Decay Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 220 quotes )
Beautiful things grow to a certain height and then they fail and fade off, breathing out memories as they decay. And just as any period decays in our minds, the things of that period should decay too, and in that way they're preserved for a while in the few hearts like mine that react to them. Trying to preserve a century by keeping its relics up to date is like keeping a dying man alive by stimulants.
When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless.
Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away—an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.
Already he knew something of the history of the intervening years. He had heard now of the moral decay that had followed the collapse of supernatural religion in the minds of ignoble man, the decline of public honour, the ascendency of wealth. For men who had lost their belief in God had still kept their faith in property, and wealth ruled a venial world.
But what force in the galaxy is stronger than she is?"Indifference." Jerusha surprised herself with the answer. "Indifference, Gundhalinu, is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don't stand a chance against it. It lets neglect and decay and monstrous injustice go unchecked. It doesn't act, it allows. And that's what gives it so much power.
I do not think I exaggerate when I say that some of us put our offering in the plate with a kind of triumphant bounce as much as to say: "There - now God will feel better!" I am obliged to tell you that God does not need anything you have. He does not need a dime of your money. It is your own spiritual welfare at stake in such matters as these. You have the right to keep what you have all to yourself - but it will rust and decay, and ultimately ruin you.
The boarded-up homes, the decaying storefronts, the aging church rolls, kids from unknown families who swaggered down the streets - loud congregations of teenage boys, teenage girls feeding potato chips to crying toddlers, the discarded wrappers tumbling down the block - all of it whispered painful truths.
They believed us and perished for it. Our statecraft, our learning. Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning. Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour -Not since her birth has our Earth seen such worth loosed upon her. Nor was their agony brief, or once only imposed on them. The wounded, the war-spent, the sick received no exemption: Being cured they returned and endured and achieved our redemption, Hopeless themselves of relief, till Death, marvelling, closed on them. That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given. To corruption unveiled and assailed by the malice of Heaven -By the heart-shaking jests of Decay where it lolled on the wires -To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes - to be cindered by fires -To be senselessly tossed and retossed in stale mutilation. From crater to crater. For this we shall take expiation. But who shall return us the children?
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during former years may represent the long succession of extinct species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have at all times overmastered other species in the great battle for life. The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was young, budding twigs; and this connection of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants. From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.
My prolonged study of these photographs led me to appreciate the importance of perserving certain moments for prosperity , and as time moved forwards I also came to see what a powerful influence these framed scenes exerted over us as we went about our daily lives.To watch my uncle pose my brother a maths problem , and at the same time to see him in a picture taken thirty-two years earlier ; to watch my father scanning the newspaper and trying , with a half-smile , to catch the tail of a joke rippling across the crowded room,and at that very same moment to see a picture of him to me that my grandmother had framed and frozen these memories so that we could weave them into the present.When,in the tones ordinarily preserved for discussing the founding of a nation , my grandmother spoke of my grandfather who had died so young,and pointed at the frames on the tables and the walls , it seemed that she , likes me , was pulled in two directions , wanting to get on with life but also longing to capture the moment of perfection , savouring the ordinary life but still honouring the ideal.But even as I pondered these dilemmas-if you plucked a special moment from life and framed it , were you defying death , decay and the passage of time. or were you submitting to them ?-I grew very bored with them.pg.13
A great empire cannot bring freedom by its own decay to those corners in it where a subject people are prevented from discussing the fundamentals of life. The people feel like children turned adrift to fend for themselves when the imperial routine breaks down; and they wander to and fro, given up to instinctive fears and antagonisms and exaltation until reason dares to take control. I had come to Yugoslavia to see what history meant in flesh and blood. I learned now that it might follow, because an empire passed, that a world full of strong men and women and rich food and heady wine might nevertheless seem like a shadow-show: that a man of every excellence might sit by a fire warming his hands in the vain hope of casting out a chill that lived not in the flesh.
And so the German spirit, carousing in music, in wonderful creations of sound, and wonderful beauties of feeling and mood that were never pressed home to reality, has left the greater part of its gifts to decay. None of us intellectuals is at home in reality. We are strange to it and hostile. Assiduous and busy, care-ridden and light-hearted, intelligent and yet thoughtless, these butterflies lived a life at once childlike and raffin; independent, not to be bought by every one, finding their account in good luck and fine weather, in love with life and yet clinging to it far less than the bourgeois, always ready to follow a fairy prince to his castle, always certain, though scarcely conscious of it, that a difficult and sad end was in store for them.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.