Alex Harris (b. 1949)
Camposante, El Valle, New Mexico,
1986 chromogenic color print
23 x 18 1/4 in.

 
The Wisdom of Solomon, a book attributed to the king who was thought to be the wisest of the wise, tells us that the hope of the righteous is "full of immortality". For me, this is the greatest hope of all: that life does not end. Yesterday's lovely sunset, the wondrous blue of today's sky, the glory of a Mozart concerto, a precious moment of shared joy with a loved one, are not gone forever. They have all been (in the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins) "kept with fonder a care" than we could have kept them. Macbeth said in his despair: "All our yesterdays have lighted fools / The way to dusty death." I believe, rather, that all our yesterdays­and todays­are redolent of hope, the hope of endless tomorrows full of life, beauty and love.

J. Robert Barth, S.J.

McIntyre Professor of English