Erase The Past Quotes

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One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.
Golda Meir (My Life)
You couldn't erase the past. You couldn't even change it. But sometimes life offered you the opportunity to put it right.
Ann Brashares (Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood (Sisterhood, #3))
In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
Accomplishments don’t erase shame, hatred, cruelty, silence, ignorance, discrimination, low self-esteem or immorality. It covers it up, with a creative version of pride and ego. Only restitution, forgiving yourself and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity will ever erase the past.
Shannon L. Alder
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)
Nothing erases the past. There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness. That is all, but that is enough.
Ted Chiang (The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate)
The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.
George Orwell (1984)
Love doesn't erase the past, but it makes the future different.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages Singles Edition)
We are all what our pasts have made us,” Catarina said. “The accumulation of thousands of daily choices. We can change ourselves, but never erase what we’ve been.
Cassandra Clare (The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #2))
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
The Suicide Not a single star will be left in the night. The night will not be left. I will die and, with me, the weight of the intolerable universe. I shall erase the pyramids, the medallions, the continents and faces. I shall erase the accumulated past. I shall make dust of history, dust of dust. Now I am looking on the final sunset. I am hearing the last bird. I bequeath nothingness to no one.
Jorge Luis Borges (Selected Poems)
For the first forty days a child is given dreams of previous lives. Journeys, winding paths, a hundred small lessons and then the past is erased.
Michael Ondaatje (Handwriting)
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)
Life is like writing with a pen. You can cross out your past but you can't erase it.
E.B. White
We are all our past have made us. The accumulation of thousands of daily choices. We can change ourselves, but never erase what we've been. Forgetting those choices doesn't unmake them.
Cassandra Clare (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy)
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
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
Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.
George Orwell (1984)
Love doesn't keep a score of wrongs. Love doesn't bring up past failures. None of us is perfect. In marriage we do not always do the right thing. We have sometimes done and said hurtful things to our spouses. We cannot erase the past. We can only confess it and agree that it was wrong. We can ask for forgiveness and try to act differently in the future. Having confessed my failure and asked forgiveness, I can do nothing more to mitigate the hurt it may have caused my spouse. When I have been wronged by my spouse and she has painfully confessed it and requested forgiveness, I have the option of justice or forgiveness. If I choose justice and seek to pay her back or make her pay for her wrongdoing, I am making myself the judge and her the felon. Intimacy becomes impossible. If, however, I choose to forgive, intimacy can be restored. Forgiveness is the way of love.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate)
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))
You can't erase your past when there are pieces of it scattered inside other people.
Rachel Harrison (The Return)
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
No matter how bad your past is, you still don’t want it erased.
Paul Aertker (Brainwashed (Crime Travelers, #1))
Non. He said, ‘Be very, very careful who you let into your life. And learn to make peace with whatever happens. You can’t erase the past. It’s trapped in there with you. But you can make peace with it. If you don’t,’ he said, ‘you’ll be at perpetual war.
Louise Penny (Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #14))
I learned very quickly that when you emigrate, you lose the crutches that have been your support; you must begin from zero, because the past is erased with a single stroke and no one cares where you’re from or what you did before.
Isabel Allende (Paula)
I loved him so, even his past was precious to me. I found myself kissing each mark, thinking, I would have had it never happen, I would wish it away, taking him further and further back to a time when he had known no disappointments, no battles, no wounds, as I erased each one. To make him again like Caesarion. Yet if we take the past away from those we love - even to protect them - do we not steal their very selves?
Margaret George (The Memoirs of Cleopatra)
Remember that folklore is passed from one generation to the next to teach us about our past. If we lose it, we lose the links to our past. It only takes one desperate generation to change history- even erase it.
Rebecca Yarros (Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, #1))
Forgiveness is a very abstract term. It doesn’t erase the past. It’s not a magical switch you can flip or a stained rug you can just turn over. It’s merely a scar that covers the deep, dark gash that hate carved in your soul.
Aly Martinez (Stolen Course (Wrecked and Ruined, #2))
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)
When you got born again your past was not erased, it became non-existent.
Chris Oyakhilome (Rhapsody Of Realities Topical Compendium (Volume 1))
We each have a story. They did this to us. There was no outside aggressor. They wanted an Apocalypse. They wanted the end. And they made it happen. It was orchestrated - who got in, who didn't. There was a master list. We weren't on it. We were left here to die. They want to erase us, the past, but we can't let them.
Julianna Baggott (Pure (Pure, #1))
Books’ll be back,” Esther-in-Unalaq predicts. “Wait till the power grids start failing in the 2030s and the datavats get erased. It’s not far away. The future looks a lot like the past.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
Pictures form and dissolve in my head: we are walking in a city you fled, came back to and come back to still which I saw once through winter frost years back, before I knew you, before I knew myself. We are walking streets you have by heart from childhood streets you have graven and erased in dreams: scrolled portals, trees, nineteenth century statues. We are holding hands so I can see everything as you see it I follow you into your dreams your past, the places none of us can explain to anyone.
Adrienne Rich (The Dream of a Common Language)
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)
Sleep erases all differences: then and now; dead and living. I am past hunger, past vanity, past caring. This morning I caught sight of my face in the bathroom mirror. I am paperskinned, gauned, yellow, ring-eyed, hait matted. I look dead. I want nothing.
Audrey Niffenegger
One of my greatest failures: I was trying to cut a piece of moment so that I could erase it. One of my greatest achievements: I have learnt to ignore my futureless past.
Munia Khan
You can't just erase your past.” “Why can't I?” “You just can’t. Because it erases…” The realization died on his lips. “You?” “Yes. You can’t pretend I don’t exist.
S.D. Hendrickson (The Mason List)
But I can't erase the past, only learn from it.  It's ok.  Applying what I know makes the present and the future a beautiful place to be.
Kamal Ravikant (Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It)
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)
Be very, very careful who you let into your life. And learn to make peace with whatever happens. You can't erase the past. It's trapped in there with you. But you can make peace with it. If you don't,' he said, 'you'll be at perpetual war.
Louise Penny (Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #14))
We can’t erase the things that shame us, or the ways we’ve shamed ourselves, online. All we can do is control our reactions—whether we let the past oppress us, or accept its lessons, grow, and move on.
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
The portrait of his past was partially erased by God and he is searching for those erased portions.
Durgesh Satpathy (Equating the Equations of Insanity: A Journey from Grief to Victory)
You know that when your partner deletes their messages to a past lover after being accused of cheating, then it is likely that they were being unfaithful in some way.
Steven Magee
If you erase all of your bad memories, you erase all of your wisdom.
Matshona Dhliwayo
She hates the way the people part to let them past and then, behind them, regroup, erasing their passage, as if it were nothing, as if it never were. She wishes to scratch the ground, perhaps with a hoe, to score the streets beneath her, so that there will forever be a mark, for it always to be known that this way Hamnet came. He was here.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
We are all what our pasts have made us. The accumulation of thousands of daily choices. We can change ourselves, but never erase what we've been. Forgetting those choices doesn't unmake them, Daylighter. You'd do well to remember that.
Cassandra Clare (The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #2))
Perspective makes all the difference. It’s not what you look at; it’s what you see… Remember that the sun never actually sets; it's our perspective that makes it appear to. Our sunset is another’s sunrise. It's all perspective. How would your life be different if you applied this truth to the things that cause you stress? Letting go isn’t about erasing the past; it’s about looking at the same event and seeing something different. Activate this power in your life! Take the pain and poison of the past and allow it to nourish a new found wisdom. Remember, you can't change the past, but you can change the labels you place on events. Perspective - it’s not what you look at; it’s what you see.
Steve Maraboli
I wish we could erase all those—those atrocities,” she stammered, and was surprised by her father’s reply. “Never say that,” he insisted. “Say you want to make things right, to build a better future. But erasing the past—or worse, trying to rewrite it—is the tool of despots. Only by engaging with the past can we avoid repeating it.
Katharine McGee (American Royals (American Royals, #1))
It is not cynical to admit that the past has been turned into a fiction. It is a story, not a fact. The real has been erased. Whole eras have been added and removed. Wars have been aggrandized, and human struggle relegated to the margins. Villains are redressed as heroes. Generous, striving, imperfect men and women have been stripped of their flaws or plucked of their virtues and turned into figurines of morality or depravity. Whole societies have been fixed with motive and vision and equanimity where there was none. Suffering has been recast as noble sacrifice!
Josiah Bancroft (Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, #2))
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)
The accounts of rape, wife beating, forced childbearing, medical butchering, sex-motivated murder, forced prostitution, physical mutilation, sadistic psychological abuse, and other commonplaces of female experi ence that are excavated from the past or given by contemporary survivors should leave the heart seared, the mind in anguish, the conscience in upheaval. But they do not. No matter how often these stories are told, with whatever clarity or eloquence, bitterness or sorrow, they might as well have been whispered in wind or written in sand: they disappear, as if they were nothing. The tellers and the stories are ignored or ridiculed, threatened back into silence or destroyed, and the experience of female suffering is buried in cultural invisibility and contempt… the very reality of abuse sustained by women, despite its overwhelming pervasiveness and constancy, is negated. It is negated in the transactions of everyday life, and it is negated in the history books, left out, and it is negated by those who claim to care about suffering but are blind to this suffering. The problem, simply stated, is that one must believe in the existence of the person in order to recognize the authenticity of her suffering. Neither men nor women believe in the existence of women as significant beings. It is impossible to remember as real the suffering of someone who by definition has no legitimate claim to dignity or freedom, someone who is in fact viewed as some thing, an object or an absence. And if a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended. It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
You can hide memories, suppress them, but you can’t erase the history that produced them
Haruki Murakami
She hates the way the people part to let them past and then, behind them, regroup, erasing their passage, as if it were nothing, as if it never were.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
The past can only be accepted. It can’t be forgotten, edited or erased. And it can never be changed. Anonymous
Brenda Jackson (Captivated by Love (The Grangers #4))
Without stories there is nothing. Stories are the world’s memory. The past is erased without stories.
Chaim Potok (Old Men at Midnight: Stories (Ballantine Reader's Circle))
He wanted her to be as well dressed as the richest lady in Ilhéus; fine clothes would erase her past and hide the stove burns of her arms. But the fine clothes rarely left the closet
Jorge Amado (Gabriela, clavo y canela)
The best thing we can do with the failures of the past is to let them be history. Yes, it happened. Certainly it hurt. And it may still hurt, but he has acknowledged his failure and asked your forgiveness. We cannot erase the past, but we can accept it as history. We can choose to live today free from the failures of yesterday. Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It
Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts)
He had lived without her before. He could get over it! In a year or so he'd be able to walk straight past her without his heart so much as missing a beat. He needed her as much as a drunk needs a cork! But he understood all too quickly how vain these thoughts were. How can you tear something out of your heart? Your heart isn't made out of paper and your life isn't written down in ink. You can't erase the imprint of years.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
As seductive as it might have been to erase the grief and pain of the last ten years, it was also a lie. Young Alice was a fool. A sweet, innocent fool. Young Alice hadn't experienced ten years of living.
Liane Moriarty (What Alice Forgot)
Love is an afternoon of fishing when I'd sooner be at the ballet. Love is eating burnt toast and lumpy graving with a big smile. Love is hearing the words 'You're beautiful' as I fail to squeeze into my fat jeans. Love is refusing to bring up the past, even if doing so would be a slam dunk to prove your point. Love is your hand wiping away my tears, trying to erase streaks of mascara. Love is the warm hug that extinguishes an argument. Love is a humbly-uttered apology, even if not at fault. Love is easy to recognize but so hard to define; however, I think it boils down to this... Love is caring so much about the feelings of someone else, you sacrifice whatever it takes to help him or her feel better. In other words, love is my heart being sensitive to yours.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
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)
the answer is to just let go the betrayal is to the past the cocoon dangles empty the desire outlasts the object the effort lingers the frustration is in how pointless the effort was the ghost does not make itself transparent the heart knows nothing except its own mind the ideas are not enough the jealousy is always there the killing blow is sometimes the softest the life you lead can be detoured the moment you know cannot be taken back the new you will try to bury the old me the opportunity has passed the past is inopportune the questions all grow from why the reality will always be contended the sadness will ebb the trouble is the time it might take the ugly words cannot be erased, only discredited the versions are never the same the wonder is that we make it through the x is the unknown variable the yesterday cannot be repeated the zenith is the point when you look down and realize you’re no longer below
David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)
Only You can mend the broken hearts, and cause the the blind to see. Erase complete the sinners past and set the captives free. Only you take the windows cry and cause her heart to sing, be the father to the fatherless, our Savior and our King. We will be Your hands we will be Your feet we will run this race for the least of these, in the darkest place we will be Your light, we will be Your light.
Hillsong United
We live and die by our stories if we don't rewrite our own history. The past is merely what we make of it, the future ours to create. Rewrite revise, erase.
Sheryl Mallory-Johnson
We can’t erase the secrets and marred memories of our pasts, but we can build the next chapter of our lives together.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Home (Sweet Home, #1))
When we have passed a certain age, the soul of the child that we were and the souls of the dead from whom we sprang come and shower upon us their riches and their spells, asking to be allowed to contribute to the new emotions which we feel and in which, erasing their former image, we recast them in an original creation.
Marcel Proust (The Captive / The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time, #5-6))
Then he crosses the room in two long strides and touches his lips to mine. Their gentle pressure erases the past few months, and I am the girl who sat on the rocks next to the chasm, with river spray on her ankles, and kissed him for the first time. I am the girl who grabbed his hand in the hallway just because I wanted to.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
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)
We must convince each generation that they are transient passengers on this planet earth. It does not belong to them. They are not free to doom generations yet unborn. They are not at liberty to erase humanity's past nor dim its future.
Bernard Lown
Part of me tingled with excitement. This was it. I was finally going to be with Will. We were going to make love for the first time—after all this time. But the voices of doubt mocked me. What do you think you’re doing? You can’t give yourself to him—you’ve already been had! And by his father. I reached the landing of the stairs and squeezed my eyes shut, desperately battling the raging war in my mind. If I’m with Will, it can erase the past. Our love is powerful enough to take the rape away. I truly believed I could delude myself into accepting he was my first—that what happened in Coach T’s office was false. Yes, once we were together, it would change."--Melanie
Katie Ashley (Nets and Lies)
As I faced each tragedy in my life, I learned to reach into the depth of my soul for strength and determination. Through this healing process, I discovered perseverance and resilience. I could not go into the past and use White-Out to erase any events; instead, I had to find a way to use my pain to help me heal and grow. I had to stare darkness in the face and accept that I could not change the past, but I could build a better future.
Erin Merryn (Living for Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness)
Tears streaked his cheeks. I wiped them away with my thumb. “I love you,” I whispered—because what else could I offer him? I could not erase his past. I could not take away his grief. But I could love him, no matter what, always. Was that enough?
Carissa Broadbent (Mother of Death & Dawn (The War of Lost Hearts, #3))
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))
Memory, in fact, gives you no choice over which moments you can erase, and it is annoyingly persistent in retaining the most painful ones. It is extraordinarily faithful in recording the most hideous details, and it will recall them for you in the future with moments that are even only vaguely similar.
Amy Tan (Where the Past Begins: Memory and Imagination)
Arthur Less is the first homosexual ever to grow old. That is, at least, how he feels at times like these. Here, in this tub, he should be twenty-five or thirty, a beautiful young man naked in a bathtub. Enjoying the pleasures of life. How dreadful if someone came upon naked Less today: pink to his middle, gray to his scalp, like those old double erasers for pencil and ink. He has never seen another gay man age past fifty, none except Robert. He met them all at forty or so but never saw them make it much beyond; they died of AIDS, that generation. Less’s generation often feels like the first to explore the land beyond fifty. How are they meant to do it? Do you stay a boy forever, and dye your hair and diet to stay lean and wear tight shirts and jeans and go out dancing until you drop dead at eighty? Or do you do the opposite—do you forswear all that, and let your hair go gray, and wear elegant sweaters that cover your belly, and smile on past pleasures that will never come again? Do you marry and adopt a child? In a couple, do you each take a lover, like matching nightstands by the bed, so that sex will not vanish entirely? Or do you let sex vanish entirely, as heterosexuals do? Do you experience the relief of letting go of all that vanity, anxiety, desire, and pain?
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
Imagine the terrestrial timespan as an outstretched arm: a single swipe of an emery-board, across the nail of the third finger, erases human history. We haven't been around for very long. And we've turned the earth's hair white. Sh e seemed to have eternal youth but now she's ageing awful fast, like an addict, like a waxless candle. Jesus, have you seen her recently? we used to live and die without any sense of the planet getting older, of mother earth getting older, living and dying. We used to live outside history. But now we're all coterminous. We're inside history now all right, on its leading edge, with the wind ripping past our ears. Hard to love, when you're bracing yourself for impact. And maybe love can't bear it either, and flees all planets when they reach this condition, when they get to the end of their twentieth centuries.
Martin Amis (London Fields)
There is no feeling that is comparable to that of being truly lost. I don’t mean lost in the woods, or desert, but lost in the way that only can happen internally. Lost to the deepest, blackest pit of your soul, clinging to ghosts of past times, when you thought you knew who and what you were. When this happens, you have two choices; you can give in to your darkest inclinations, and accept what you are, or you can fight, knowing that it is a losing battle, that the good half of your soul is strong, but can never erase the bad part.
H.D. Gordon (Half Black Soul (The Alexa Montgomery Saga, #2))
Kaladin was the one who had changed, not they. He felt a strange dislocation, as if he’d allowed himself to forget—if only in part—the last nine months. He reached back across time, studying the man he had been. The man who’d still fought, and fought well. He couldn’t be that man again—he couldn’t erase the scars—but he could learn from that man, as a new squadleader learned from the victorious generals of the past. Kaladin Stormblessed was dead, but Kaladin Bridgeman was of the same blood. A descendant with potential.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
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
I love the way folktale and fantasy tap into the roots of story telling. The paradox, for me, is that by moving a story into the fantastic we can actually bring it closer to the reader, not move it further away. It is more than an escape. When we read of the only daughter of a fisherman (or the third son of a woodcutter) in a fairy tale, we are all that character. That's the underlying pulse beat of such tales. Using the fantastic as a prism for the past, if done properly, removes the tale from distancing specificity. It can't just be read as unique to a time and place; it is universalized in interesting, powerful ways. When I wrote Tigana, about the way tyranny tries to erase identity in conquered peoples, the fantasy setting seems to have done exactly that: I'm asked in places ranging from Korea to Poland to Croatia to Quebec, "Were you writing about us?" I was. All of them. That is the point. The fantastic is a tool in the writer's arsenal, as potentially powerful as any there is, and any tool we have works to the benefit of the reader.
Guy Gavriel Kay (Under Heaven (Under Heaven, #1))
repatterns our brains and changes our biology; the new experience will reorganize the old programming, and in so doing, it will remove the neurological evidence of that past experience. (Think of how a bigger wave breaking farther up on the beach erases any sign of whatever shell, seaweed, sea foam, or sand pattern was there before.) Strong emotional experiences create long-term memories. So this new internal experience creates new long-term memories that override our past
Joe Dispenza (You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter)
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)
A genuine apology focuses on the feelings of the other rather than on how the one who is apologizing is going to benefit in the end. It seeks to acknowledge full responsibility for an act, and does not use self-serving language to justify the behavior of the person asking forgiveness. A sincere apology does not seek to erase what was done. No amount of words can undo past wrongs. Nothing can ever reverse injustices committed against others. But an apology pronounced in the context of horrible acts has the potential for transformation. It clears or ‘settles’ the air in order to begin reconstructing the broken connections between two human beings.
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (A Human Being Died That Night)
God, how I hate the future. It’s a cult. A tyranny of progress. And anyone who speaks against it is shunned. But all tyrannies must efficiently erase the past if they’re to work. I like the past. The past was solid, simple, and real. The rooms were large, the food was good, and we knew who our enemies were. I feel misty for old tyrannies. The ones which beat you, enslaved you, tried to break your spirit, and in doing so gave your life the only enhancement it really needs: a sense of purpose. The tyranny of the future doesn’t take away our choices; it swamps us in them. It doesn’t curb our freedoms; it tube-feeds us with them until we rupture like neglected factory geese.
Matt Suddain (Hunters & Collectors)
Every civilization built upon riches has died stillborn, ebbed away or fallen of its own weight. Once the inner eye glimpses wealth, the individual life is no longer of interest. The personal on every level becomes insignificant. Wives are abandoned, children discarded. Expendability rules. Gold erases the past, you see. It erases the mercy of God.
Margaret Lawrence
A person taking stock in middle age is like an artist or composer looking at an unfinished work; but whereas the composer and the painter can erase some of their past efforts, we cannot. We are stuck with what we have lived through. The trick is to finish it with a sense of design and a flourish rather than to patch up the holes or merely to add new patches to it.
Harry S. Broudy
Be the man who has the spirit of a ruthless tiger, ravaging every dusty corner of my soul. Be the man for whom I will tame myself voluntarily.. Be the man who can make me forget my birth date in moments of utter dellusion. Be the man whose arms are my harbor, whose lips are my shore, and whose name is my only salvation. Be the man who erases my past and draws my future with trails of roses and kisses. Be the man who makes me sigh behind the windows of Poetry, longing to be written. Be the man whose cigarette's ashes are confounded with mine. Be the man whose voice moves mountains inside me. Be the man whose eyes devour the innocence within me with every piercing glance. Be the man for whom I will transform exceptions into rules. Be the man who will dare to tear this poem from my hands. The man who will rewrite with the uncertainty of the futur every single one of my verses.
Malak El Halabi
I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do -- that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman: Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are fluttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go. O never fear, lads, naught’s to dread, Look not left nor right: In all the endless road you tread There’s nothing but the night. ...Here it Leopold’s father -- and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life’s hopes crumble into dust. ...I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past... I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man. ...I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that... I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love. I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyám. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love, I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
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
...the guards sought to deprive them of something that had sustained them, even as all else had been lost: dignity. This self-respect and sense of self-worth, the innermost armament of the soul, lies at the heart of humanness. To be deprived of it is to be de-humanized, to be cleaved from, and cast below mankind. Men subjected to dehumanizing treatment experience profound wretchedness and loneliness, and find that hope is almost impossible to retain. Without dignity, identity is erased... [They] learned a dark truth known to the doomed in Hitler’s death camps, the slaves of the American South, and a hundred other generations of betrayed people: Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point in which the body should have surrendered it. The loss of it can carry a man off as surely as thirst, hunger, exposure and asphyxiation, and with greater cruelty... degradation could be as lethal as a bullet.
Laura Hillenbrand
persistent, flowing through fallen shadows, excavating tunnels, drilling silences, insisting, running under my pillow, brushing past my temples, covering my eyelids with another, intangible skin made of air, its wandering nations, its drowsy tribes migrate through the provinces of my body, it crosses, re-crosses under the bridges of my bones, slips into my left ear, spills out from my right, climbs the nape of my neck, turns and turns in my skull, wanders across the terrace of my forehead, conjures visions, scatters them, erases my thoughts one by one with hands of unwetting water, it evaporates them, black surge, tide of pulse-beats, murmur of water groping forward repeating the same meaningless syllable, I hear its sleepwalking delirium losing itself in serpentine galleries of echoes, it comes back, drifts off, comes back, endlessly flings itself off the edges of my cliffs, and I don’t stop falling and I fall
Octavio Paz
I can't pretend it isn't about my life, she said to me once, it is m life. It's a difficult thing to live in a country that has erased your past. She fell silent, and the sensation created by her words -- I remember experiencing it as a subtle shift in the air pressure of the room -- deepened in the silence, so that all we could hear was the going and coming outside my office door. She had closed her eyes for a moment, as though she had fallen asleep. But then she continued, her shut eyelids now trembling. There are almost no Native Americans in New York City, and very few in all of the Northeast. It isn't right that people are not terrified by this because this is a terrifying thing that happened to a vast population. And it's not in the past, it is still with us today:; at least, it's still with me.
Teju Cole
When I visit the past now, it is for wisdom and experience, not for regret or shame. I don’t attempt to erase it, only to accept it. Whatever my physical circumstances are today, I will deal with them and remain present. If I fall, I will rise up. As for the future, I haven’t been there yet. I only know that I have one. Until I don’t. The last thing we run out of is the future. Really, it comes down to gratitude. I am grateful for all of it—every bad break, every wrong turn, and the unexpected losses—because they’re real. It puts into sharp relief the joy, the accomplishments, the overwhelming love of my family. I can be both a realist and an optimist. Lemonade, anyone?
Michael J. Fox (No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality)
My mom’s smile is genuine, A lilac beaming In the presence of her Sun. Indentions in the sand prove Time’s linear progression, Her hair yet unblighted, Carrying midnight’s consistency. Clear tracks fading as the Movement slips further In the past. Cheekbones High, soft, In summer’s hue, Hopeful. Each step’s unknown impact, A future looking back. My father’s strength: One whose Life is in his arms. Squinting past the camera, He rests upon a rock Like caramel corn half eaten, Just to the left Of man-made concrete convention Daylight’s eraser Removing color to his right. Dustin sits In my father’s lap, Open mouth of a drooling Big mouth bass; Muscle tone Of a well exercised Jelly fish, He looks at me Half aware; His wheelchair Perched at the edge Of parking lot gravel grafted Like a scar on nature’s beach, Opening to the ironic splendor Of a bitter tasting lake. I took the picture. Age 11. Capturing the pinnacle arc Of a son To my lilac Who Outlived him and weeps, Still. Their sky has staple holes – Maybe that’s how the Light Leaked out.
Darcy Leech (From My Mother)
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))
Thornton Wilder’s one-act play “The Angel That Troubled the Waters,” based on John 5:1-4, dramatizes the power of the pool of Bethesda to heal whenever an angel stirred its waters. A physician comes periodically to the pool hoping to be the first in line and longing to be healed of his melancholy. The angel finally appears but blocks the physician just as he is ready to step into the water. The angel tells the physician to draw back, for this moment is not for him. The physician pleads for help in a broken voice, but the angel insists that healing is not intended for him. The dialogue continues—and then comes the prophetic word from the angel: “Without your wounds where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve. Physician, draw back.” Later, the man who enters the pool first and is healed rejoices in his good fortune and turning to the physician says: “Please come with me. It is only an hour to my home. My son is lost in dark thoughts. I do not understand him and only you have ever lifted his mood. Only an hour.… There is also my daughter: since her child died, she sits in the shadow. She will not listen to us but she will listen to you.”13 Christians who remain in hiding continue to live the lie. We deny the reality of our sin. In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others. We cling to our bad feelings and beat ourselves with the past when what we should do is let go. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, guilt is an idol. But when we dare to live as forgiven men and women, we join the wounded healers and draw closer to Jesus.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging with Bonus Content)
How long, Klara wondered now, how long after the mortar set did the joy remain? When one embraces a moment of rapture from the past, either by trying to reclaim it or by refusing to let it go, how can its brightness not tarnish, turn grey with longing and sorrow, until the wild spell of the remembered interlude is lost altogether and the memory of sadness claims its rightful place in the mind? And what is it we expect from the sun-drenched past? There is no formula for re-entry, nothing we can do to enable reconstruction. The features of an absent loved one's face are erased one by one, the timbre of the voice drowned by the noise of the world. Fondly recalled landscapes are savagely altered; we lose them tree by tree. Even the chestnut tree outside Klara's window would die a slow, rotting death until it would fall one night in a summer storm when everything in Klara wanted it to remain standing, blossoming in spring, leafy in summer, the only access, she secretly believed, to the window of her former self.
Jane Urquhart
— If love wants you; if you’ve been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills, with warm blood and cold. With feathers and scales. Under the hot gloom of the forest canopy you’ll want to breathe with the spiral calls of birds, while your lashing tail still gropes for the waes. You’ll try to haul your weight from simple sea to gravity of land. Caught by the tide, in the snail-slip of your own path, for moments suffocating in both water and air. If love wants you, suddently your past is obsolete science. Old maps, disproved theories, a diorama. The moment our bodies are set to spring open. The immanence that reassembles matter passes through us then disperses into time and place: the spasm of fur stroked upright; shocked electrons. The mother who hears her child crying upstairs and suddenly feels her dress wet with milk. Among black branches, oyster-coloured fog tongues every corner of loneliness we never knew before we were loved there, the places left fallow when we’re born, waiting for experience to find its way into us. The night crossing, on deck in the dark car. On the beach wehre night reshaped your face. In the lava fields, carbon turned to carpet, moss like velvet spread over splintered forms. The instant spray freezes in air above the falls, a gasp of ice. We rise, hearing our names called home through salmon-blue dusk, the royal moon an escutcheon on the shield of sky. The current that passes through us, radio waves, electric lick. The billions of photons that pass through film emulsion every second, the single submicroscopic crystal struck that becomes the phograph. We look and suddenly the world looks back. A jagged tube of ions pins us to the sky. — But if, like starlings, we continue to navigate by the rear-view mirror of the moon; if we continue to reach both for salt and for the sweet white nibs of grass growing closest to earth; if, in the autumn bog red with sedge we’re also driving through the canyon at night, all around us the hidden glow of limestone erased by darkness; if still we sish we’d waited for morning, we will know ourselves nowhere. Not in the mirrors of waves or in the corrading stream, not in the wavering glass of an apartment building, not in the looming light of night lobbies or on the rainy deck. Not in the autumn kitchen or in the motel where we watched meteors from our bed while your slow film, the shutter open, turned stars to rain. We will become indigestible. Afraid of choking on fur and armour, animals will refuse the divided longings in our foreing blue flesh. — In your hands, all you’ve lost, all you’ve touched. In the angle of your head, every vow and broken vow. In your skin, every time you were disregarded, every time you were received. Sundered, drowsed. A seeded field, mossy cleft, tidal pool, milky stem. The branch that’s released when the bird lifts or lands. In a summer kitchen. On a white winter morning, sunlight across the bed.
Anne Michaels
There was still some time before the train opened its doors for boarding, yet passengers were hurriedly buying boxed dinners, snacks, cans of beer, and magazines at the kiosk. Some had white iPod headphones in their ears, already off in their own little worlds. Others palmed smartphones, thumbing out texts, some talking so loudly into their phones that their voices rose above the blaring PA announcements. Tsukuru spotted a young couple, seated close together on a bench, happily sharing secrets. A pair of sleepy-looking five- or six-year-old twin boys, with their mother and father dragging them along by their hands, were whisked past where Tsukuru sat. The boys clutched small game devices. Two young foreign men hefted heavy-looking backpacks, while a young woman was lugging a cello case. A woman with a stunning profile passed by. Everyone was boarding a night train, heading to a far-off destination. Tsukuru envied them. At least they had a place they needed to go to. Tsukuru Tazaki had no place he needed to go. He realized that he had never actually been to Matsumoto, or Kofu. Or Shiojiri. Not even to the much closer town of Hachioji. He had watched countless express trains for Matsumoto depart from this platform, but it had never occurred to him that there was a possibility he could board one. Until now he had never thought of it. Why is that? he wondered. Tsukuru imagined himself boarding this train and heading for Matsumoto. It wasn’t exactly impossible. And it didn’t seem like such a terrible idea. He’d suddenly gotten it into his head, after all, to take off for Finland, so why not Matsumoto? What sort of town was it? he wondered. What kind of lives did people lead there? But he shook his head and erased these thoughts. Tomorrow morning it would be impossible to get back to Tokyo in time for work. He knew that much without consulting the timetable. And he was meeting Sara tomorrow night. It was a very important day for him. He couldn’t just take off for Matsumoto on a whim. He drank the rest of his now-lukewarm coffee and tossed the paper cup into a nearby garbage bin. Tsukuru Tazaki had nowhere he had to go. This was like a running theme of his life. He had no place he had to go to, no place to come back to. He never did, and he didn’t now.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)