This year I found a Coptic cross - it was placed next to a letter opener and some horse brasses in a thrift shop in Sherborne. Its history asked more veneration and I bought it and have it beside me where I work, a passing friend I met while travelling. It must have been forty years ago that I knew the children of the ambassador to Ethiopia and they would return with books and cloths as presents for me - not to mention tales that went on into the night. One treasure was a headscarf which depicted the nativity scene in picture book fashion, which I adored and cherished for twenty years until it disappeared one night at a party. And I could feel no rancour, only a sense of the continuation of things and the hope that the beauty might be transferred and would inspire someone else. One is never more than a custodian of things.
Recently I was researching Byzantine music and came across this extraordinary early piece for Christmas Day on You Tube. It is infinity in a series of sounds the beauty of which can never be grasped or owned, simply shared.