waiting for nothing

When I was at Syracuse University, I knew a budding writer named John.  He let me borrow a book called Waiting For Nothing by Tom Kromer. Kromer wrote about the homeless during the Great Depression, desperate for food and shelter. I never gave the book back, and can’t seem to put my hands on it today, but the title alone is evocative of a mood these days. More recently in the New York Times, Tom Friedman wrote that if unemployed people are just sitting around waiting for work, waiting for the jobs to come back, they are essentially waiting for nothing. These days, you can’t just wait and hope that your luck will change. You have to create something new. The landscape has changed forever. But what if what you are creating means nothing to no one? What if the world seems like one giant echo chamber? The Genius Grant isn’t coming, the check’s not in the mail. You might be brilliant, but no one cares. Too many voices in the wilderness right now. Too many blogs. Too many opinions. Too many experts. People are too busy surviving. Sometimes it just might be better to drop out for a while.


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