I know that Clementine and Joel will live forever falling in and out of love with each other. This idea felt really personal, sans sci-fi machines that erase memories. Theirs was (is) a head-over-heels, seductive, dangerous relationship that I can really understand.
I can also see why it has to end and how it can easily start again. By the end of the movie I realize that Clementine and Joel are still in love, but had come to a point where they also hate each other. They know the other too well.
If you can understand Joel and Clementine, you may also be able to see how easy “erasing” would be. A true test in our lives is in these difficult moments and unpleasant memories: Do we choose to ignore our experience or keep them and learn from mistakes?
How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;
Oh curs’d, dear horrors of all-conscious night!How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight!
Provoking Daemons all restraint remove,
And stir within me every source of love.
I hear thee, view thee, gaze o’er all thy charms,And round thy phantom glue my clasping arms.
I wake — no more I hear, no more I view,
The phantom flies me, as unkind as you.
I call aloud; it hears not what I say;
I stretch my empty arms; it glides away.
To dream once more I close my willing eyes;
Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!
– Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope