Untitled (This Too Shall Pass), 2002

The origin of the saying “this too shall pass” appears to date back to a story told about King Solomon. It is said that the King, feeling blue, asked his advisors to find him a ring he had seen in a dream. “When I feel satisfied I’m afraid that it won’t last. And when I don’t, I am afraid my sorrow will go on forever. Find me the ring that will ease my suffering.” Eventually an advisor met an old jeweler who carved into a simple gold band the Hebrew inscription “gam zeh ya’avor” – “this too shall pass.” When the king received his ring and read the inscription his sorrows turned to joy and his joy to sorrows, and then both gave way to equanimity. More recently the saying has been popularized in the West by spiritual leaders imported from or inspired by the East, including Ram Dass, the Dali Lama and Tich Nhat Hanh.