The Less I Think, The More I Know
The Body, Brain, and Books: Eleven Questions with writer Anne Kadet
Anne launched hernewsletter in 2021. She also writes "Chasing Giants," a biweekly column profiling NYC startups for Crain's New York Business, and volunteers as a meditation teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center Brooklyn. She lives in Brooklyn Heights with her dog, Minnie.
What are you reading now?
I typically read a novel a week—fiction is my escape. I just finished "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, which I think I was supposed to read in high school. Wow, that lady sure can write!
I'm also plowing through two non-fiction titles. The current reads are "A Way of Being" by psychologist Carl Rogers (aka "Mr. Unconditional Regard") and "Churchill and Orwell: the Fight for Freedom," a biography of two very wonderful/horrible men. It's a fascinating read, but if it were really that fascinating, I'd probably have finished it by now. Still, having it on my coffee table makes me look like a very legit person!
What are your most beloved books from your youth? Did you ever hide any from your parents?
As a kid, "Harriet the Spy" was huge. I read "Call of the Wild" when I was eight and spent my entire third grade year crawling around on my hands and knees, pretending I was a wild dog and snapping at anyone crazy enough to come near.
I read "Catch-22" when I was 14 and that was a big factor in me wanting to be a writer. I wanted to write like THAT.
As for a book that I hid, I hid the same book from my parents that EVERYONE hid from their parents—the awful, awful, awful "Flowers in the Attic." I hear kids today are still hiding this book from their folks!
What’s your favorite book to reread? Any that helped you through a dark time?
I only re-read spirituality titles. A few I return to are Eckart Tolle's "The Power of Now," Thomas Merton's "New Seeds of Contemplation" and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's "How to Solve Our Human Problems," which is mainly about developing patient acceptance.
I also love Michael Alan Singer's "The Untethered Soul," but the cover features a cheeseball photo of a wild horse running on the beach, which makes it super embarrassing to read on the subway.
What’s an article of clothing that makes you feel most like you?
That's an easy one! I wear the same thing every day, so it's that thing.
Actually, there is a warm weather uniform and a cold weather uniform. The cold weather version, which I am wearing now, consists of a black camp shirt, black flare-leg pants, and black boots So I look like a goth character on a Soviet propaganda poster. Which makes me feel very me!
What’s the best piece of wisdom you've encountered recently?
When we really live fully, we are content to let others live however they'd like.
Tell me about any special relationship you’ve had with an animal, domestic or wild?
My late uncle, on my mother's side, was an antelope. He used to take me for long runs on the prairie. I had trouble keeping up, but those were some of the most special days of my life.
What's one thing you are happy worked out differently than you expected?
I wrote a novel ten years ago. I was so certain it would get published! But I couldn't even land an agent. Looking back, I'm glad. It was a very thinly disguised autobiography, and would have hurt some people I'm close to.
Singing in the shower or dancing in the kitchen? Or another favorite way your body expresses itself?
Singing to my dog! Flippin’ out in general is fun. Laughing. Random karate chops!
What are your hopes for yourself?
In the long run, enlightenment. I'm going for it!
In the short term, I just want to have a lot of fun and enjoy my life and inspire others to do the same.
What’s a kindness that changed your life?
The time, care and attention I got from 12-step program folks when I got into recovery 19 years ago. It still amazes me that these amateurs, who have nothing to share outside their own experience, and nothing to gain beyond the satisfaction of helping a fellow addict, can do so much good in the world.
What’s a guiding force in your life?
The idea that the less I think, the more I know. The answers will come if I just quiet down.
Meet me in the comment section
Do you have a daily uniform? Are you able to quiet your mind? Do you sing to the animals in your life? What most captured your heart in Anne’s answers?
Tell me in the comments!