One of the most compelling, best written memoirs I’ve read in years is Andre Dubus III’s Townie. It captures the plight of a scrawny boy growing up among toughs, of the son of a tweedy and absent professor among scruffy locals called “townies.” It took Dubus a few years to get the story, and even once he found the story he said in a recent interview that while writing it he was “cultivating stupidity.” That is, he was trying not to know too much about how his own story might unfold on the page.
Is it possible upon occasion to cultivate stupidity with moments and hours of the day? To relinquish what we think we know is coming in favor of wide-mouthed, wide-eyed openness? Not all day long, of course, but just upon occasion to say to the day, “I’m here. I’m open. I’m empty. I know nothing. Surprise me.” I wonder.
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See you in the woods,
The 3 Highlights Guy