"Hope Springs Eternal" explores the changing relationships that make up human existence. Children relating to parents, men and women finding (and sometimes losing) each other, adult children relating to elderly parents and vice versa; in every case it is the extent to which we allow ourselves to become intimately involved in the lives of others that determines the expanse of the canvas upon which we paint our own lives. As Professor Bryant in the story "Invisible" puts it, 'Things are not always what they seem. In fact, maybe they never are." But of course, it is in precisely that mystery and the search for understanding that the meaning of life is found. Some of the individuals in these stories are more successful than others in the search, but just as in life itself, no one is excused from making the attempt.