GLOSS Issue 20 FEB 2015 - Page 75

Furious is not the same as fierce - Thelonius Monk. DON'T PLAY EVERYTHING A GENIUS IS THE ONE MOST LIKE HIMSELF Furious is your ego talking. It is the fight to get even, to reclaim the higher ground, to set things right. Furious might look good on TV, but it rarely succeeds, because someone who is furious is unable to create art, or to be generous, to see what’s actually happening. All he wants to do is defeat his enemy. My friend Asim spent a year in Pakistan. While there, he wrote one of the most classic lines I’ve read in our modern era, “I did a random search on the internet for boxing clubs.” It turns out he found one in Lahore. Ehtisham, his host at the gym, an MMA fighter from Hunza, told him, “...gasping for breath and recklessly pacing back and forth is counterproductive, you might as well throw in the towel.” No, fury doesn’t work, but fierceness does. The artist who is fierce is able to sacrifice his ego and his perception of safety to go to a place that frightens him. He cares so much about the work and the community and the opportunity to make a difference that he’s able to be rational when everyone else winds themselves into a knot being furious. Fierceness takes honesty and commitment. Fierceness means telling yourself the truth about what’s at stake and what’s possible, wit