Ever since seeing the Kennedy to Kent State Exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum, I have been haunted by images from the sixties and seventies: war, prejudice, assassination … This past weekend I came across another image from that era, a Madonna and child and one that I have not, in fact, seen before. It is a picture taken on Oct. 9, 1978 by Brian Bould of the London Daily Mail, of Lesley and Louise Brown, documenting the first successful in vitro fertilization by English scientists Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards.
The picture is simple and shows simple joy. It could be of any mother and any infant child. It is all of us, and therein lies its power. Lesley Brown died this past June at age 65. Let us celebrate her courage and take her life and that of her daughter as symbols that we can, in fact, “dream better dreams.”