As a young man in graduate school I began keeping a journal. Like all journals kept by earnest graduate students in the arts, it quickly became a means of self reflection, of identity creation. It started out, oddly, with a bullet point list of all the things I loved. The list was self-consciously broad and eclectic – I included authors and poets, specific scenes in movies, people I’d met, music I was crazy about, situations I’d been in (or imagined), favorite foods, sexual peccadillos, etc. In the second entry, I must’ve reviewed the list I’d made and wondered, because I began puzzling over what significances lie in the items on this list. It was the early days of computers; the journal really could only have been started on an old word-processor with a floppy disk for storage. And I began thinking of the list as data, and wondering what relationships and patterns a powerful computer – or an interested self – could find in it. These were all things I loved, things that had shaped my affections and thus my perceptions, and thus my world. If I could trace the thread that joined these things, find the “rose in steel dust” that Pound had written of, what would I find? Something essential, I felt, writing (in my excitement) that in the pattern that might reveal itself I would find the footprints of God. I called the journal “endeavor” and kept it on my hard drives for the next several decades, adding to it occasionally. Now, at the other end of my life, I’m taking another look my affections, keeping a weather eye out for that rose in the steel dust.