Jeez, I Can't Find My Knees (Running Commentary)

The proverb reminds us that for want of a nail the shoe was lost. Springsteen says everything is everything. The Butterfly Effect reminds us of storms that can be traced back to small changes somewhere else in a non-linear system. Shelagh says everything hinges on your knees.

We've been thinking these kinds of thoughts lately because it has become painfully obvious that our dreams of running the Big Sur half marathon in November, that the money it will take to get us there, and that the time consumed by training for all of it rests on our knees. Our wobbly knees. Our almost five-decade-old knees.

Wikipedia does a good job underlining the importance of the knees:

The non-poetic knee
 It is the largest joint in the human body and is very complicated.[2] The knee is a mobile trocho-ginglymus (a pivotal hinge joint),[3] which permits flexion and extension as well as a slight medial and lateral rotation. Since in humans the knee supports nearly the whole weight of the body...

Largest joint. Very complicated. Pivotal. Supports nearly the whole weight. In a universe of pain, knees are unavoidably made to be metaphors.

Dylan and his knees
Poets don't have a lot to say about the knees. Or, at least not as much as the heart. Dylan gives a whole song over to Heart of Mine, including the memorable indictment: Heart of mine, so malicious and so full of guile/Give you an inch and you'll take a mile. Dylan's knees? They get an inscrutable mention in Visions of Johanna: See the the primitive wallflower frieze/And the jellyfaced women all sneeze/Hear the one with the moustache say jeez/I can't find my knees!

If you run, you find your knees quickly. Ignore them, and they will stop you cold. And then heat. And then more cold.

Knees are stubborn. They don't always bow. I have given up trying to find my voice. I would, however, like to find my knees.

My kneecap is hurting me. Ow. That's better.
- Leopold Bloom, at Dignam's funeral


Popular posts from this blog


Some Late Thoughts Listening To Wheat Kings

Three Things from Edmonton - Episode 46: minding the gap, talking the talk, reading the room