but I don't quite see how else to take the notion of fixed rules for construction
tp-logo is a some sort of "horoscope", which describes a fate of toki pona. It is not a deep analysis, only for note.
tp-logo has three parts of fortune:
- round -- perfectness, pureness... like a cocon
- smile -- a part of round, reduced style, occam's razor -- pure minimalism, like caterpillar does
- sparks -- something out of standard fire, extension (with a smoke/fume, sometimes)
To be happy, it is "pona" for tp to develop each of three ways without competition. I guess, you are trying to follow pu-nasin (fixed rules, fixed vocabulary). "kon" around "kiwen". For me, there is more interesting "a way of fire" ("nasin seli"). Some people prefer a way of water ("nasin telo").
Round -- dao
smile -- yin
sparks -- yang