative places.show less