Saturday, February 6, 2016

Drawing Challenge: Sixes and Sevens


"Sixes and sevens" is a phrase I've heard, but never really gave much thought to.  When I found out it was this week's drawing challenge, I just had to look it up; inquiring minds like mine want to know. According to Wikipedia, "To be "at sixes and sevens" is a British English idiom used to describe a state of confusion or disarray."

The origin of the phrase seems uncertain, but here are a couple of theories:
"The phrase probably derives from a complicated dice game called 'hazard' ....These [originally five and six] were considered to be the riskiest numbers to shoot for ...., and those who tried for them were considered careless or confused."  Wikipedia goes on to say that, "A similar phrase, "to set the world on six and seven", is used by Geoffrey Chaucer in his 'Troilus and Criseyde". It dates from the mid-1380s and seems from its context to mean "to hazard the world" or "to risk one's life". William Shakespeare uses a similar phrase in 'Richard II': "But time will not permit: all is uneven, And every thing is left at six and seven"."


It's Not That Easy
mixed media, 6.25 x 5 inches


I think I understand what it means to be "at sixes and sevens".  About a year ago, I was forced to take disability early retirement, due to stress-related health problems that wouldn't resolve. I don't want to get too serious here, but my whole life suddenly seemed upside-down and backwards. Everything was  uneven and out of balance. I struggled to find some meaningful shape or form to fit my life into, some way to rise above the 'confusion and disarray', and still do at times. I spent a long time 'at sixes and sevens', but am finally starting to make some sense of it. Making art continues to be one of my saving graces.

" All great changes are preceded by chaos."                                ~ anonymous


To see more interpretations of the "Sixes and Sevens" theme, visit our hostess Nadine's blog, tinyWOOLF.





30 comments:

  1. thank you for looking all of those meanings up for us! i must say, like with so many expressions, it always pleases me no end so many different/similar origins apply; it makes it all even more exciting, because mystery is involved.

    i think an excellent synonym for this one could be topsy-turvy indeed, like you describe about your condition. please feel in disarray from time to time, it is often the cradle for great leaps forward...

    i was hoping for a collage, and that's exactly what you give us. LOVE that chaos quote too. i do believe so. thank you so much for playing along, sharmon! n♥

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    1. I agree that it's good to feel in disarray, as long as you can come out the other side intact and having learned something important, which is usually the case. I'm glad you like the collage, and the quote. Thanks so much for inviting me to play! xox

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  2. this is clever how you have portrayed tears.
    this quote so often is true.
    i am so happy that you have your art to explore and to get you through your time of 6's and 7's. art can be wonderful that way.
    your piece overflows with feeling.

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    1. Thank you, Tammie, for your kind words. I'm very glad, too, that I have my art to take me through the dark times. xox

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  3. Your collage is wonderful! We live in a world with so many choices and non-choices that sixes and sevens can hit without any warning. I'm glad you can work through your 6&7 with art. Art helps. May you be blessed with peace this week.

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    1. Thank you, Carole, for all your good wishes! I'm glad you enjoyed the collage!

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  4. Oh, thank you so much. I'll take your last quote and use it as a header for my troubled life and hope for the better to come out sometimes in the future. creating is so helping and healing!

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    1. Tania, I'm glad you find the quote helpful; it has been for me as well - I have it up on my studio wall. Best of luck and big hugs to you!

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  5. Indeed you've made sense of it,with your art, Sharmon! It's beautiful, keep creating. - eric

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    1. Thanks so much, Eric! Art helps me make sense of many things in life... don't know what I would do without it.

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  6. Thank you so much for your research, because I was confused by the theme and didn't even know that this term even exists so I learned something by reading your blog post. Thank you and using art to deal with confusion is the best thing I can think of.
    barbara bee

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    1. You're quite welcome, Barbara, I'm glad my research helped you out. Yes, I believe art is the best way to deal with a lot of things.

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  7. The more I visit the blogs of those playing along this week, the more I realize that we are all in this together. This life thing. We all bleed, and that must be from some long forgotten snippet of a song playing in the recesses of my memory, far back in time. It was a good song...
    Years ago I was forced to retire due to health related (not stress related per se, but stress DEFINITELY played its' role as I was to learn over the following [to the retirement event] years] issues. It all worked out for me but I just wanted to give you an encouraging hug. It's tough. Love your work. Love this piece. Strong, so strong and a bit hard to look at. Cuz one doesn't always like to look square in the face of one's own difficulty...or, to look in a mirror. This piece is a reflection like a mirror of sorts, to me. Hugs, Norma

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    1. Norma, your words of encouragement mean a lot to me. You're right about the piece being a mirror of sorts, and it can be hard for me to look at. Thanks for the much-needed hug. :)

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  8. Oh gosh Sharmon, tat's so true. After that 2014 health scare, things just seem so different. The kinds of things which were so very important before have faded away. I think it's all for the best. Love your art this week and can see the name in it clearly. Also, it can't be easy to be a bird with ridiculously long legs and a flat, shovel beak. I mean...honestly! :D

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    1. You're right about that bird, Veronica! lol! So glad you enjoyed the collage! xox

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  9. I have been there too. At Sixes and Sevens. Thank you for your Art and Words - they helped me to love the chaos a Little bit more.
    Lucia

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    1. That's such a nice thing to say, Lucia - that my art and words helped you love the chaos a bit more. That's more than I could have hoped for.

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  10. the quote at the end of your post almost sums it up. chaos and a lot of patience, that is what one needs when thrown out of the familiar path. it happens again and again, at it never gets easy. back and forth and forth and back. but the moments, the tiny ones, when we understand, they make it all worth it. glad you've found that door! xo

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    1. Patience is the hardest part, and you're right, it never gets easier. We must all be grateful for those moments when we understand. Thanks you for the words of encouragement...

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  11. How funny, just heard this expression on Masterpiece Theatre and looked it up too! Your art captures the feeling perfectly... and nice to know that through art you are on the mend.. believe me, I understand... x

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    1. Thanks, Cat, for the words of support and understanding. It makes me feel less alone... xo

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  12. We learn something new daily. Many thanks for your thoughts and perspective.

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    1. You're right, we do learn something new daily, though the lesson may sometimes be painful. Thanks for your comment.

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  14. hello you
    will you join the next DC?
    i have posted a new theme....

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    1. Patrice, I'd love to - thank you for inviting me!

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