Episode 190: Bobbing at the Surface – Carrot Quinn

Episode 190: Bobbing at the Surface

Interview with Carrot Quinn

Carrot Quinn joins us on the show again to talk about her latest memoir: The Sunset Route. For those who read and loved Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart, this new book fills in a lot of the backstory. Billed as an adventure memoir, (Carrot spent her early 20’s hopping freight trains and hitchhiking before discovering thru-hiking) the book really shines in telling the story of how Carrot found nurturing, forgiveness, and healing through nature during a traumatic childhood.

In this episode, Gale and Carrot talk about her relationship with adventure today, the vulnerability of putting your story out there, the grief we all carry, the ways Carrot is giving back, and more.

Find the episode below, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you stream podcasts.

Featured in this episode: Carrot Quinn (she/they)

Hosted & Produced by Gale Straub

Additional Support by Julie Hotz

A production of Ravel Media

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Featured in this Episode

Carrot Quinn

Carrot Quinn portrait

And her books, Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart and The Sunset Route

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TRANSCRIPT

Note: This transcript was lightly edited and created using a transcription service. As such it may contain spelling errors.

Gale Straub – Narration:

I’m Gale Straub and you’re listening to She Explores.

Gale Straub:

Yeah, no, I mean, it’s, it’s so beautiful and true. And also I had to laugh because it’s like, sometimes things are so dark that the truth is almost like funny in terms of, wow. That it’s just intense. Like I was just thinking like, oh, we could, that would be a really interesting lead quote for this, this episode. Just like grief is going to get ya in the end.

Carrot Quinn:

I always laugh when I’m talking about dark things. I, yeah, it’s it’s I feel like it’s, it’s legit. It’s a very legit way to deal with…

Gale Straub:

It’s another coping mechanism.

Carrot Quinn:

Yeah, exactly. It is. And it is, I think the darkness of existence, I think one kind of humor is absurdity and it is deeply absurd. Like it is like, yeah, just how dark that we have to accept about embodiment is just, it’s just a lot. It’s kind of just a lot and it’s absurd. It’s absurd how much it is. So I think it’s valid as like also being, it’s kind of funny in that way, because it’s like, okay, like this is it’s too much. It’s absurd.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Over 4 years ago, I tore through a book called Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart. I read it like a lot of people read Carrot Quinn’s writing, and how she walked her first thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail — each page, or mile, felt faster than the one before. Carrot has a gift for immersive, visceral writing that puts you in their well worn trail shoes. And as escapist as the subject matter may seem, Carrot’s memoir writing is introspective, self aware but not overwrought, and explores greater aspects of the human condition. She manages to share her own life in a way that is deeply personal and relatable at the same time. Her latest memoir, The Sunset Route came out earlier in July. I talked with her right after it came out, and right after I read it:

Carrot Quinn:

I feel really good. It feels, um, anticlimactic, but in kind of in like a nice way, like, it just feels very chill because I, I finished it last fall and then it just takes time to actually get out into the world. But traditional publishing, unfortunately when you self publish, you can like, you know, kind of do what you want, depending on, you know, how much capacity you have or time or whatever. And with traditional publishing, it always takes like a certain amount of time, which is so, so I’ve been waiting for a while and this suspense was really getting to me cause I was like, okay, okay. Okay. And so now it’s out and I’m just like, okay, it’s out. I can stop like feeling nervous or wondering about different things. So it actually feels really nice.

Gale Straub – Narration:

For those of you who read and loved Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart, the Sunset Route fills in a lot of the backstory. You get glimpses in her first book, as Carrot tells their story on the PCT – nods to her childhood growing up in poverty in Alaska, references to her history riding freight trains in the early 2000’s, her complicated relationship with Ramen, a fellow thru hiker who pledged loyalty to trees and Catholicism in equal measure. But we get so much more insight through the Sunset Route:

Carrot Quinn:

It’s interesting. I got some feedback for through hiking will break your heart, where people like, I wish you wrote more about your childhood and then I’ve gotten, I’ve seen one thing about the sunset route. That’s like, I wish I knew more about her through hiking life. I’m like, well maybe now people can find all the information they need between these two books.

Gale Straub:

Yeah. Go to like 80% of the way through sunset route, insert Thru hiking will break your heart.

Carrot Quinn:

Exactly. I should have added that as a note right before like the last part and the sunset route where it’s like 2019 or whatever, I should have added that as notes.

Gale Straub – Narration:

This is my second time interviewing Carrot. The first time was in 2016, the 12th episode of this podcast. And back then she told me this:

Carrot Quinn:

Right now I’m working on a book about my years, riding freight trains. And then I won’t have to write memoir anymore because there’ll be all my stories.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Carrot repeated the same sentiment this time around.

Carrot Quinn:

I feel embarrassed that I wrote so much memoir, honestly. Cause I, you know, my, my first book, I really wanted to write about hiking the PCT the first time, because it was such like this pure adventure for me and still is, it’s still like the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. Maybe we all get like one of those in our lifetime, you know, like one adventure that is just so pure. So I really want to try to author it because it felt just like so beautiful. And, and then I’ve, and then I’ve always had this like urge to write about my childhood and sort of like how I processed the stuff I experienced as a kid. And I like, okay, now I’ve done that. And now I’m like, okay. Now I feel like really embarrassed that I like wrote about myself so much and also really sick of myself in a way, like I have like embarrassment at my own self. I don’t know. But yeah, I’m really excited to write, write nonfiction about things that aren’t my own life and also write fiction next

Gale Straub – Narration:

Carrot’s living a life that pretty much guarantees she’ll still have more stories to tell, though I can relate to the vulnerability overload of centering yourself in your work. I really, really enjoyed reading The Sunset Route, which is billed as an adventure memoir — Carrot spent her early 20’s hopping freight trains and hitch hiking before discovering thru hiking — but what struck me the most is how Carrot found nurturing through nature amidst a traumatic childhood marked by neglect and abandonment. And as she grew older, she channeled that nurturing through movement. So while the idea of taking an adventure is often a privilege, something one does for fun — a theme I noticed is that it’s also been equal parts survival for Carrot: It’s worth noting, before we jump in, that in our conversation, we touch on childhood trauma. Here’s Carrot, on how she thinks about adventure today.

Carrot Quinn:

I think when I first got into writing freight trains, I think I really needed to feel strong and empowered. And I think that was, I think for a lot of us, we find something that’s kind of the first thing in our lives that makes us feel that way, whatever it is at whatever age, you know, we find something that makes us feel like really strong and empowered. And I think that was the first thing for me. So I think it was really important in somehow developing my, I don’t know what sense of self, I think that feeling of freedom has always been really intoxicating. And when I was younger, I wanted to escape my life pretty much always no matter where I was or what I was doing because I was struggling with, I was trying not to face like this grief, like this massive grief that I needed to face, but wasn’t ready to face.

Carrot Quinn:

And so sort of when you like leave someplace and go on, you know, a quote unquote adventure, I think what characterizes that is taking away all the familiar and your life and going from doing everything on sort of muscle memory, to everything, being new and having to use like the bandwidth of your entire brain each day to navigate everything, where are you going to sleep? No matter what the adventure, you know, like where are you going to sleep? What you’re going to eat, how you’re going to get there, how you’re going to take care of your basic needs. Like it just takes away because when you’re, you know, living in your house, in the town, working your job, a lot of stuff, you no longer need to use bandwidth for because you’re doing it everyday and it’s familiar. And so you start to feel your feelings probably, maybe, I don’t know, but if you’re using like the bandwidth of your whole brain, just to take care of your basic needs, then there’s no room to feel, feel other things kind of, you’re just kind of in this.

Carrot Quinn:

And you also get all these like endorphins and good feelings because I don’t know something out when things are new. It, you know, it, it creates all this like pleasure and excitement and everything sparkly. And so I think for me, constant travel when I was younger was a way to stay in that space and sort of put off facing this like grief that I wasn’t at all ready to process. Like I could beat myself off and be like, oh, I should have just like, you know, started processing this, but I wasn’t ready. Like I think our brains, I think we need time. A lot of time we need like distance. We need distance from the actual event and we need time and sometimes our brains need to mature a little bit. And so, yeah, I wasn’t ready. So I think that was that for me.

Carrot Quinn:

And I think now, oh, and I always hated my life and just wanting to escape. I was always like depressed wherever I was. And that was true when I started long distance hiking too, in 2013, I was like, and I was like, nothing about my life is appealing. I can’t like nothing feels pleasurable. I just feel really demoralized. So long distance hiking, like five months a year was a way to run away and escape and, uh, have everything be new again and not feel those feelings. And now I actually really liked my life and there’s a lot in my life that I do find pleasure in, which is something that came later to me as I like, you know, honestly, as I like started to process the grief and like became more ready, like my brain got more ready to like, be like, okay, let’s like, look at this and feel these feelings, you know? So now I don’t want to leave as much, which is actually really nice because it makes it possible to invest in things that I couldn’t before and have the sorts of the sort of stability that I want and definitely need as I get older too. So now adventure, it’s fun, but it’s like also fun when I’m not on a trip and it feels really good then too. So that’s really cool actually.

Gale Straub:

Yeah. I also love how gentle you are on your younger self, you know, like it’s okay. That wasn’t your time to process like you needed more and cause I think obviously that’s a healthy approach versus like beating yourself up for not for not being there yet.

Carrot Quinn:

Yeah. I think we have to be realistic about what our brains can handle. Like there’s a reason that we have all these ways of avoiding our feelings and all these coping mechanisms. And I think sometimes it’s that we literally can’t handle it. Like we can’t like all the different ways, our brains change after trauma, our coping mechanisms so that we can survive what we’ve experienced. And I think that’s real, like I needed to survive what I’d experienced and uh, I wasn’t ready to like process it yet because it’s, I feel like I had to, I had to slowly bit by bit find a place of peace with like these different ways the world is because I was like to steeped in it too much as a child, like before my brain could even like compartmentalize or conceptualized or explain anything, you know? And so I think I had to like slowly come to terms with some different things before I could start to process like what I had experienced, you know?

Carrot Quinn:

Cause I needed a place to like put things like, this is why this happened. Now. I feel like I understand why my mom was abusive because of her own illness. And I think she’d experienced and just, she, she was so over capacity and had such limited tools that all she could do is like lash out. And I think it took me like a really long time to, to understand that that’s the way like the world works that often people, or maybe always people are abusive because they’re past the capacity for what they have tools for. It’s like self protective. Like people are trying to prevent their own pain basically or protect themselves from their own pain. And they’re not in a place of groundedness. And so like it took me a long time to start to learn that stuff. And then I had like context and like a place to put things and yeah, I think all around us and ourselves included, we see people who are just acting out of pain and often it’s like, people just aren’t ready to like process what they need to process in order to heal.

Gale Straub:

Mm. And what role does writing play for you in that?

Carrot Quinn:

That’s a great question. I think, I think writing the Sunset Route helped me process a lot or I think it, it helped me move on, which is really cool. It did, it did make it so that I was like, then I was like sick of it. I was like, as like, and I’m sick of this story, but I, for some reason I think maybe we all want our pain to be witnessed and validated. Like we all, because my childhood very much happened in secret. Like it was, my brother was there and our mom was there and my best friend when I was a kid, she knew eventually. And like teachers knew, but it was very much like something, our mom, she tried to hide from the world. And then as an adult, I just sort of transitioned into this world where I’m not really surrounded by people who have childhoods similar to mine.

Carrot Quinn:

Like I do have some friends who have childhoods similar to mine and I’m like so grateful for those relationships. But mostly it’s like invisible. It’s very invisible. And uh, so having that, writing about that pain and having it like witnessed and validated feels like an important part of the process. So I always had this like urge to write about those stories and now I’m like, okay, now I’m ready to move on. So now I’m sick of it, which is, which is funny. But my hope is that that people who grew up with the level of poverty, I grew up in an or with a similar childhoods that were similar in different ways. My hope is that those people can read the book and feel seen and validated because I think when you grow up like that, there’s this sort of dark shame that you carry.

Carrot Quinn:

That it’s very heavy. And I know when I read books about experiences like mine, I feel like really seen and validated. Cause I’m like, that world is real and it exists just behind this one. And some, I mean, a lot of people around us exist in that world, you know? And it’s like two different worlds layered on top of each other, probably more than two it’s like we live in this world that has many, many worlds, all layered on top of each other and they all exist in they’re all real. And sometimes you hold more than one. And when I read other people write about that, it feels like so validating and good to be like, I’m not the only one.

Gale Straub:

It helps other people process too.

Carrot Quinn:

Yeah, totally.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Carrot and I kept chatting about processing trauma, grief, and embodiment — but I’m inspired by Carrot to think beyond the linear and save it for the end of this episode. All that and more — after the break.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’re back. One thing I appreciated in reading The Sunset Route is that Carrot reveals real time, as she’s coming into her own and learning about the world and its inequities, how much of what she’s doing — hopping freight trains, shoplifting, spending a few days in jail — she can get away with more easily because she is white. And because she grew up hungry, with a deep understanding of what it means to go without, Carrot does a lot today to share some of the stability she’s earned for herself with others.

Carrot Quinn:

Yeah. I mean, I think that I don’t do a whole lot, but also at the same time, it’s hard because I think we all have to come to terms with what’s one person’s worth of work, because I think if I’m like, I’m going to change the world that becomes this weird egotistical, like saviorism for me. And, but if I am like, I want to do one’s person’s worth of work. Then it becomes this. Cause if I’m like, I’m going to change the world, then I will throw myself into something really hard and burn out and I’ll be like, okay, now I just need to like quit this entirely and you know, give up. And if I’m like, okay, what is one person’s worth of work? You know, I’m just one human being. Then I can find something that I can sort of chip away at for a long time without becoming really discouraged and demoralized.

Carrot Quinn:

So, so I’m like, well, I haven’t done that much, but I’m like, maybe I’m I’m doing like, what is reasonable? But I, yeah, for a while, when, when I was still long distance hiking and blogging a lot and had a lot of people reading my blog, I would use those blog posts to raise money for different things, which felt good. Um, like I would be like, I would find different fundraisers and things. And then, uh, I would be like, when this fundraiser gets to this amount, I’ll put the next post. And when the fundraiser gets to the smile, I’ll put the next post. And that was really cool. And I think if you have like a hiking blog where you’re blogging a lot and have a lot of readers, that could be a cool thing to do. And it’s also, I think, fun for people reading because then they it’s fun for them to like be involved in these little fundraisers.

Carrot Quinn:

And then at the beginning of COVID some neighbors and I started this Mutual Aid group in Tucson where I live in the winners and that’s pretty cool. I’m in Alaska right now for the summer. So I’m not part of it right now, but it’s just neighborhood based. So we wanted to keep it small because the older I get, the more important I realize relationships are maybe actually more important than anything more important than the words you use more important than your identity, more important than what you say is your relationships like, because those are so foundational. And I feel like if you’re saying and doing all these things, but the relationships aren’t there, then you know, maybe you’re not actually making change. I don’t know. I have no idea, but I think for me, the older I get, the more I’m like relationship is the most important thing.

Carrot Quinn:

Maybe the only thing that matters. And so w the groups really neighborhood based, because then we can, uh, build relationships with the people in the neighborhood and just also move very slow, like super slow, because that’s like to build relationship and to build a trust actually just is very slow and which is very humbling, you know? Um, but so what we do is just give groceries away to people and we’ve been doing it for like a year, a year and some months now, and it’s cool. We got like a couple of grants and we fundraise some money and we get donations and we deliver groceries to anybody in the neighborhood who wants them, and we have a hotline. And so it’s like just like a small project, but that feels really good. And it feels like something that it’s small enough, that it’s something that the people involved can just put work into over time without like burning out or being like, yeah, without printing out, I guess. So that feels good, but so, so I’m like, okay, this is my like little one person’s worth of work. And as I continue on in life, I’m just, I want to just stay curious and stay open about like, what is helpful and what feels right. Without trying to have like a lot of attachment to this idea of like changing the world. Because that, I don’t know. I feel like when I it’s just, yeah, I just have to stay grounded in like small things I think, or I get overwhelmed. So, yeah.

Gale Straub:

Yeah. Uh, so, so about those, um, relate, like wanting to build relationships and relationships feeling like the, the important thing, or like one of the most important things. Do you feel like you’ve cultivated like a family for yourself, a chosen family over time?

Carrot Quinn:

Um, I feel like family is so hard for all of us these days. Right. I feel like there’s a certain kind of family that the way we’ve set up our society in the U S it’s, you know, set up for this one kind of family, like the nuclear family and anything outside of that is hard to cultivate because it’s just, we’re just not set up for that. You know, like we don’t have multi-generational households. We don’t, we don’t care for disabled folks. We don’t, I mean, I don’t have kids, but it seems like if you have kids, it’s not a very kid friendly world.

Carrot Quinn:

And like, it’s really, it’s getting harder and harder to own property. And if, and more and more everybody is having to change cities as housing inflation sort of ripples across the country. So people are constantly having to move. And when you move all the time, you can’t build these place-based communities and community and family is also it’s about place. And you need to have place in order to have like communities that are stable in that way. So right now I feel like I have people I love who are scattered all over the country and Alaska is the, the one place I can go where I feel like there’s a lot of, uh, folks in one place where I’m like, okay, here’s somewhere where there’s a lot of people that, um, I want to continue to build these relationships with and would love to keep building community with.

Carrot Quinn:

And it’s like a place that I feel very connected to. And then the rest of the U S it’s like, you know, a few people here, a few people there who like I love and care about, but don’t actually get to see IRL that often. And, and mostly people are moving around a lot because of housing inflation. And yeah, it’s really interesting. Uh, I think that when I was younger in my early twenties, when the housing market was really different and rent, wasn’t constantly going up. And also sometimes people were, people were more easily able to buy homes, maybe, um, or maybe renters just weren’t being pushed out. Things felt more communities felt more stable. Like you could be in a place for 10 years and no other people there for 10 years and people weren’t constantly like, oh my God, oh my God, like, I need housing.

Carrot Quinn:

Everything’s too expensive. Where should we move? Where should we live? I feel like more and more of that question is getting harder. And I feel like everyone is getting hungry and hungrier for some sense of place and community and something where they’re not being pushed out. Everyone, you know, it’s, it’s especially working class communities and poor communities. And, but now it’s, you know, it’s even the, middle-class now, it’s everyone who’s not wealthy, uh, these days, which is really interesting. And I wonder if it’ll lead to sort of a cultural moment where when this housing market or whatever, when something shifts and people are able to stay put, if there’s going to be this just like this cultural, like interest in having community, again, that’s really intense, but

Gale Straub:

It is, um, kind of fascinating that, you know, you can’t answer a personal question without, or one, can’t answer a personal question without thinking about all these other forces that are like totally out of your control that are shaping your personal life.

Carrot Quinn:

I mean, yeah. It’s, uh, yeah. The question of community and family, I feel like is on everyone’s minds these days, we’re all like, what is the world that we live in? Like, how do we form human social structures? Like how, what does that look like? Like where is the place that we live? Like, what is place, like, what are the plants there? What are the seasons like, where do we sleep at night? How long can we stay? What other humans do we have connections to? What do our social groups look like? Do we have social groups anymore? Like obviously having human social groups is such a basic human need, so we’re not going to be able to go long in this state right now where it’s like, sort of peak alienation. And I don’t know. Yeah. It’s really interesting, but right now, so I feel like I’m just going like year by year, you know, like being like, okay, this year here is how I can be around the people that I really care about and feel connection.

Carrot Quinn:

And obviously during COVID, you know, everything was like out the window and I’m like, okay, now it’s more possible. So what does it look like now? And I think everyone’s struggling with that too, because during COVID, you know, most people were feeling isolated and cut off and now people are like, okay, how do we organize in social groups now? So, uh, yeah, so right now I’m in Alaska and I have a lot of friends here who I really love. And then my girlfriend is in the law for day, but she works seasonally. So she works trail crews in the summer. So where she is right now is not where she is in the winter. So we both sort of live seasonally in the winter. I’ll be back in Tucson and she’ll be there too. So then we’ll get to be in the same place for the winter. And we have friends there and that’s what my life looks like this year.

Music

Carrot Quinn:

I wrote it all linearly. And then I, I tried a lot of different things to try and figure out how to mix it up. But what I ended up doing was writing down, titling each section and then writing those titles on index cards and putting those index cards on the floor. And that was the only way it could like fit in my brain and going around and rearranging those index cards until it felt like it like flowed in a certain way. But I’m like, I hope it works!

Gale Straub – Narration:

Carrot’s talking about The Sunset Route, which, for about ¾ of the book, jumps back and forth in time as Carrot is learning the ropes of riding freight trains and walking us through her childhood in Alaska.

Gale Straub:

I would love to hear how you feel like you’ve grown as a writer since, and I know you’ve, it sounds like you’ve always been a writer. Like when you were riding trains, you were working on a fictional book about riding trains. I think, I feel like I remember you said that in sunset route, but how do you feel like you’ve, you’ve grown in between these two publications?

Carrot Quinn:

A lot of the stories from the sunset route came from this zine I put out in my early twenties while I was riding trains that had like all my train writing stories and hitchhiking stories. And so a lot of that material image became like parts of the sunset route. So that’s what I was working on in the book where I was like on my like clamshell Mac book or whatever, my like orange clamshell map, Mac book that I got like use on eBay. But I think, I think one way I’ve grown is that my first book was just a, it was just a blog. So it was like day by day. It wasn’t structured in any special way because it was based on my blog posts. And then I turned that into sort of chapters and shaped it, but it was still very much like day after day.

Carrot Quinn:

And then the Sunset Route moves around in time a lot, which really, uh, was really hard work for my brain and took a lot of playing around to figure out, like I had to change the tense of the entire book, like multiple times. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yeah. But it’s cool because you, you know, you have to rewrite it over and over anyway. And so each time you go through and change the tense, you get a chance to edit it and rewrite it. So, you know, it is what it is, but it was really hard. And I feel like I learned a lot and I feel like I still haven’t quite gotten to where I want to be at all with even understanding how to do that stuff. So now I feel like when I read, I’m reading more with an ear to how other people do that, because I’m trying to learn how to do that better, like how to have structures that aren’t just like 100% linear because you know, so much of what I read isn’t and I think there’s so many like beautiful ways to play around with structure.

Carrot Quinn:

And it’s really difficult. It’s like really beautiful and really difficult and challenging. And it’s really exciting to like read stuff now and be like, oh, wow, this is what this person does. Like, wow. Like this person like moves around in time and moves between different characters, different narratives without ever telling you what’s happening or explaining anything. And I was like, wow, that’s really cool. And also you’re assuming so much from the reader, like, you’re assuming that they’re willing to do that work. And you’re assuming that they’re willing to trust you and that they’re willing to have patients for that. And like what an interesting thing to be like, I’m just going to be really free right now. And the reader can just figure it out and just like, but also then you have to like, actually do it really well. You know? So like, so, so reading stuff down and being like, wow, like how did this person do this? So that’s really fun. And I’m really excited to write fiction because I, because there’s more freedom. I feel like to do stuff like that too. So it’s, it’s fun. There’s like, you know, with writing, it’s like, you can, there’s so much room to grow, I guess that then, you know, with any sort of art or whatever, and that’s really exciting to me. So yeah, that’s been really fun.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Ok, remember before the break when I said I’d share part of our conversation at the end? Carrot had been talking about how:

Carrot Quinn:

We live in this world that has many, many worlds, all layered on top of each other and they all exist in they’re all real. And sometimes you hold more than one.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Which made me remember Carrot’s metaphor of grief as an ocean, from the Sunset Route: “I had learned that you couldn’t escape the ocean entirely, but you could learn to live above it. Grief was an ocean but you could reach the surface and bob there, where the light was.”

Gale Straub:

I love the metaphor it’s towards the end of sunset route. And I think it’s just essentially, and I’m going to terribly paraphrase it, but it’s, you know, grief as an ocean. And you bobbing up with your head towards the surface just to get a little bit of that light and how, when you’re talking about parallel, worlds are lots of different worlds. We’ve got bits of our bodies are lots of our bodies. We’re totally submerged. Like there’s this, there’s like a lot to hold within that metaphor in terms of what we’re all kind of waiting in or treading through. And I, I feel like that’s something that like, even if you didn’t have a childhood like yours, that a lot of people can relate to.

Carrot Quinn:

Yeah. Yeah. Because embodiment is like some pretty intense suffering. And I think life is a process of just losing everything until we die. And so I think we all just hold like massive amounts of grief. It’s like, we’re getting covered in like barnacles, the longer we live. That’s just like these heavy particles of grief that just weigh us down. And I feel like it just continues to accumulate until we die. And maybe that’s why we have to die. Like maybe that’s, I mean, I understand like evolutionarily why death, death is a thing so that mammals can adapt and evolve, but maybe that’s another reason we have to die. We can’t live forever is because we need to compost and dissolve all of those barnacles. So like, you know, people can be born that aren’t covered in grief barnacles, but I do think that we can’t escape the grief, but yeah, the, we can sort of, it’s like this ocean and we can get to the surface and like, hold our head above the surface and breathe there, but we can’t ever, we can’t climb out of it. And it just accumulates.

Gale Straub – Narration:

I asked Carrot, like I ask everyone I talk with – if there’s anything else they want to add. Here are Carrot’s short wishes:

Carrot Quinn:

And yeah. I don’t think there’s anything else I want to share people. Yeah. I hope people, if they read it, I hope it’s like a nice adventure and, or feels cathartic or reflective of experiences they might’ve had. And yeah. I just hope it’s escapist and fun to read. That’s basically the goal.

Gale Straub:

Well, I will say thank you to you for coming on. And also thank you for writing the book. I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it was cathartic, but it was, um, it’s just like one of those, the universal aspects of like life being hard at times and the way that you verbalize or write about what you’re working through in what feels like a very honest and transparent way, I guess that is cathartic in a way, like to be able to, to read through someone else’s processing, at least on a personal level helps, helps me know myself better. Even if I don’t have a ton, you know, on the surface level in common with you. So thank you for that.

Carrot Quinn:

I guess. Yeah. The human experience. Yeah. Embodiment is brutal no matter who you are and yeah, we’re, we’re all trying to process this grief, this grief of existing.

Gale Straub:

Absolutely.

 

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