"A caption for a photograph: A man sitting on a folding chair in a cemetery, as a light rain fell and the sun shone at the same time, on the first day of summer in 1994.

"If you were there, standing close by, you would notice that the sod beneath his chair was laid down in small square sections, suggesting it had been removed and then carefully replaced.

"The man owns the property upon which he sits. He has paid for the site, paid to have the ground dug up, to have a cement vault installed, and to have the ground restored.

"He is sitting on his own grave. Not because his death is imminent — he's in pretty good shape, actually. And not because he was in a morbid state of mind — he was in a fine mood when the picture was taken. In fact, while sitting there on his own grave, he has had one of the most affirmative afternoons of his life.

"Sitting for an afternoon on his own grave, he has had one of those potent experiences when the large pattern of one's life is unexpectedly reviewed: the past, birth, childhood, adolescence, marriage, career, the present, and the future. He has confronted finitude — the limits of life. The fact of his own death lies before him and beneath him — raising the questions of the when and the where and the how of it. What shall he do with his life between now and then?"