Erase Memories Quotes

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There are memories that time does not erase... Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
What's so funny?" Bella mumbled. "I got food in her hair," I told her, chortling again. "I'm not going to forget this, dog," Rosalie hissed. "S'not so hard to erase a blond's memory," I countered. "Just blow in her ear." Get some new jokes, "Rosalie snapped.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
No day shall erase you from the memory of time
Virgil
You couldnt erase everything that caused you pain with recollection.Every memory was valuable; even the bad ones
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Being a Silent Brother is life, Clary Fray. But if you mean I remember my life before the Brotherhood, I do. Clary took a deep breath. “Were you ever in love? Before the Brotherhood? Was there ever anyone you would have died for?” There was a long silence. Then: Two people, said Brother Zachariah. There are memories that time does not erase, Clarissa. Ask your friend Magnus Bane, if you do not believe me. Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.
Lewis B. Smedes
When I say I'm going to forget you I know it's impossible to forget someone I once knew. What I want is to erase you from my thoughts and purge you from my memories. I'm saying it's what I wish for, not what is or could ever be.
Donna Lynn Hope
And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
I have rewritten — often several times — every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
I buried the girl I had been because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. She is still small and scared and ashamed, and perhaps I am writing my way back to her, trying to tell her everything she needs to hear.
Roxane Gay (Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body)
Time is a lot of the things people say that God is. There's always preexisting, and having no end. There's the notion of being all powerful-because nothing can stand against time, can it? Not mountains, not armies. And time is, of course, all-healing. Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of: all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, that thou art dust; and unto dust thou shalt return. And if time is anything akin to God, I suppose that memory must be the devil.
Diana Gabaldon (A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6))
He thinks perhaps there’s a reason our memories are kept hazy and out of focus. Maybe their abstraction serves as an anesthetic, a buffer protecting us from the agony of time and all that it steals and erases.
Blake Crouch (Recursion)
Life has a way of going in circles. Ideally, it would be a straight path forward––we'd always know where we were going, we'd always be able to move on and leave everything else behind. There would be nothing but the present and the future. Instead, we always find ourselves where we started. When we try to move ahead, we end up taking a step back. We carry everything with us, the weight exhausting us until we want to collapse and give up. We forget things we try to remember. We remember things we'd rather forget. The most frightening thing about memory is that it leaves no choice. It has mastered an incomprehensible art of forgetting. It erases, it smudges, it fills in blank spaces with details that don't exist. But however we remember it––or choose to remember it––the past is the foundation that holds our lives in place. Without its support, we'd have nothing for guidance. We spend so much time focused on what lies ahead, when what has fallen behind is just as important. What defines us isn't where we're going, but where we've been. Although there are places and people we will never see again, and although we move on and let them go, they remain a part of who we are. There are things that will never change, things we will carry along with us always. But as we venture into the murky future, we must find our strength by learning to leave things behind.
Brigid Gorry-Hines
The only thing he could do to stay alive was not to allow himself the anguish of that memory. He erased it from his mind, although from time to time in the years that were left to him he would feel it revive, with no warning and for no reason, like the sudden pang of an old scar.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
It hurts that I was just one page in the book of your life… But what hurts more is knowing you’ll revise that chapter someday…. ….. and you’ll erase me completely.
Ranata Suzuki
Maybe it would be better to forget him. She hadn’t wanted the forgetting before, but she wanted it now. She wanted the pain to end. She wanted to forget his dimpled smile, his brilliant blue eyes, the way he called her Little Fox. And suddenly, her chest was tight at the thought she might never hear that nickname again. And she didn’t want to forget. She didn’t want to forget at all. She didn’t want the memories erased or rewritten; she wanted more of them.
Stephanie Garber (The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #2))
You can hide memories, but you can’t erase the history that produced them.” Sara looked directly into his eyes. “If nothing else, you need to remember that. You can’t erase history, or change it. It would be like destroying yourself.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
The first step in liquidating a people,' said Hubl, 'is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
No matter how long we exist, we have our memories. Points in time which time itself cannot erase. Suffering may distort my backward glances, but even to suffering, some memories will yield nothing of their beauty or their splendor. Rather they remain as hard as gems.
Anne Rice (Blood And Gold (The Vampire Chronicles, #8))
The past informs the present. Memory makes the map we carry, no matter how hard we try to erase it.
Cara Black (Murder in the Bastille (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #4))
God is more powerful than anybody's past, no matter how wretched. He can make us forget - not by erasing the memory but by taking the sting and paralyzing effect out of it
Jim Cymbala
Your decision to say goodbye will end our story. But it will never erase me from your memory.
Mouloud Benzadi
THEY SAY THE best way to move on is to let go. As if letting go is the easy part. As if trying to dim or erase three years of memories, good and bad, is something you can do in one day.
Claire Contreras (Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts, #1))
Cal's touch has not erased Maven's. My memories are still there, still just as painful as they were yesterday. And as much as I try, I have not forgotten the canyon that will always stretch between us. No kind of love can erase his faults, just like none can erase mine.
Victoria Aveyard (King's Cage (Red Queen, #3))
The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have someone write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
I wouldn't mind the early autumn if you came home today I'd tell you how much I miss you and know I'd be okay. It's funny how we never know exactly how our life will go It's funny how a dream can fade with the break of day. Time can't erase the memory and time can't bring you home Last Summer was a part of me and now a part is gone. —Margaret
Jacqueline Woodson (Last Summer with Maizon)
No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.
Leo Dworken
Time has a different meaning for me, and these events that seem so monumental in the moment will one day be nothing more than a line in a scroll. These humans are but letters to be inked into history. A hundred years from now, I will be free. I will have forgotten their names and faces, and the struggles they have will not matter. Time has a way of burying things, shifting like the desert and swallowing entire civilizations, erasing them from map and memory. Always, in the end, everything returns to dust.
Jessica Khoury (The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1))
We all impose some coherence—some meaning—on the chaotic events of our existence. We rummage through the raw images of our memories, selecting, burnishing, erasing. We emerge as the heroes of our stories, allowing us to live with what we have done—or haven’t done.
David Grann (The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder)
Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
I'd give anything right now to go back, even just for a few moments, so I could pay more attention. Inscribe every detail of him, and of us together, onto my heart, where I could keep it safe always. Where even time couldn't erase it.
Jessi Kirby (Things We Know by Heart)
Taylor wanted me to forget about Conrad, to just erase him from my mind and memory. She kept saying things like, “everybody has to get over a first love, it’s a rite of passage.” But Conrad wasn’t just my first love. He wasn’t some rite of passage. He was so much more than that. He and Jeremiah and Susannah were my family. In my memory, the three of them would always be entwined, forever linked. There couldn’t be one without the others. If I forgot Conrad, if I evicted him from my heart, pretended like he was never there, it would be like doing those tings to Susannah. And that, I couldn’t do.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
Frankly, the image of his father wearing bell-bottoms, smoking a joint, and calling his mother a “totally groovy chick” was wrong on so many levels he wanted to erase the whole thing from his memory
Julie James (About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3))
Yes, and the body has memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight. The body is the threshold across which each objectionable call passes into consciousness—all the unintimidated, unblinking, and unflappable resilience does not erase the moments lived through, even as we are eternally stupid or everlastingly optimistic, so ready to be inside, among, a part of the games.
Claudia Rankine (Citizen: An American Lyric)
No one can erase the stories!
Yōko Ogawa (Cristallisation secrète)
Forgiveness does not mean one forgets (as in, has the ability to remember no more) the offense, but that in spite of the memory, one erases the debt.
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors: Reading an Old Story in a New Way)
There was nothing he was going through that the stars had not seen before, somewhere, some time on this earth. Given enough time, their memory would close over his life like healing a wound. All would be forgotten, all suffering erased.
M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans)
People say time is a great healer. They're wrong. Time is simply a great eraser. It rolls on and on regardless, eroding our memories, chipping away at those great big boulders of misery until there's nothing left but sharp little fragments, still painful but small enough to bear.
C.J. Tudor (The Hiding Place)
The hell with your secrets,” shouted Bonnie. “Language, language! How about this: One of you has kept a secret all their life, and is doing so even now. One of you is a murderer—and I am not speaking of a vampire, or a mercy killing, or anything like that. And then there is the question of the true identity of Sage—good luck on your research there!One of you has already had their memory erased—and I don’t mean Damon or Stefan. And what about the secret, stolen kiss? And then there is the question of what happened the night of the motel, that it seems that nobody but Elena can recall. You might ask her sometime about her theories about Camelot.
L.J. Smith (Shadow Souls (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #2))
I'd taken a pink eraser to my childhood and blurred the pain.
Louise Erdrich (The Sentence)
All we ask is to be allowed to remain the writers of our own story. That story is ever changing. Over the course of our lives, we may encounter unimaginable difficulties. Our concerns and desires may shift. But whatever happens, we want to retain the freedom to shape our lives in ways consistent with our character and loyalties. This is why the betrayals of body and mind that threaten to erase our character and memory remain among our most awful tortures. The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one’s life—to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Hatred can't erase love memories. You need to focus on anything else.
Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
What would happen, they conjectured, if they simply went on assuming their children would do everything. Perhaps not quickly. Perhaps not by the book. But what if they simply erased those growth and development charts, with their precise, constricting points and curves? What if they kept their expectations but erased the time line? What harm could it do? Why not try?
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
We are all the product of our past and have to live with our memories and personality they cannot be erased.
Jane Hersey (Full Circle)
You weren’t meant for the ice, you weren’t made for the pain. The world that lives inside of me was not the world you were meant to contain. You were meant for castles and living in the sun. Thecold running through me should have made you run. Yet you stay. Holding onto me, yet you stay, reachingout a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The ice fills my veins and I can’t feel the pain, yet you’re there like the heat that sends me screaming in fear. I can’t feel the warmth I need to feel the ice. I want to hold it all in and numb it till I can’t feel the knife. Your heat threatens to melt it all and I know I can’t bear the pain if the ice melts away. So I push you away and I scream out your name and I know I can’t need you yet you give anyway and I run wishing you would run too. Yet you stay. Holding onto me yet you stay reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The blackness is my shield. I pull it closer still. You’re the light that I hide from, the light that I hate. You’re the light to this darkness and I can’t let you stay. I need the dark around me like I need the ice in my veins. The cold is my healer. The cold is my safe place. Youaren’t welcome with your heat you don’t belong beside me. I hate you yet I love, I don’t want you yet I need you. The dark will always be my cloak and you are the threat to unveil my pain, so leave. Leave and erase the memories. I need to face the life that’s meant for me. Don’t stay and ruin all my plans. You can’t have my soul I’m not a man. The empty vessel I dwell in is not meant to feel the heat you bring. I push you away and I push you away. Yet you stay.
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
She’s forgotten me. It’s over. I don’t want to see her again, and now I’ll have to. I won’t be able to help it. I’ll have to sit back and just watch her…live. Without me.” The ifrit shrugs. “Then I overestimated your feelings for her.” My jaw drops. “How dare you? Because I don’t want to see that she’s forgotten me?” "No. Because nothing is really ever gone or forgotten. If she’s a piece of you, and you of her, then memory is merely an obstacle—our power covers the memory, it doesn’t erase it. And I should think, at least based on what I saw in your eyes last night, that it’s an obstacle worth going up against.
Jackson Pearce (As You Wish (Genies #1))
Regrets never sit well, with those that never forget.
Anthony Liccione
If you want to draw some advantage from your history, you must accept not only this miracle but also many others. In memory, everything can become miraculous. All you have to do is wish it, and freezing winter turns into spring, miserable rooms fill up with golden tapestries, murderers turn good, and children who cry out of loneliness receive caring teachers who are really the children themselves moved back from adulthood to their early years. Yes, my daughter, the past is not fixed and unalterable. With faith and will we can change it, not erasing its darkness but adding lights to it to make it more and more beautiful, the way a diamond is cut.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (Where the Bird Sings Best)
I know we’ve done stuff, Foster. But it’s not even close to enough. And the scariest thing is how little we know. I mean... I can’t even tell you if I’ve gotten back all the memories my mom erased. Meanwhile they know everything about us: where we live, where we go to school, what our abilities are, who our friends and family are, how to find us- do you need me to keep going? Because we both know I can.
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #7))
She wanted the pain to end. She wanted to forget his dimpled smile, his brilliant blue eyes, the way he called her Little Fox. And suddenly, her chest was tight at the thought she might never heard that nickname again. And she didn't want to forget. She didn't want to forget at all. She didn't want the memories erased or rewritten; she wanted more of them.
Stephanie Garber (The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #2))
Memory erases into music
Ocean Vuong (Night Sky with Exit Wounds)
If you erase all of your bad memories, you erase all of your wisdom.
Matshona Dhliwayo
But shame is not a pleasant feeling, and some Japanese politicians are always trying to change our children’s history textbooks so that these genocides and tortures are not taught to the next generation. By changing our history and our memory, they try to erase all our shame.
Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being)
Ranna," she said aloud, touching the first, the smallest bell. Ranna the sleepbringer, the sweet, low sound that brought silence in its wake. "Mosrael." The second bell, a harsh, rowdy bell. Mosrael was the waker, the bell Sabriel should never use, the bell whose sound was a seesaw, throwing the ringer further into Death, as it brought the listener into Life. "Kibeth." Kibeth, the walker. A bell of several sounds, a difficult and contrary bell. It could give freedom of movement to one of the Dead, or walk them through the next gate. Many a necromancer had stumbled with Kibeth and walked where they would not. "Dyrim." A musical bell, of clear and pretty tone. Dyrim was the voice that the Dead so often lost. But Dyrim could also still a tongue that moved too freely. "Belgaer." Another tricksome bell, that sought to ring of its own accord. Belgaer was the thinking bell, the bell most necromancers scorned to use. It could restore independent thought, memory and all the patterns of a living person. Or, slipping in a careless hand, erase them. "Saraneth." The deepest, lowest bell. The sound of strength. Saraneth was the binder, the bell that shackled the Dead to the wielder's will. And last, the largest bell, the one Sabriel's cold fingers found colder still, even in the leather case that kept it silent. "Astarael, the Sorrowful," whispered Sabriel. Astarael was the banisher, the final bell. Properly rung, it cast everyone who heard it far into Death. Everyone, including the ringer.
Garth Nix (Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1))
I left the bed as she had left it, unmade and rumpled, coverlets awry, so that her body's print might rest still warm beside my own. Until the next day I did not go to bathe, I wore no clothes and did not dress my hair, for fear I might erase some sweet caress. That morning I did not eat, nor yet at dusk, and put no rouge nor powder on my lips, so that her kiss might cling a little longer. I left the shutters closed, and did not open the door, for fear the memory of the night before might vanish with the wind.
Pierre Louÿs (The Songs of Bilitis)
You can hide memories, but you can’t erase the history that produced them.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Love erases even the deepest and most painful memories because love goes deeper than anything else.
Louise L. Hay (The Power Is Within You)
By changing our history and our memory, they try to erase all our shame.
Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being)
Why can’t you just look into my mind and see what happened for yourself? You erased my memory, can’t you bring it back? -I buried it beyond even my reach, so as to be sure it stayed forgotten. Great. If Mega-Master Mencheres couldn’t pry it out, then it must really be lost.
Jeaniene Frost (Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4))
You see, remembering's a blessing and a curse. You can't erase your bad memories, but a life without regrets is a life unlived. What you remember and how you remember: it makes you who you are. Maybe you have a choice about that, maybe you don't.
Jessie Burton (Medusa)
Manage me, I am a mess, swept under the rug of yesterday’s home improvement, a whimsical urge tossed aside for the easy reassurance of home and comfort. I am the photograph tucked away as a book-mark, in a book left half unread, once reopened to find memories crawling back into peripheral sight, faded, creased and lonely. I long to be admired, long to be held, torn and laughed at, laughed with, like a distant relative or an old friend breathing in their last breath. I missed the moment when time collapsed and memory was erased, replaced by finicky social experiments, lost in the blur of intoxication, sucked through multi-colored bendy-straws, making way for a spinning world where hub-caps stood still, but our vision didn’t. If I could leave you with only one thing, it would be small, foldable, and made from trees, with a few careless words, scribbled in blue; Take a minute to learn me, take a moment to love me, because I need your love to live,and without it, I am nothing.
Alex Gaskarth
But Mehrunnisa did not know then, would never know, by giving her blessings to this marriage she had set into progress a chain of events that would eventually erase her name from history's pages. Or that Arjumand would become the only Mughal woman posterity would easily recognize. Docile, seemingly tractable and troublesome Arjumand would eclipse even Mehrunnisa, cast her in a shadow...because of the monument Khurram would build in Arjumand's memory - the Taj Mahal.
Indu Sundaresan (The Feast of Roses (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #2))
But I guess the nice thing about driving a car is that the physical act of driving itself occupies a good chunk of brain cells that otherwise would be giving you trouble overloading your thinking. New scenery continually erases what came before; memory is lost, shuffled, relabeled and forgotten. Gum is chewed; buttons are pushed; windows are lowered and opened. A fast moving car is the only place where you're legally allowed to not deal with your problems. It's enforced meditation and this is good.
Douglas Coupland
You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them. If nothing else, you need to remember that. You can't erase history, or change it. It would be like destroying yourself.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
My chest tightens: seeing him so upset breaks my own heart. 'Don't you ever wish you could make that bit go away?" I say, feeling angry at the past. 'That you could erase those painful memories, forget they every happened, just remember the happy times you had together?' 'You must never say that,' he reprimands sternly. 'But why not?' I look at him in surprise. 'Because it's the bad memories that makes you appreciate the good ones. Don't ever wish them away. it's like your nan always used to say, "You need both the sun and the rain to make a rainbow".
Alexandra Potter (Don't You Forget About Me)
And after all, what individual had I been before? What identity was there to erase with my newfound house-pride? I had never found one resilient enough to live on in my memory once it had gone. There had never been one real enough to miss. I disappeared with perfect peace.
Megan Nolan (Acts of Desperation)
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
Yes, and the body has a memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight. The body is the threshold across which each objectionable call passes into consciousness—all the unintimidated, unblinking, and unflappable resilience does not erase the moments lived through, even as we are eternally stupid or everlastingly optimistic, so ready to be inside, among, a part of the games.
Claudia Rankine (Citizen: An American Lyric)
Memories die as soon as they are plucked from their surroundings, they burst, lose color, lose suppleness, stiffen like corpses. All that remains are shells with translucent edges. Half-erased brain platelets are a slippery terrain, deceptive. One’s mental archive is locked, it languishes in the dark. The past is riddled with holes, souvenirs can’t help here. Everything must be thrown away. Everything. And perhaps everyone as well.
Daša Drndić (Belladonna)
If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
But with one exception, all things pass from this world and time erases not just memories but entire civilizations, reducing everyone and every monument to dust. The only thing that survives is love, for it is an energy as enduring as light, which travels outward from its source toward the ever-expanding boundaries of the universe, the very energy of which all things were conceived and with which all things will be sustained in a world beyond this world of time and dust and forgetting.
Dean Koontz (Innocence)
Einstein said the arrow of time flies in only one direction. Faulkner, being from Mississippi, understood the matter differently. He said the past is never dead; it's not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose provenance dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequence echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always. And who among us, offered the chance, would not relive the day or hour in which we first knew love, or ecstasy, or made a choice that forever altered our future, negating a life we might have had? Such chances are rarely granted. Memory and grief prove Faulkner right enough, but Einstein knew the finality of action. If I cannot change what I had for lunch yesterday, I certainly cannot unmake a marriage, erase the betrayal of a friend, or board a ship that left port twenty years ago.
Greg Iles (The Quiet Game (Penn Cage #1))
There were two ways of forgetting. For many years, he had envisioned (unimaginatively) a vault, and at the end of the day, he would gather the images and sequences and words that he didn’t want to think about again and open the heavy steel door only enough to hurry them inside, closing it quickly and tightly. But this method wasn’t effective: the memories seeped out anyway. The important thing, he came to realize, was to eliminate them, not just to store them. So he had invented some solutions. For small memories—little slights, insults—you relived them again and again until they were neutralized, until they became near meaningless with repetition, or until you could believe that they were something that had happened to someone else and you had just heard about it. For larger memories, you held the scene in your head like a film strip, and then you began to erase it, frame by frame. Neither method was easy: you couldn’t stop in the middle of your erasing and examine what you were looking at, for example; you couldn’t start scrolling through parts of it and hope you wouldn’t get ensnared in the details of what had happened, because you of course would. You had to work at it every night, until it was completely gone. Though they never disappeared completely, of course.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
In retrospect I must confess that I do not know, or no longer know, what I wanted to achieve with my words. I only know that without this testimony, my life as a writer—or my life, period—would not have become what it is: that of a witness who believes he has a moral obligation to try to prevent the enemy from enjoying one last victory by allowing his crimes to be erased from human memory.
Elie Wiesel (Night)
Title: Blue Light Lounge Sutra For The Performance Poets At Harold Park Hotel the need gotta be so deep words can't answer simple questions all night long notes stumble off the tongue & color the air indigo so deep fragments of gut & flesh cling to the song you gotta get into it so deep salt crystalizes on eyelashes the need gotta be so deep you can vomit up ghosts & not feel broken till you are no more than a half ounce of gold in painful brightness you gotta get into it blow that saxophone so deep all the sex & dope in this world can't erase your need to howl against the sky the need gotta be so deep you can't just wiggle your hips & rise up out of it chaos in the cosmos modern man in the pepperpot you gotta get hooked into every hungry groove so deep the bomb locked in rust opens like a fist into it into it so deep rhythm is pre-memory the need gotta be basic animal need to see & know the terror we are made of honey cause if you wanna dance this boogie be ready to let the devil use your head for a drum
Yusef Komunyakaa
I’m not sure,” she said. “There’s no one answer to that. You have to find your own way. Sometimes I try to erase myself. I imagine a big pink soft soap eraser, and it’s going back and forth, back and forth, and it starts down at my toes, back and forth, back and forth, and there they go-poof!-my toes are gone. And then my feet. And then my ankles. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is erasing my senses-my eyes, my ears, my nose, my tongue. And last to go is my brain. My thoughts, memories, all the voices inside my head. That’s the hardest, erasing my thoughts.” She chuckled faintly. “My pumpkin. And then, if I’ve done a good job, I’m erased. I’m gone. I’m nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into an empty bowl.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
I loved her. I did not know what state of mind I would be in when I got where I was going and I was most worried that in the process I might forget her. I did not ever want to forget her! I held the image of her in my mind so strongly and the eternal love for her so deep within my heart that it could never ever be erased, no matter what. My love for her was stronger than anything that could happen to me.
Kate McGahan (Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge: An Afterlife Story of Loss, Love and Renewal (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 3))
I closed my eyes, pressing my teeth into his neck, biting down, giving him every bit of pleasure could think. I wanted him to want me so much that it didn't matter that I was inexperienced or unsure. I wanted to find a way to erase the memory of every woman who came before me. I wanted to feel--to know--that he belonged to me. I wondered for a sharp, painful beat how many other women had thought the exact same thing.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard, #3))
He traced the constellations as they slid their way across the roof of the world from dusk till dawn. The precision of it, the quiet orderliness of the stars, gave him a sense of freedom. There was nothing he was going through that the stars had not seen before, somewhere, some time on this earth. Given enough time, their memory would close over his life like healing a wound. All would be forgotten, all suffering erased.
M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans)
The whole human earth was bleeding. Time, buildings, routes, rain, erase the constellation of the crime, the fact is, this small planet has been covered a thousand times by blood, war or vengeance, ambush or battle, people fell, they were devoured, and later oblivion wiped clean each square meter: sometimes a vague, dishonest monument, other times a clause in bronze, and still later, conversations, births, townships, and then oblivion. What arts we have for extermination and what science to obliterate memory! What was bloody is covered with flowers. Once more, young men, ready yourselves for another chance to kill, to die again, and to scatter flowers over the blood.
Pablo Neruda (The Sea and the Bells)
single drop of Lethe water would wipe your short-term memory. You wouldn’t remember anything that happened in the last week. Take a full drink, or wade into those waters, and your mind would be completely erased. You wouldn’t remember your own name, or where you came from, or even that the New York Yankees are obviously better than the Boston Red Sox. I know—terrifying, right?
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
As the blood poured from his tattered heart into the open air and his brain suffocated, all those incomplete thoughts of Wittgenstein decayed with the dying neurons. Neural connections in the gray matter storing memories and ideas in their ordered configurations fired across the gaps, last gaps of mental life. Thoughts on Truth and Will were erased as flesh sloshed soft and limp against alabaster, no more than rotting human fruit.
Janna Levin (A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines)
The idea of being forgotten is terrifying. I fear not just that I, personally, will be forgotten, but that we are all doomed to being forgotten—that the sum of life is ultimately nothing; that we experience joy and disappointment and aches and delights and loss, make our little mark on the world, and then we vanish, and the mark is erased, and it is as if we never existed. If you gaze into that bleakness even for a moment, the sum of life becomes null and void, because if nothing lasts, nothing matters. It means that everything we experience unfolds without a pattern, and life is just a wild, random, baffling occurrence, a scattering of notes with no melody. But if something you learn or observe or imagine can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives, and can imagine it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are a part of a larger story that has shape and purpose—a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future. We are all whispering in a tin can on a string, but we are heard, so we whisper the message into the next tin can and the next string. Writing a book, just like building a library, is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory. In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned. When I first heard the phrase, I didn’t understand it, but over time I came to realize it was perfect. Our minds and souls contain volumes inscribed by our experiences and emotions; each individual’s consciousness is a collection of memories we’ve cataloged and stored inside us, a private library of a life lived. It is something that no one else can entirely share, one that burns down and disappears when we die. But if you can take something from that internal collection and share it—with one person or with the larger world, on the page or in a story recited—it takes on a life of its own.
Susan Orlean (The Library Book)
When you are in your twenties, even if you're confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later...later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more backtracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches. It's a bit like the black box aeroplanes carry to record what happens in a crash. If nothing goes wrong, the tape erases itself. So if you do crash, it's obvious why you did; if you don't, then the log of your journey is much less clear.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
After the Holocaust, it has become almost impossible to conceal large-scale crimes against humanity. Our modern communication-driven world, especially since the upsurge of electronic media, no longer allows human-made catastrophes to remain hidden from the public eye or to be denied. And yet, one such crime has been erased almost totally from the global public memory: the dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948 by Israel. This, the most formative event in the modern history of the land of Palestine, has ever since been systematically denied, and is still today not recognised as an historical fact, let alone acknowledged as a crime that needs to be confronted politically as well as morally.
Ilan Pappé (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine)
Sometimes, no matter how much you try and plan and pray, things just go to hell. Life is full of heartbreak and the world is cruel, but it's still a beautiful place to be." I stroked his chest, right over his heart. "It's beautiful because we have the ability to love. We love harder than death. We love fiercer than hate. A human heart has more power than any nuclear weapon. It is impenetrable, even when it stops beating. You can break it, tear it to pieces, put a hole in it, but you can't erase the feelings, and those feeling are contagious. The contents can never be wiped clean. They spread in our thoughts, words, actions and our memories.
Chloe Walsh (Fall On Me (Broken #3))
Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh.. people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
Phil Robinson
The idea of being forgotten is terrifying. I fear not just that I, personally, will be forgotten but that we are all doomed to being forgotten; that the sum of life is ultimately nothing; that we experience joy and disappointment and aches and delights and loss, make our little mark on the world, and then we vanish, and the mark is erased, and it is as if we never existed. If you gaze into that bleakness even for a moment, the sum of life becomes null and void, because if nothing lasts nothing matters. Everything we experience unfolds without a pattern, and life is just a baffling occurrence, a scattering of notes with no melody. But if something you learn or observe or imagine can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives, and can imagine it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are a part of a larger story that has shape and purpose—a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future. We are all whispering in a tin can on a string, but we are heard, so we whisper the message into the next tin can and the next string. Writing a book is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory.
Susan Orlean
If I am in a state of becoming, it has no endpoint. I imagine replacing the memories of everyone I've ever spoken to with the impression that they have only ever seen me as a being clothed in light. In the early part of the twentieth century, homophobes and eugenicists joined forces to study what they called inversion, an early term for homosexuality, gender nonconformity, and transness. They believed they could read and police queerness on the body. Maybe this is why I don't want to make myself legible. I want to erase the meanings that have been ascribed to my breath, to my sweat, to my hair and fat and skin. I trace the green veins in my neck that branch down into my breasts as feathers. I am painting myself as the bird that, to the world outside this room, does not exist. I draw myself clothed in wings and tell myself that even the angels are sexless.
Zeyn Joukhadar (The Thirty Names of Night)
What is hope? Is it the ambition of discovering for the first time what the carnal definition of physical love is without understanding the concept of true passion? Or is it imagination running wild and free fueled by the dram that tonight will last forever and tomorrows will always come as you are blinded by the brilliance of another's smile? Is it a theory of inevitability that relies on fate or destiny bringing two souls together for their one shot at true and unbridled happiness? Or is it a plea to erase a past that used to hold the potential for limitless smiles and endless laughs? I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our veins, igniting ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better tomorrow, while leaving today, but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiating grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacea. It's blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind it's true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.......
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
Your life is written in indelible ink. There's no going back to erase the past, tweak your mistakes, or fill in missed opportunities. When the moment's over, your fate is sealed. But if look closer, you notice the ink never really dries on any our experiences. They can change their meaning the longer you look at them. Klexos. There are ways of thinking about the past that aren't just nostalgia or regret. A kind of questioning that enriches an experience after the fact. To dwell on the past is to allow fresh context to trickle in over the years, and fill out the picture; to keep the memory alive, and not just as a caricature of itself. So you can look fairly at a painful experience, and call it by its name. Time is the most powerful force in the universe. It can turn a giant into someone utterly human, just trying to make their way through. Or tell you how you really felt about someone, even if you couldn't at the time. It can put your childhood dreams in context with adult burdens or turn a universal consensus into an embarrassing fad. It can expose cracks in a relationship that once seemed perfect. Or keep a friendship going by thoughts alone, even if you'll never see them again. It can flip your greatest shame into the source of your greatest power, or turn a jolt of pride into something petty, done for the wrong reasons, or make what felt like the end of the world look like a natural part of life. The past is still mostly a blank page, so we may be doomed to repeat it. But it's still worth looking into if it brings you closer to the truth. Maybe it's not so bad to dwell in the past, and muddle in the memories, to stem the simplification of time, and put some craft back into it. Maybe we should think of memory itself as an art form, in which the real work begins as soon as the paint hits the canvas. And remember that a work of art is never finished, only abandoned.
John Koenig
It is understandable you would want to come back as yourself into a wonderland with the sharpness of color of the Queen of Hearts in a newly opened pack of cards. But coming back as yourself is resurrection. It is uncommon. It may even be greater than the scope of mathematics. We cannot talk with definition about our souls, but it is certain that we will decompose. Some dust of our bodies may end up in a horse, wasp, cockerel, frog, flower, or leaf, but for every one of these sensational assemblies there are a quintillion microorganisms. It is far likelier that the greater part of us will become protists than a skyscraping dormouse. What is likely is that, sooner or later, carried in the wind and in rivers, or your graveyard engulfed in the sea, a portion of each of us will be given new life in the cracks, vents, or pools of molten sulphur on which the tonguefish skate. You will be in Hades, the staying place of the spirits of the dead. You will be drowned in oblivion, the River Lethe, swallowing water to erase all memory. It will not be the nourishing womb you began your life in. It will be a submergence. You will take your place in the boiling-hot fissures, among the teeming hordes of nameless microorganisms that mimic no forms, because they are the foundation of all forms. In your reanimation you will be aware only that you are a fragment of what once was, and are no longer dead. Sometimes this will be an electric feeling, sometimes a sensation of the acid you eat, or the furnace under you. You will burgle and rape other cells in the dark for a seeming eternity, but nothing will come of it. Hades is evolved to the highest state of simplicity. It is stable. Whereas you are a tottering tower, so young in evolutionary terms, and addicted to consciousness.
J.M. Ledgard (Submergence: A Novel)
It's hard to do nothing totally. Even just sitting here, like this, our bodies are churning, our minds are chattering. There's a whole commotion going on inside us." "That's bad?" I said. "It's bad if we want to know what's going on outside ourselves." "Don't we have eyes and ears for that?" She nodded. "They're okay most of the time. But sometimes they just get in the way. The earth is speaking to us, but we can't hear because of all the racket our senses are shaking. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then-maybe- the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper." The sun was glowing orange now, clipping the mountains' purple crests. "So how do I become this nothing?" "I'm not sure,"she said "There's no one answer to that. You have to find your own way. Sometimes I try to erase myself. I imagine a big pink soft soap eraser, and it's going back and forth, back and forth, and it starts down at my toes, back and forth, back and forth, and there they go-poof!-my toes are gone. And then my feet. And then my ankles. But that's the easy part. The hard part is erasing my senses-my eyes,my ears,my nose, my tongue. And last to go is my brain. My thoughts, memories, all the voices inside my head. That's the hardest, erasing my thoughts." She chuckled faintly. "My pumpkin. And then, if I've done a good job, I'm erased. I'm gone. I'm nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into and empty bowl." "And?" I said. "And I see. I hear. But not with eyes and ears. I'm not outside my world anymore, and I'm not really inside it either. The thing is, there's no difference anymore between me and the universe. The boundary is gone. I am it and it is me. I am a stone, a cactus thorn. I am rain." She smiled dreamily. "I like that most of all, being rain.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
You weren’t meant for the ice, you weren’t made for the pain. The world that lives inside of me was not the world you 75 Existence were meant to contain. You were meant for castles and living in the sun. The cold running through me should have made you run. Yet you stay. Holding onto me, yet you stay, reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The ice fills my veins and I can’t feel the pain, yet you’re there like the heat that sends me screaming in fear. I can’t feel the warmth I need to feel the ice. I want to hold it all in and numb it till I can’t feel the knife. Your heat threatens to melt it all and I know I can’t bear the pain if the ice melts away. So I push you away and I scream out your name and I know I can’t need you yet you give anyway and I run wishing you would run too. Yet you stay. Holding onto me yet you stay reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you. The blackness is my shield. I pull it closer still. You’re the light that I hide from, the light that I hate. You’re the light to this darkness and I can’t let you stay. I need the dark around me like I need the ice in my veins. The cold is my healer. The cold is my safe place. You aren’t welcome with your heat you don’t belong beside me. I hate you yet I love, I don’t want you yet I need you. The dark will always be my cloak and you are the threat to unveil my pain, so leave. Leave and erase the memories. I need to face the life that’s meant for me. Don’t stay and ruin all my plans. You can’t have my soul I’m not a man. The empty vessel I dwell in is not meant to feel the heat you bring. I push you away and I push you away. Yet you stay.
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
When you feel the need to escape your problems, to escape from this world, don't make the mistake of resorting to suicide Don't do it! You will hear the empty advice of many scholars in the matter of life and death, who will tell you, "just do it" there is nothing after this, you will only extinguish the light that surrounds you and become part of nothingness itself, so when you hear these words remember this brief review of suicide: When you leave this body after committing one of the worst acts of cowardice that a human being can carry out, you turn off the light, the sound and the sense of reality, you become nothing waiting for the programmers of this game to pick you up from the darkness, subtly erase your memories and enable your return and I emphasize the word subtle because sometimes the intelligence behind this maneuver or automated mechanism is wrong and send human beings wrongly reset to such an extent, that when they fall to earth and are born again, they begin to experience memories of previous lives, in many cases they perceive themselves of the opposite sex, and science attributes this unexplainable phenomenon to genetic and hormonal factors, but you and I know better! And we quickly identified this trigger as a glitch in the Matrix. Then we said! That a higher intelligence or more advanced civilization throws you back into this game for the purpose of experimenting, growing and developing as an advanced consciousness and due to your toxic and destructive behavior you come back again but in another body and another life, but you are still you, then you will carry with you that mark of suicide and cowardice, until you learn not to leave this experience without having learned the lesson of life, without having experienced and surprised by death naturally or by design of destiny. About this first experience you will find very little material associated with this event on the internet, it seems that the public is more reserved, because they perceive themselves and call themselves "awakened" And that is because the system has total control over the algorithm of fame and fortune even over life and death. Now, according to religion and childish fears, which are part of the system's business to keep you asleep, eyes glued to the cellular device all day, it says the following: If you commit this act of sin, you turn off light, sound and sense of reality, and from that moment you begin to experience pain, fear and suffering on alarming scales, and that means they will come for you, a couple of demons and take you to the center of the earth where the weeping and gnashing of teeth is forever, and in that hell tormented by demons you will spend eternity. About this last experience we will find hundreds of millions of people who claim to have escaped from there! And let me tell you that all were captivated by the same deity, one of dubious origin, that feeds on prayers and energetic events, because it is not of our nature, because it knows very well that we are beings of energy, then this deity or empire of darkness receives from the system its food and the system receives from them power, to rule, to administer, to control, to control, to kill, to exclude, to inhibit, to classify, to imprison, to silence, to infect, to contaminate, to depersonalize. So now that you know the two sides of the same coin, which one will your intelligence lean towards! You decide... Heads or tails? From the book Avatars, the system's masterpiece.
Marcos Orowitz (THE LORD OF TALES: The masterpiece of deceit)
I’ve done you a disservice,” he said at last. “It’s only fair to let you know, but you won’t have a normal life span.” I bit my lip. “Have you come to take my soul, then?” “I told you that’s not my jurisdiction. But you’re not going to die soon. In fact, you won’t die for a long time, far longer than I initially thought, I’m afraid. Nor will you age normally.” “Because I took your qi?” He inclined his head. “I should have stopped you sooner.” I thought of the empty years that stretched ahead of me, years of solitude long after everyone I loved had died. Though I might have children or grandchildren. But perhaps they might comment on my strange youthfulness and shun me as unnatural. Whisper of sorcery, like those Javanese women who inserted gold needles in their faces and ate children. In the Chinese tradition, nothing was better than dying old and full of years, a treasure in the bosom of one’s family. To outlive descendants and endure a long span of widowhood could hardly be construed as lucky. Tears filled my eyes, and for some reason this seemed to agitate Er Lang, for he turned away. In profile, he was even more handsome, if that was possible, though I was quite sure he was aware of it. “It isn’t necessarily a good thing, but you’ll see all of the next century, and I think it will be an interesting one.” “That’s what Tian Bai said,” I said bitterly. “How long will I outlive him?” “Long enough,” he said. Then more gently, “You may have a happy marriage, though.” “I wasn’t thinking about him,” I said. “I was thinking about my mother. By the time I die, she’ll have long since gone on to the courts for reincarnation. I shall never see her again.” I burst into sobs, realizing how much I’d clung to that hope, despite the fact that it might be better for my mother to leave the Plains of the Dead. But then we would never meet in this lifetime. Her memories would be erased and her spirit lost to me in this form. “Don’t cry.” I felt his arms around me, and I buried my face in his chest. The rain began to fall again, so dense it was like a curtain around us. Yet I did not get wet. “Listen,” he said. “When everyone around you has died and it becomes too hard to go on pretending, I shall come for you.” “Do you mean that?” A strange happiness was beginning to grow, twining and tightening around my heart. “I’ve never lied to you.” “Can’t I go with you now?” He shook his head. “Aren’t you getting married? Besides, I’ve always preferred older women. In about fifty years’ time, you should be just right.” I glared at him. “What if I’d rather not wait?” He narrowed his eyes. “Do you mean that you don’t want to marry Tian Bai?” I dropped my gaze. “If you go with me, it won’t be easy for you,” he said warningly. “It will bring you closer to the spirit world and you won’t be able to lead a normal life. My work is incognito, so I can’t keep you in style. It will be a little house in some strange town. I shan’t be available most of the time, and you’d have to be ready to move at a moment’s notice.” I listened with increasing bewilderment. “Are you asking me to be your mistress or an indentured servant?” His mouth twitched. “I don’t keep mistresses; it’s far too much trouble. I’m offering to marry you, although I might regret it. And if you think the Lim family disapproved of your marriage, wait until you meet mine.” I tightened my arms around him. “Speechless at last,” Er Lang said. “Think about your options. Frankly, if I were a woman, I’d take the first one. I wouldn’t underestimate the importance of family.” “But what would you do for fifty years?” He was about to speak when I heard a faint call, and through the heavy downpour, saw Yan Hong’s blurred figure emerge between the trees, Tian Bai running beside her. “Give me your answer in a fortnight,” said Er Lang. Then he was gone.
Yangsze Choo (The Ghost Bride)