“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”
“We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.”
“If you were to be lost in the river, Jonas, your memories would not be lost with you. Memories are forever.”
“For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo.”
“It's the choosing that's important, isn't it?”
“Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.”
“I liked the feeling of love,' [Jonas] confessed. He glanced nervously at the speaker on the wall, reassuring himself that no one was listening. 'I wish we still had that,' he whispered. 'Of course,' he added quickly, 'I do understand that it wouldn't work very well. And that it's much better to be organized the way we are now. I can see that it was a dangerous way to live.'
...'Still,' he said slowly, almost to himself, 'I did like the light they made. And the warmth.”
“I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.”
“The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.”
“They were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on. And he was angry at himself, that he could not change that for them.”
“Even trained for years as they all had been in precision of language, what words could you use which would give another the experience of sunshine?”
“I knew that there had been times in the past-terrible times-when people had destroyed others in haste,in fear, and had brought about their own destruction”
The newchild stirred slightly in his sleep. Jonas looked over at him.
"There could be love", Jonas whispered.”
“Today is declared an unscheduled holiday.”
“Things could change, Gabe," Jonas went on. "Things could be different. I don't know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors. And grandparents," he added, staring through the dimness toward the ceiling of his sleepingroom. "And everybody would have the memories."
"You know the memories," he whispered, turning toward the crib.
Garbriel's breathing was even and deep. Jonas liked having him there, though he felt guilty about the secret. Each night he gave memories to Gabriel: memories of boat rides and picnics in the sun; memories of soft rainfall against windowpanes; memories of dancing barefoot on a damp lawn.
The newchild stirred slightly in his sleep. Jonas looked over at him.
"There could be love," Jonas whispered.”
“...now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently. He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow - moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going”
“If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!”
“Behind him,across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps it was only an echo.”
“He knew that there was no quick comfort for emotions like those. They were deeper and they did not need to be told. They were felt.”
“I don't know what you mean when you say 'the whole world' or 'generations before him.'I thought there was only us. I thought there was only now.”
“He hunched his shoulders and tried to make himself smaller in the seat. He wanted to disappear, to fade away, not to exist.”
“What if they were allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong?”
“It's just that... without the memories it's all meaningless.”
“There's much more. There's all that goes beyond – all ... that is Elsewhere – and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room, all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. And how we shape our future.”
“He wept because he was afraid now that he could not save Gabriel. He no longer cared about himself”
“And here in this room, I re-experience the memories again and again it is how wisdom comes and how we shape our future.”
“It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.”
“His mind reeled. Now, empowered to ask questions of utmost rudeness-and promised answers-he could, conceivably (though it was almost unimaginable), ask someone, some adult, his father perhaps: "Do you lie?"
But he would have no way of knowing if the answer he received was true.”
“- My instructors in science and technology have taught us about how the brain works. It's full of electrical impulses. It's like a computer. If you stimulate one part of the brain with an electrode, it...
- They know nothing.”
“It was a gorgeous end-of-summer-just-starting-to-befall day. The trees swayed in the breeze. The sky was the color of cornflowers.”
“Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.”
“The piano keys represent the genome. We each get different keys, and the keys don’t change throughout our life: we die with the same piano keys, or genome, we’re born with. What changes is the sheet music: the epigenetics. That sheet of music determines what tune is played—what genes are expressed—and those genes determine our traits—everything from IQ to hair color.”
“Also I kind of want to see what he looks like, because, frankly, his back is begging the question – what the hell does his front look like?”
“Maybe he knows noting. Maybe it's that he feels it all, but whatever is happening to him, he understands that he lived before. He lived other lives, in different times. And why not? It's something he has often wondered about, sitting on the train in the morning, looking from the corner of his eye at the other commuter, wondering why.
Why am I not living that person's live? That man, there, with the sharp suit and the slightly stupid tie? Or that scruffy guy with the headphones? Or that woman, a little pregnant?
Often, as he sat fiddling with OneDegree, he has wondered why this life is the one he's had, and not one of the thousands of contacts passing through his device, or one of the countless others that could have been his.
Now he knows. He has been others.”
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