Since we are nothing but packages of tepid, half-rotted viscera, we shall always have trouble with sentiment. Being in love is nothing, it's sticking together that's difficult. Faeces on the other hand make no attempt to endure or to grow. On this score we are far more unfortunate than shit: our frenzy to persist in our present state - that's the unconscionable torture.
Louis Ferdinand Celine
Secrets are a sneaky little seed. You can hide them, you can bury them, you can disguise them, and cover them up. But then just when you think your secret has rotted away and decayed into nothing, it stirs back to life. It sprouts roots and stems, crawls its way through the mud and muck, growing and climbing, and bursting through the surface, blooming for everyone to see. That's the lesson here. The truth always comes out eventually.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years.
Nobody should have to put their boxers in a half rotted chest of drawers.' 'Hey. I'll have you know that the rustic look is very popular in the burbs.' 'Rustic?' Chase snorted. 'Is that your way of saying termite infested?' 'This furniture does not have termites. Mice maybe, even moths, but not termites.' 'Great, I can look forward to having a swiss cheese wardrobe.
The festive music died down and the granite pillars were replaced with rotted wooden beams as he continued down the alleyways. The scent of fresh flowers turned to mold, and the colorful mosiacs of honor and nobility were nonexistent. Run-down tenements were shadowed by its surrounding buildings, as if the capital itself wanted to conceal its existence.
...Baltimore. It's imperfect. Boy, is it imperfect. And there are parts of its past that make you wince. It's not all marble steps and waitresses calling you 'hon,' you know. Racial strife in the sixties, the riots during the Civil War. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it was civilized and gay, rotted and polite. The terms are slightly anachronistic now, but I think he was essentially right.
Baltimore. It's imperfect. Boy, is it imperfect. And there are parts of its past that make you wince. It's not all marble steps and waitresses calling you 'hon, ' you know. Racial strife in the sixties, the riots during the Civil War. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it was civilized and gay, rotted and polite. The terms are slightly anachronistic now, but I think he was essentially right.
I've lived here ... my whole life. It's where I lost all my baby teeth. Where tiny hamster, gerbil, and bird skeletons lie in rotted-out cardboard coffins beneath the oak tree in our backyard. Also where, if some future archaeologist goes digging, they'll find the remains of a plush toy: a gray terrier named Toto I buried after the accident.
I've lived here... my whole life. It's where I lost all my baby teeth. Where tiny hamster, gerbil, and bird skeletons lie in rotted-out cardboard coffins beneath the oak tree in our backyard. Also where, if some future archaeologist goes digging, they'll find the remains of a plush toy: a gray terrier named Toto I buried after the accident.
Television is a constant stream of fact, opinions, lies, moral dilemmas, plots: an infinitely complex and sophisticated torrent of information. How could it not make you cleverer? The only people who ever thought television rotted the brain and made kids dumb were those with a vested interest in other ways of learning, or those who were intellectually insecure, usually about books.
A. A. Gill
The moon had risen behind him, the color of a shark's underbelly. It lit the ruined walls, and the skin of his arms and hands, with its sickly light, making him long for a mirror in which to study his face. Surely he'd be able to see the bones beneath the meat; the skull gleaming the way his teeth gleamed when he smiled. After all, wasn't that what a smile said? Hello, world, this is the way I'll look when the wet parts are rotted.
But it was pointless, it was stupid; he thought about thoughtless things. If I were a seabird . . . but how could you be a seabird? If you were a seabird your brain would be tiny and stupid and you would love half-rotted fish guts and tweaking the eyes out of little grazing animals; you would know no poetry and you could never appreciate flying as fully as the human on the ground yearning to be you. If you wanted to be a seabird you deserved to be one.
Jane Francklyne, born in 1565, had lived for less than a month. She left very little behind. She was buried in the Ecton churchyard, but her father would hardly have paid a carver to engrave so small a stone. If not for the parish register, there would be no record that this Jane Francklyne had ever lived at all. History is what is written and can be found; what isn't saved is lost, sunken and rotted, eaten by the earth.
The civilized nations--Greece, Rome, England--have been sustained by the primitive forests which anciently rotted where they stand. They survive as long as the soil is not exhausted. Alas for human culture! little is to be expected of a nation, when the vegetable mould is exhausted, and it is compelled to make manure of the bones of its fathers. There the poet sustains himself merely by his own superfluous fat, and the philosopher comes down on his marrow-bones.
Henry David Thoreau
The more you talk about it, rehash it, rethink it, cross analyze it, debate it, respond to it, get paranoid about it, compete with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, defame it, stalk it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives it continues to rot in your brain. It is dead. It is over. It is gone. It is done. It is time to bury it because it is smelling up your life and no one wants to be near your rotted corpse of memories and decaying attitude. Be the funeral director of your life and bury that thing!
Shannon L. Alder
The Mongols consumed a steady diet of meat, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products, and they fought men who lived on gruel made from various grains. The grain diet of the peasant warriors stunted their bones, rotted their teeth, and left them weak and prone to disease. In contrast, the poorest Mongol soldier ate mostly protein, thereby giving him strong teeth and bones.
The Israelites in the desert found that hoarded manna rotted. They were permitted no bank accounts and no insurance policies. God is enough. He will be tomorrow who he was today. Later, through Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:13) God chastises Israel for digging cisterns next to streams of living water, hedging their bets just in case God forgets to be God... or neglects to be good. God is enough. Will he not be tomorrow who he has been today?
We might preach till our tongues rotted, till we should exhaust our lungs and die, but never a soul would be converted unless there were mysterious power going with it - the Holy Ghost changing the will of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls as preach to humanity unless the Holy Ghost be with the word, to give it power to convert the soul.
Everywhere and always, since its very inception, Christianity has turned the earth into a vale of tears; always it has made of life a weak, diseased thing, always it has instilled fear in man, turning him into a dual being, whose life energies are spent in the struggle between body and soul. In decrying the body as something evil, the flesh as the tempter to everything that is sinful, man has mutilated his being in the vain attempt to keep his soul pure, while his body rotted away from the injuries and tortures inflicted upon it.
Looking at the doctrine of Darwinism, which undergirded my atheism for so many years, it didn't take me long to conclude that it was simply too far-fetched to be credible. I realized that if I were to embrace Darwinism and its underlying premise of naturalism, I would have to believe that: 1. Nothing produces everything 2. Non-life produces life 3. Randomness produces fine-tuning 4. Chaos produces information 5. Unconsciousness produces consciousness 6. Non-reason produces reason....The central pillars of evolutionary theory quickly rotted away when exposed to scrutiny.
All my life and all my experience, the events that have befallen me, the people I have known, all my memories, dreams, fantasies, everything I have ever read, all of that has been chucked onto the compost heap, where over time it has rotted down to a dark, rich, organic mulch. The process of cellular breakdown makes it unrecognizable. Other people call it the imagination. I think of it as a compost heap. Every so often I take an idea, plant it in the compost, and wait. It feeds on the black stuff that used to be a life, takes its energy for its own. It germinates, . Takes root. Produces shoots. And so on and so forth, until one fine day I have a story, or a novel... Readers are fools. They believe all writing is autobiographical. And so it is, but not in the way they think. The writer's life needs time to rot away before it can be used to nourish a work of fiction. It must be allowed to decay.
AWAKENED BY AN UNQUENCHABLE ADDICTION, TO WALK HAND IN HAND WITH DEATH, EXHUMED TO TRANSCEND THE WALLS OF THE COFFIN, AND SEARCH FOR NEWLY ROTTED FLESH... CASKET CRUSHING AND DISMANTLING THE GRAVE, WITH OTHER FIENDS IN THIS SADISTIC ENCLAVE, ON DRAUGHTS OF BLOOD MY THIRST IS SLAKED, UNDERFOOT THE MOULDY BONES BREAK... NOCTURNAL DEVESTATION MY ONLY AIM, DEAD OR LIVING, I SEEK OUT AND MAIM, SIX FEET IS THE DEPTH OF MY OBSESSION, ADDING MASTERPIECES TO MY MORBID COLLECTION... CORPSES LAY RIPPED LIMB FROM LIMB IN DISARRAY, A CADAVERIC SPLATTER PLATTER CARVED, HACKED AND FLAYED, IMBIBING BLOOD AND ALCOHOL TIL VOMIT FLOWS RED, THEN BACK TO THE GRAVE FOR INDIGNITIES TO THE DEAD... NECROMANIAC... THE NAKED AND THE DEAD GORE WHORE SLASHED, OPENED HER TORSO AFTER PLUNDERING HER GASH, A BONE FUCKING, PUS GRINDING NECROMANIAC, ASSAULTING THE DEAD WITH THIS FUCKING GORE ATTACK... IN THE NAME OF GORE I VIOLATE THE DECEASED, REST ASSURED THAT YOU WILL NEVER REST IN PEACE, THE DUST IN THE MAUSOLEUM WILL NEVER SETTLE, FROM THE RELENTLESS POUNDING OF GORE FUCKING METAL... NECROMANIAC...
The universality of reason is a momentous realization, because it defines a place for morality. If I appeal to you do do something that affects me-to get off my foot, or not to stab me for the fun of it, or to save my child from drowning-then I can't do it in a way that privileges my interests of yours if I want you to take me seriously (say, by retaining my right to stand on your foot, or to stab you, or to let your children drown). I have to state my case in a way that would force me to treat you in kind. I can't act as if my interests are special just because I'm me and you're not, any more than I can persuade you that the spot I am standing on is a special place in the universe just because I happen to be standing on it. You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other's children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other's children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be a bit better off if I acted selfishly at your expense and you played the sucker, but the same is true for you with me, so if each of us tried for these advantages, we'd both end up worse off. Any neutral observer, and you and I if we could talk it over rationally, would have to conclude that the state we should aim for is the one where we both are unselfish. Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.
The fact is,' said Van Gogh, 'the fact is that we are painters in real life, and the important thing is to breathe as hard as ever we can breathe.' So I breathe. I breathe at the open window above my desk, and a moist fragrance assails me from the gnawed leaves of the growing mock orange. This air is as intricate as the light that filters through forested mountain ridges and into my kitchen window; this sweet air is the breath of leafy lungs more rotted than mine; it has sifted through the serrations of many teeth. I have to love these tatters. And I must confess that the thought of this old yard breathing alone in the dark turns my mind to something else. I cannot in all honesty call the world old when I've seen it new. On the other hand, neither will honesty permit me suddenly to invoke certain experiences of newness and beauty as binding, sweeping away all knowledge. But I am thinking now of the tree with the lights in it, the cedar in the yard by the creek I saw transfigured. That the world is old and frayed is no surprise; that the world could ever become new and whole beyond uncertainty was, and is, such a surprise that I find myself referring all subsequent kinds of knowledge to it. And it suddenly occurs to me to wonder: were the twigs of the cedar I saw really bloated with galls? They probably were; they almost surely were. I have seen these 'cedar apples' swell from that cedar's green before and since: reddish gray, rank, malignant. All right then. But knowledge does not vanquish mystery, or obscure its distant lights. I still now and will tomorrow steer by what happened that day, when some undeniably new spirit roared down the air, bowled me over, and turned on the lights. I stood on grass like air, air like lightning coursed in my blood, floated my bones, swam in my teeth. I've been there, seen it, been done by it. I know what happened to the cedar tree, I saw the cells in the cedar tree pulse charged like wings beating praise. Now, it would be too facile to pull everything out of the hat and say that mystery vanquishes knowledge. Although my vision of the world of the spirit would not be altered a jot if the cedar had been purulent with galls, those galls actually do matter to my understanding of this world. Can I say then that corruption is one of beauty's deep-blue speckles, that the frayed and nibbled fringe of the world is a tallith, a prayer shawl, the intricate garment of beauty? It is very tempting, but I cannot. But I can, however, affirm that corruption is not beauty's very heart and I can I think call the vision of the cedar and the knowledge of these wormy quarryings twin fjords cutting into the granite cliffs of mystery and say the new is always present simultaneously with the old, however hidden. The tree with the lights in it does not go out; that light still shines on an old world, now feebly, now bright. I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down.