This week I just raised my aching bod up from my knees for the for the 40skillionth time during my long life and it occurred to me that I may well have spent a goodly percentage of my lifetime on my knees........no.....not praying and not for lewd pursuits or any other weird things either.....I just realized how many supposedly simply tasks end up requiring one to crawl around on the floor on ones hands and knees like a gimpy spider.
We can skip the obvious like the crawling stages of infancy, but not long past that time it begins........subtle at first with games....blocks, marbles, pick-up-sticks (anyone remember that one?), jacks, tiddly-winks. Ah, but those young knees hardly even noticed any punishment, even though they were usually bloody or scabby from falling down during other games like baseball, rollerskating, Dodge ball and almost anything that required upright bodily movement. For me anyway.......even my Grandma had to agree that I was a Klutz..... ........ Sigh.
The next extended use of the kneeling position came, for me, when I began pursuing the development of my artistic skills and, at some point, every application of some media onto paper required matting and sometimes framing. This was done on the kitchen floor, using a large wooden plywood drawing board, a steel T-square, ruler, utility knife and endless hours on the knees..........how else?????
Next came the time in my young starving artist life when I realized that I had to choose between eating or covering my nakedness with some garment and I undertook to make all my own clothes using just $3.87 worth of fabric and supplies....... except for shoes......I never quite got the knack of making those.. Naturally, since I possessed no cutting table ( not to mention no dining table) the cardboard cutting board would be unfolded on the dining room floor (where the dining table would be if I could have afforded one......(.I later built one out of a beautiful discarded solid core walnut door which had one damaged side......perfectly fine for the underside of a dining table). There was always a great deal of scrabbling around on hands and knees positioning the fabric, the pattern pieces, the pin cushion and the scissors, the tailors' chalk and the glass of bourbon.........
Knees aging but still willing, we enter the era of Hi-Fi and Stereo. No cigarette pack size thingy in a pocket with ear buds for us. To properly hear music required a pre-amp, amplifier/tuner, 3 speed turntable, tape player and at least 2 very large speakers. This stuff also required some furniture to hold it all and the totality necessitated about 3 1/2 weeks of scuttling around on the floor on said knees connecting thousands of wires from one device to the next. Oy.
And just about the time when even my knees were getting too old for such shenanigans some nerd had to invent the desk top home computer which required infinite connections of unmentionable numbers of units to one another and to the surge protector multi-plugs which greatly expanded the old 2 plug wall units and resided under the desk requiring.....you guessed it......days, weeks, months, milleniums (millenia ?) spent on one's knees under the desk, (flashlight in mouth because at least 4 hands were required for most connections) while clutching the easy-assembly sheets in at least one of them.
Oh, well.......laptops took care of all that, didn't they? Hmmmm.....then what the hell was I doing on Wednesday of this very week crawling around on my knees on the floor with a flashlight in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other? Apparently, even in the most modern of times it is still necessary to obtain from the Modem which, in my house, lives on the lowest shelf of the bookcase, the network type and serial number in order to add a new laptop to one's personal network of computers. And how did it happen that, at my advanced age, I should be found yet once more on those poor knees? Yes, I do have help these days which should be assigned to such crawlings around, but sadly, nothing can be substituted for experience when confronted with an appliance containing a mind-boggling assortment of different types of number combinations all discretely placed in the most inaccessible spots on the damned Modem thingy. Florence was overwhelmed. So who else was there?
Well here's how it is, folks.........whatever the next world changing gadget may come along......if it requires any kneeling of any kind, I think I'll just pass. Not that I am too old to accept change you understand.......it's just the damned knees.