Anthony Doerr is the author of three books, The Shell Collector, About Grace and Four Seasons in Rome. His short fiction has won three O. Henry prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He lives in Boise, Idaho. The essay “Nine Times (Among Countless Others) I’ve Thought About the People Who Came Before Us in My Brief Career as a Father” is forthcoming in The Book of Dads: Essays on the Joys, Perils, and Humiliations of Fatherhood, to be published by Ecco in May 2009. 
Jun 01 2009
Nine Times (Among Countless Others) I've Thought About the People Who Came Before Us in My Brief Career as a Father
For every living person on Earth, I wonder, how many dead people are in the ground? Do they care that we walk around on top of their heads? Do our ancestors follow us around throughout the day, and do they shake their heads at us when we repeat their mistakes?