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OK, Sally, so my wife and daughter are still out in South Dakota, staying till the end of the month, and I’m here alone in New York, with no one to act as an anchor, or a drag, or a reality check, and so I just bought for my office some new decorations—stained glass, as it happens: two small pieces of church windows that caught my eye.

The first is round, 15 inches in diameter, dating to around 1200—a medieval French rondel of Joseph and his Brothers:


The second is a very minor but pretty little surviving part of a broken window, 26 by 28 inches, from the 1920s, probably:


I confidently expect to get whacked upside the head when Lorena gets home—though, I think I can point out, there are far worse ways for men to express their anxieties at aging than buying stained glass.

But I’ve also been wondering about why the purchase and display of this kind of ex-church object doesn’t bother me, the way the display of chalices or even altar candlesticks would. Windows are less sacred, yes?

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