6.28.11 Cultivating Stupidity with the Day

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.

Share your three highlights below – and let us know where you’re writing from.

See you in the woods,
The 3 Highlights Guy

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3 responses to “6.28.11 Cultivating Stupidity with the Day

  1. 1. Teaching yoga to my coworkers, which always scares me initially and thrills me moments later.
    2. A successful presentation at today’s board meeting which opens doors to major fundraising and means some day every child who needs a CASA volunteer to speak up for him or her in court will have one.
    3. A lowlight: a friend of 20+ years didn’t call when she said she would, another in a long line of missed connections when I keep showing up.
    Austin, TX

  2. 3 highlights…

    1) Stepping through barren times make the green fields of opportunity coming into view all the sweeter
    2) Stepping up to do some out-of-the ordinary things are exciting and tense with anticipation
    3) Side-stepping some conversations that need to happen is just silly human behavior

    All from McKinney, TX…

  3. 1. Outdoor shower with my little one splashing water in the evening sunlight.
    2. Writing 10 “sucky” pages but knowing that’s what I need to write right now.
    3. Talking with and catching up with one of my good friends re: meditation, aging parents, potty training kids, and more.
    – Accord, NY