To be the Brook of the World is
To move constantly in the path of Virtue
Without swerving from it,
And to return again to infancy.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, trans. John C.H. Wu
When I begin a piece of music or simply begin the day in early morning, I have choice between trying to impose my will on that composition or on the day or to let the composition and situation define my path. That is, I move with the daily work, the limits and strengths that I have in my own abilities, and the people with whom I interact and for whom I compose. Perhaps a spirit of service to the music, musicians with whom I interact, the students I work with, and the world I live in is to find somehow that path of virtue (this I can't claim to know). But I do know that I need to flow with the limitations, strengths, and environment that I have chosen and not try to fight the paths that I have both chosen and that have been chosen for me.
Therefore in creating a work of art as in creating our life's work it's important for me to try and flow as gracefully as possible over rough terrain, defining a personal path as does a stream.