The first three notes -- the root, the fifth, and the minor third -- seemed entirely magical. In their simplicity he heard the implication of the whole piece itself, and from that, from his awareness of the fugue, came an awareness of all-of-music, as if all notes were contained in any single note. The perception was evanescent, but so powerful as to wipe away thoughts of himself. Music is here! Music has been here forever and always will be here! It was so much larger than life, so ineluctable strong, so potent an indicator of a kind of heaven on earth, that all else was swept before it. He saw this in a flash. In a nanosecond.
We become better at something in ourselves—more skilled, more creative, more effective—when we work. We discover that, indeed, we are good for something. Good work is, at the time, its own kind of asceticism. It needs no symbolic rituals or contrived penances.
The very act of continuing something until we succeed at it is soul-searing, life-changing enough... It makes us equal partners with the rest of the human race in this one common endeavor to grow the globe to wholeness. Good work is our gift to the future. It is what we leave behind—our persistence, our precision, our commitment, our fidelity to the smallest and meanest of tasks that will change the mind of generations to come about our sacred obligation to bear our share of the holy-making enterprise that is work.