Isaac goes to college this morning.

That’s a couple of “firsts” for him….first day at school….first time away from home for any extended period…etc.

I woke up thinking about Isaac and school and then window regulators and new postal routes and big dogs and the cat mewling on the porch, waiting for her food, and then…..back to Isaac and school and Zoe at school and Nate at school and Sparrow painting the boards on the porch and….then….Isaac again…..and, then, I thought about tests a little bit, too.


I don’t know if I dreamed this or not, but the phrase “how much more would your mind be able to handle in the absence of tension?” floated through at some point in the night.

“The absence of tension”.

I guess that most of what we accomplish is done in the presence of some stress and tension.

That comes with the territory.

I’m learning a new postal route, and it’s a glom of weird turns and side streets, unmarked mailboxes, bad rutted out driveways.

It’s tense.

It’s stressful.

But….I can already feel that I’m going to get it.

And….I’ll get it my way┬áby the end of the process.

People can tell me what I need to do….and I’ll follow instructions…..but I’ll learn it my way when all is said and done.

That’s what we do.

All we can do, really, is “my way”.

“Our way”?

You know what I mean.

As far as tests go, they should be set up so that we understand that they’re made to measure what we know ….not to give us a benchmark for our failures.

We can get a 93 on a test and lament the 7 percent that says “you can’t, you don’t, you won’t”.

A test is not the measure of who we are or what we can become….but we let them stall us or quantify who we think we are sometimes if the results aren’t favorable.

A test is as arbitrary a measure of worth as other people’s opinions of us are.

“Arbitrary”….man, that’s kind of wild.

We accept pretty quickly what other people conclude about us, but struggle to accept the positive conclusions we make about ourselves.


Awwwwww…..this is just a “pre-coffee ramble”…..I’m not sure what I’m saying other than to mention that Isaac starts school today, and I’m just figuring out that a lot of the stuff that I’ve agonized over in the past really didn’t mean all that much in the years since.

You have to pass courses.

You have to get grades that are “acceptable”.

But…..”how much more could your brain handle in the absence of tension”?

You have to figure out your own value separate from all these measures that we’ve set up for ourselves.

Work hard, play when it’s “appropriate”,….and make your way through the world.

And, I guess, believe that people really do want to help you.

Believe that they are, in general, pretty benevolent.

I should cook up some coffee now.

Isaac goes to college today.

That’s a pretty cool trip, huh?

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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