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The Art of Decay with Elena Wolf

Updated: Jan 30

On a gloomy and grey autumn Saturday morning in Houston, I drive around a part of town adorned with numerous run-down buildings. Similar to many other major cities around the world, it appears that people have resigned certain areas to the inevitable forces of decay and abandonment. Yet, paradoxically, I find myself inexplicably drawn to this scene. These structures carry untold stories within their dilapidated walls; they possess a history that speaks through the cracks and peeling paint. Above all, they stand as tangible witnesses to a time when life thrived vibrantly before succumbing to the inevitability of stillness. Simply, there was life before death.


Throughout humanity's existence, there is an undeniable beauty in decay—a haunting elegance that wraps itself around everything, from the flesh we inhabit to the intangible essence of our souls. It's a relentless losing dual with time that begins the moment we draw our first breath.


Our bodies, are the first to succumb to the inexorable pull of decay. From the moment we are born, our cells begin their slow and steady journey towards its demise. Skin wrinkles, bones weaken, arteries harden and vitality fades. The once vibrant hues of youth give way to the muted palette of age. A daily view in the mirror is a reminder that I am one day older, and one day closer to the end.


Yet, decay is not confined to the physical realm alone. Our souls are marred by the decay of a different kind. Toxic relationships, elusive desires, and the relentless hunger for material wealth are all agents that erode the purity of our very being. Bonds that once held hearts together wither away, leaving behind a residue of pain and regret. Like rust on the soul, the scars of broken connections linger, a testament to the fragility of emotional fortresses.


In the grand scheme of existence, decay is not merely a passive force but an active participant in the symphony of life. It is death in slow motion, a macabre ballet that unfolds with each passing moment. Yet, within the gloom of decay lies a strange beauty—a beauty that compels us to confront the transient nature of our existence. It invites us to appreciate the fleeting moments, the transient beauty that arises even as the specter of decay looms large.


The decay of our physical being is an integral part of the human experience, and a tearful reminder of the impermanence that we so desperately try to deny. But why do we consciously subject our souls to the same fate?



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