And the terrible thing, the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, is that if something happened to one of us-excuse me for saying this-but if something happened to one of us tomorrow, I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we're talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory.
How do you feel?' she asked, trying to fluff his pillow. 'Other than terrible, I mean.' He moved his head slightly to the side. It seemed to be a sickly interpretation of a shrug. 'Of course you're feeling terrible, ' she clarified, 'but is there any change? More terrible? Less terrible?' He made no response. 'The same amount of terrible?
I didn't know if his art was helping. But Moses's pictures were like that, glorious and terrible. Glorious because they brought memory to life, terrible for the same reason. Time softens memories, sanding down the rough edges of death. But Moses's pictures dripped with life and reminded us of our loss.
But the wild things cried, 'Oh please don't go - we'll eat you up - we love you so!' And Max said, 'No!' The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye.
You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.
We have seen that there are two misconceptions involved in the myth that memory is a thing. One is that memory is a thing (a tangible structure rather than an abstract process) and the other is that memory is a thing (one memory rather than many memories).
If a memory wasn't a thing but a memory of a memory of a memory, mirrors set in parallel, then what the brain told you now about what it claimed had happened then would be coloured by what had happened in between. It was like a country remembering its history: the past was never just the past, it was what made the present able to live with itself.
Memory is the friend of wit, but the treacherous ally of invention; there are many books that owe their success to two things; good memory of those who write them, and the bad memory of those who read them
Jehanne said that it would always be like this. That I would always be young and beautiful in her memory, and she in mine. That I would never grow resentful, never be tempted to betray her. That she would never grow restless and fickle, and see to replace me. So you see, not exactly the sentiments of a great and terrible love affair.