I have long wished to know you, Mr. Coverdale, and to thank you for your beautiful poetry, some of which I have learned by heart; or rather it has stolen into my memory, without my exercising any choice or volition about the matter.
Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Blithedale Romance (1852)
When I originally came across these words, I misread the highlighted part as it has stolen my memory. That’s why I remembered it – Hawthornes’s words stole into my memory. Or maybe they stole my memory.
You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent... Ich bin ein Berliner... The lady's not for turning... Clunk click every trip... I counted them all out and I counted them all back... The pound in your pocket... No Child Left Behind... A million housewives every day... 'Is there anybody there?' said the traveller... Shock and awe... Lashings of ginger beer... Chromium, molybdenum and tungsten... Every little helps... What’s for dinner?... April fool... They think it’s all over... It is now.
Viewed as a stretch of personal real estate, our memory is stolen all the time and there is no real defence apart from cultivating non-attachment. Unfortunately that tends to come later in life, once we’ve dropped into the rut and filled our minds with too much garbage.
The modern world steals our memory, systematically and deliberately. Oddly enough we remember it happening too. Over and over again. Jingle bells, jingle bells...