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  • Nothing lasts. Not even a great sorrow.

  • Since flesh can't stay, / we pass the words along.

  • ... change / is the world's only fixity, and fixity / her foremost lie.

    • Erica Jong,
    • "To a Transatlantic Mirror," Becoming Light ()
  • If, every day, I dare to remember that I am here on loan, that this house, this hillside, these minutes are all leased to me, not given, I will never despair. Despair is for those who expect to live forever. I no longer do.

  • A man builds a house in England with the expectation of living in it and leaving it to his children; while we shed our houses in America as easily as a snail does his shell.

  • The hardest thing for me is the sense of impermanence. All passes; nothing returns.

  • Beauty is everlasting / and dust is for a time.

  • 'Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand / When we with Daisies lie — / That Commerce will continue — / And Trades as briskly fly --.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1858, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits.

  • We are sparks, we are shadows, we are pollen, which the next wind will carry away. We are dying already; it is all a dream.

  • ... I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.

  • As a national ideal carried to an extreme, though, mobility has created the circumstances for widespread fragmentation and damage. The avoidance of ties to a place, ties which take years to build, removes constraints, allows us to be indifferent to our towns and cities, to ignore their plights, to say but this isn't mine.

    • Deborah Tall,
    • "Dwelling: Making Peace With Space and Place," in Orion ()
  • Impermanence is the law of the universe.

  • Impermanence is the very essence of joy — the drop of bitterness that enables one to perceive the sweet.

  • In life nothing goes on for ever, even if it looks exactly as if it would.

  • There's nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book.

  • Slowly, painstakingly, like ants, men would make their paths and civilization and their wars once again, only to have it wash away again.

  • Our lives are written in disappearing ink.

  • Go we late or soon, / More frail our lives / Than dew-drops / Hanging in the / Morning.

  • His history had the ethereal quality of hoofprints in windblown snow.