1. observation or examination of one’s own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself.
I have been thinking about things within for some time now. Maybe this comes with age. Most folks around here might relate to this. Recent events on our key make this consideration more important. I had started a draft column admitting that I was distracted. I might still be. Some folks here may say that’s good; most would not, I hope. I dropped that topic.
Life certainly is short. We’ve had a recent reminder of that fact. The loss of the police chief in any small town is serious. The chief is always the anchor, the guy who can be counted on to protect the rest of us. Our chief was certainly that.
We’ll miss him. Rest in peace, Al. The National Cemetery is impressive. If you haven’t been out east a ways to see those endless white headstones, take the short ride. You won’t forget it.
With Al’s passing I realize that just about everyone involved with town government when I started my participation with it some 12 or so years ago is now gone from the local scene, all of them far less violently than the chief. I can count a finance director, two or three fire chiefs, two police chiefs, three planning directors, one town manager, countless board members, countable town commissioners — all gone. This is what one should expect in most organizations, certainly one like ours. Of course some employees soldier on, we should thank them for their dedication.
So, I’m looking within myself. Taking inventory is a good idea, from time to time.
I don’t find this inventory frightening, just informative. Think again of Chief Al. He’s gone from us, but not forgotten. What more can one ask for? I’ve always thought that funerals are primarily for the living. Of course in our traditions we get an extra chance to ask God’s mercy on our friend. We all did that I’m sure. I recall in my introspection that at Notre Dame (the seminal years of my life), they taught us not to fear death — but certainly to take it seriously. I do.
So that brings us back to life. That inventory is about life and how one lives it.
It’s perhaps too easy to count the things one dislikes and the people one thinks dislike you. That is usually unhealthy. As an example some time ago I mentioned the shoe-throwing episode. That was minor. I mentioned a bit later that we columnists here at this newspaper had been publically called names (vicious liars).
This was not so minor. I had planned to expand on this theme. I’ve decided, wisely I hope, to let it all go.
We hear a bit about civility around here. That’s always a good goal. I support it wholeheartedly. Who wouldn’t?
Along with civility perhaps some need to try a bit of introspection. Couldn’t hurt.
Remember ‘una rosa blanca’ from a few weeks ago in these pages. José Marti might be correct. So I’m offering that white rose to those who have decided to be my enemies. Can’t hurt either.
We will move ahead, ‘steaming as before’ — the traditional log entry. Time to get on with positive things. To get started with the more important things I have noted the two following news events:
First, The Economist, May 12, reports the demise of a coin that shows the long-term impact of inflation. “Farewell to the Canadian penny. The last one-cent coin, in circulation ever since Canada developed its own currency in 1858, was minted on May 4. The coin had become a nuisance, weighing down consumers’ wallets and costing more to produce than it was worth.” As a young New Yorker I liked to separate the Canadian and U.S. pennies we received in pocket coins. Life indeed is changing.
Second, I read in the Boston Herald online (June 8) that one of my favorite radio programs will soon complete its 25-year run on Public Radio. Tom and Ray, known as the tappet brothers, the hosts of “Car Talk” heard on Saturday mornings, will be retiring in September. As noted, life indeed is changing.
Completing my introspection, I remind myself that change is inevitable.