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Quotations about Memory

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
~From the television show The Wonder Years
A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.
~Edward de Bono
Every man's memory is his private literature.
~Aldous Huxley
God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.
~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922
Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food.
~Austin O'Malley
Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.
~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal
We do not remember days; we remember moments.
~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.
~Josh Billings
Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.
~Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest"
It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.
~P.D. James
And even if you were in some prison, the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses - would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories?
~Rainer Maria Rilke
The leaves of memory seemed to makeA mournful rustling in the dark.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.
~Jean de Boufflers
One need not be a chamber to be haunted;
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

~Emily Dickinson, "Time and Eternity"
I have memories - but only a fool stores his past in the future.
~David Gerrold
A happy childhood can't be cured. Mine'll hang around my neck like a rainbow, that's all, instead of a noose.
~Hortense Calisher, Queenie, 1971
Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.
~Saul Bellow
Memory itself is an internal rumour.
~George Santayana, The Life of Reason
Recalling days of sadness, memories haunt me. Recalling days of happiness, I haunt my memories.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
A childhood is what anyone wants to remember of it. It leaves behind no fossils, except perhaps in fiction.
~Carol Shields
It is singular how soon we lose the impression of what ceases to be constantly before us. A year impairs, a luster obliterates. There is little distinct left without an effort of memory, then indeed the lights are rekindled for a moment - but who can be sure that the Imagination is not the torch-bearer?
~Lord Byron
The past is never dead, it is not even past.
~William Faulkner
The existence of forgetting has never been proved: We only know that some things don't come to mind when we want them.
~Friedrich Nietzsche
Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.
~Thomas Fuller
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened

~T.S. Eliot
What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
~Cynthia Ozick
Memory is what tells a man that his wife's birthday was yesterday.
~Mario Rocco
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.

~Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground
In memory's telephoto lens, far objects are magnified.
~John Updike
Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.
The happiest memories are of moments that ended when they should have.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
~Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
I am a miser of my memories of you
And will not spend them.

~Witter Bynner, "Coins"
The man with a clear conscience probably has a poor memory.
~Author Unknown
The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind.
~Thalassa Cruso, To Everything There is a Season, 1973
The two offices of memory are collection and distribution.
~Samuel Johnson
Hmmm, how to "can a day?" You know, those days that seem just perfect you want access to them whenever the need arises.
~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com
The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.
~Salvador Dali
Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.
~Michel de Montaigne
The faintest waft is sometimes enough to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment in your childhood. It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and evaporating almost the moment it is detected.
~Stephen Lacey, Scent in Your Garden, 1991
She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes.
~Frank Deford
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
~Friedrich Nietzsche
Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories.
~From the movie An Affair to Remember
It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
I'm always fascinated by the way memory diffuses fact.
~Diane Sawyer
To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
~Margaret Fairless Barber, The Roadmender