If I were to die tomorrow, I'd feel pretty happy about what I've accomplished in my life to the present; however, my biggest regrets would be not what I've done, nor even what I've failed to do, but instead what I didn't yet have the chance to do, both in terms of many of these projects, but also as far as all the places that I'd like to visit and people I'd like to meet who I haven't yet had the chance to see or meet. To do all of these things, it takes not only the proper coincidences of opportunity and means (and thus timing), but also work and effort. Books do not write themselves, usually; and even if they do, they don't format and edit themselves. While I may be better off financially in the future (hopefully the near future!), that doesn't mean I'll automatically be able to take that trip to Rome I've wanted to for years just because I may have the money to spare for it. Meeting a person that I like well enough to have a long-term relationship with (or even a shorter-term one—I'm flexible on such matters!) doesn't just depend on me being in the right place at the right time and them being likewise; and even if we are, it's not just a matter of being introduced and then "happily ever after" (or "happily for as long as it goes").

What do I take out of all this? Like nearly everything in life that is worth doing, as the old cliché goes, all of these things take effort. It's never merely a matter of "Now Antinous is in my life, and I'm saved," or Zeus or Dionysos or Anat or Neith or Hanuman or Goibniu or Freya or anyone else. All of these sorts of meetings open a door, turn a key, crest a hill; but, on the other side of the door may be an entire library of new things to discover, a house full of rooms unlocked, an entire new landscape to explore. No matter how wonderful that road of discovery is, it all takes work, energy, effort, and the desire to take a further step, open another book (and take notes on it!), pay attention to each new sight and sound . . .

If Disciplina is teaching me anything this month, I think it's that the perseverance with which she's associated is not just a matter of getting through the hard times, it's a matter of getting through the new challenges of life on a daily basis, when not everything seems new and shiny, and even if there isn't a clear goal ahead, the process to get there is still the same: one foot placed in front of the other.