Cloister Commentary, Day 311: What If?

My brother called yesterday morning to tell me Mom has shoulder surgery scheduled for Monday. She sustained a tear in a wind-and-rainblown fall in November that’s gradually come to torture her, and the news that the procedure’s just around the corner was the best we’ve received lately. Also, barring an emergency between now and then, she’ll be the first surgical patient ever at Monett, Missouri’s new hospital. Not exactly the thing one longs to be known for, but hey–she’ll take it. If only COVID vaccinations came that quickly….

I’m deeply enjoying an old book I picked up used a couple years ago called What If?, in which esteemed historians look at the possibilities had major events in world history happened just a touch differently (example: what if Alexander the Great had died at 22 at the Battle of the Granicus River, as he nearly did…or what if he’d lived into middle age?). I might have ended up a history major if high school teachers had taught the subject the way these experts frequently do. I found myself wondering whether a similar entire book couldn’t be written about the past year.

We finished Season Three of Cobra Kai (the series needs to be roundhouse-kicked at this point, but a future season looms) and sampled Kim’s Convenience, which frequently drew explosive laughter from both Nicole and me. It felt a touch…broad, but perhaps my Korean-American friends can weigh in with a perspective if they’ve seen it. Also, I wonder how good the book from which it’s adapted is.

Streaming for Strivers:

Slip inside this house.