What do you do in the summer, when you're not turning out quick, fresh summery meals?
I wake up to the news each morning. These days the news has to do with the economy, with money and how it, or the lack of it, has been affecting people's lives. It has been such a drumbeat of fear, scarcity and gloom, that I find myself drifting back to sleep instead of listening to it. We, as a species, managed to survive the Great Depression. I suspect that we will also survive this thing - whatever it's being called these days. To that end I offer you, dear reader, this poem by John Updike, entitled "Money":
It takes up so little space.
It takes no more ink
for the bank to print $9,998
than to print $1,001.
It flows, electronically;
it does not gather dust.
Like water, it (dis)solves everything.
Oceanic, it is yet as lucid
as a mountain pool; the depositor
can see clear to the sandy bottom.
It is ubiquitous and under pressure, yet
pennies don't drip from faucets.
Money is so tidy, so neat.
It is freedom in action: when you
give a twenty-buck bill to the cabbie,
you don't tell him how to spend it.
He can blow it on coke,
for all you care. All you care
about is your change. No wonder
the ex-Communists are dizzy. In
the old Soviet Union
there was nothing to buy,
nothing to spend. It was freedom
of a kind, but not our kind. We need
money, the dull electric thrill
when the automatic teller spits out
the disposable receipt.