A Dialogue with Pie

1st Place Seattle Pie Slam 2011

Yesterday as you may recall, I entered the 1st Seattle Pie Slam with a Shaker Lemon Pie. I heard that it was to be much like a poetry slam and since I’ve never been to one, I’m hoping that someday my good friend and sister pie maker, Kate Lebo, will let me tag along with her to one. Kate, along with Dani Cone, Nancy Guppy, Jesse Oleson, and Wendy Sykes, were the judges.

There were some who have asked about the piece that I presented. It originated in a workshop I took with Crescent Dragonwagon last year. (If you ever have a chance, take one of her sessions. You won’t regret it!) Over breakfast recently in Seattle, she mentioned how she rememberd my “Dialogue with Pie”.  Without having read it in nearly a year, I pulled it out, transcribed it from longhand onto my computer and edited it down. It became the “Words” portion of my entry.

I would need to enter a pie too, and Shaker Lemon seemed to fit the bill. I often think of that pie as the “When Life Gives You Lemons Make a Shaker Lemon” Pie.

After I pushed the send button, I wondered just what had I set in motion.

Late yesterday afternoon, I arrived at Cakespy,  the site of the contest, dropped off my pie and then walked over to a friend’s neaby restaurant for a little bite to calm my nerves. The contest was ready to begin when I returned.

Because of my first career in music, I’m used to being “on stage”. But nothing could have prepared me for the momentary terror I felt when I moved over to the contestant hot-spot to read my piece.

My hands were shaking, my stomach was doing little flip-flops, my normally cool pastry-bakers hands were hot and sweaty. I felt like I was back in Mrs. Andersen’s 1st grade class when my mom expected that I would bring my accordion to show-and-tell. I wanted to just sink into the floor and die. I made it through and was stunned when my name was called out as the 1st prize winner. Here’s what I presented:

A Dialogue with Pie

Pie: Hey, Kate.  Aren’t you becoming a little obsessed?  My god girl, you talk about me all the time. I think I’ve been loved just about enough. Couldn’t you please move on to something else? When you were little you didn’t even like me!* And, now you’re into this whole pie maven, pie whisperer thing. I’m about ready to flip my crust if I hear one more class talking about feeling the Love. Quite frankly, I don’t think you know the first thing about giving or receiving Love.

Me: Whoa! This is a little surprising. I didn’t know you could talk. And, I thought You were non-judgmental and into the whole 1960‘s Flower-Power thing.

Pie: No way! I’m tired. Tired of being venerated as some unattainable holy grail and I resent that you are being seen as my savior.

Me: Okay, hold on now. I know I don’t know much about Love, but I don’t need You to tell me that.

Pie: No, I want you to wake up! I want you to love me for yourself and not for anyone else.

Me: What do you mean by that?

Pie: I mean that even if you are damned there is love. If you are abandoned, there is Love. And, if you are starving for it and can’t find it, if you really look within, you are full of Love. You, my dear, are full of Love and it’s your job to tell the story—The Love Story—and I’m here simply to help you to tell it.

Me: Wait, wait! It’s my turn now. I want to share Love with as many people as I can while I can. But, it’s scary out in the world.

Pie: We know.

Me: I’m totally insecure.

Pie: We know that, too.

Me: I love being intimate with you. But I can’t own you. Is that why I can’t eat you?**

Pie: Yup! You got it the first time out of the gate. You can only be present & partner with me if you open up all of yourself. I’ve lasted for centuries because I’m easy and selfless…as much as I can be.

Me: Is that what I need to do. Let everything else go?

Pie: Yup!

Me: What about survival?

Pie: Not to worry.

Me: Friends?

Pie: Not to worry.

Me: Family? Money?

Pie: Not to worry…you say these words all the time!

Me: But, I have yet to live by them.

Pie: Bingo! But, you can and you will succeed. The fortune cookie you opened said…

Me: …“You will have a comfortable old age.”

Pie: And you will. I’m here to help you. I’m here to help you heal yourself and to help you lend a hand to others as they heal themselves, too. Don’t ever stop loving. You are whole. And you and me? Well, we’re Katie-Pie. We’re sweet Katie-Pie.

Me: I love you, Pie.

Pie: And, I love you too.


*My grandmother, Geeg, was the pie maker in my family but I was not fond of her crusts.

**It is true that I cannot eat gluten. I found this out some months before Rebekah Denn wrote about the crust I make. I worked on a Gluten Free (GF) crust for a year and now once again can enjoy pie!


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