Sunday best: Purpose and languor

Yesterday, I did some Christmas decorating, hauling boxes of ornaments out of my storage locker, unwrapping each one, years of memories. Some from Ireland, some from other places I've lived, untold stories all of them. Stories sweetly unremarkable, common enough, not worth the telling.

Later on, a friend came over and we drank barley wine and stout, seasonal beers and ate wintry food. She brought me Adam Gopnik's Winter; the most perfect thing to receive right now. Apart from that lovely interlude of company my weekend underscored by the joy of being alone.

But at the same time not being alone. I was out in the world. It's funny how we count ourselves as alone when we're interacting with people, just because we don't know their names. But sometimes I find that in those exchanges we're completely frank and unguarded. And it's astounding what we'll betray to strangers that we'll hold back from loved ones.

I found people everywhere wanting to tell me things, some plain, about this jar of preserve being particularly good or that the scarf I picked up in the store was beautiful. That old man who lives in the other wing and never says hello saw me on the street and decided yesterday to smile and utter that simple greeting. Maybe I just needed to put in all this time.

Today will be quieter still as there are many chores to be done and I'll be chasing even simpler joys of clean sheets and wiped-down countertops. I like the set-up for the week ahead, both the purpose and the languor of a Sunday afternoon. I want to draw it all out before I have to go back. There's a moment every Sunday when I dread its end. And then I get over it and move into the week ahead.

Products: Homestead waffle leggings from J.Crew | Donna Karan Oversized cashmere cardigan from Net-a-Porter | James Perse Loose-fit cotton-jersey T-shirt from Net-a-Porter | "Spray" pillow from Judy Ross Textiles | Lanvin Leather ballet flats from Net-a-Porter | Winter: Five Windows on the Season by Adam Gopnik
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