Thursday, September 20, 2012

Losing Your Marbles

Losing Your Marbles
12" x 24"
oil on panel

Most of us have heard the expression, 
"You have lost your marbles." 
Maybe we heard a relative say it after 
getting frustrated about something, 
throwing their arms in the air, exclaiming 
"ak! I have lost my marbles!"

When your a kid, hearing this sounds, well, strange. 
It is what is called an idiom. That’s a phrase whose meaning
 doesn’t match up with the meaning of 
the actual words used in the phrase.
They haven't really lost their actual marbles, 
they just feel like they are going a little crazy
or losing your mind.

photo from John B. Southard Jr.

Here is what the blog Wonderopolis 
has to say about the subject:

Experts believe losing one’s marbles originated in the United States in the late 1800s. Marbles — those little glass or metal balls children use to play a variety of games — were popular toys long ago. The word “marbles,” though, was also used to refer to one’s personal belongings or “stuff.”
Some people believe “marbles” eventually came to be associated with one’s mind or wits or common sense, too. Since marbles were important playthings and one’s personal belongings or “stuff” would also be very important, one can see how one’s mind or wits or common sense could be associated with these other important things.
One can imagine a young child playing with his favorite marbles around the turn of the 20th century. Marbles could be carried easily in pockets, so he could take the game with him wherever he went. If he were to lose one or more of these prized possessions, he would certainly feel a sense of loss and likely a sense of anger or despair. He might even appear crazy as he searched frantically for the missing marbles.

Since  the late 1800's the phrase has appeared in literature.
In the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny Humphrey Bogart linked insanity with marbles when he showed his character, the demented Lt. Cmdr. Queeg, restlessly jiggling a set of metal balls when under stress in court.
photo from TvTropes
For me many times I have been joked with, 
asked if I have lost my marbles again. 
Or would be told someone found one of my marbles.
I certainly do love my marbles, both my glass ones
and the ones in my mind.

Here is a video of me losing some of my marbles this morning.

detail  Losing Your Marbles

Losing Your Marbles 
 will be showing at
Elliott Fouts Gallery
October Still Life Show
October 6, 2012 to November 1, 2012
Sacramento, CA

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