Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pie: Obsession or Just a Nice Dream?

I had a dream last night—about pie. I was at the counter of some travel agency or chamber of commerce and I picked up a brochure. The woman working there behind the counter told me she had just finished taking a graphic design course—a very expensive class, she added—and that she made the brochure herself. (This part may have resulted from my real-life desire to take a Web design course.) I flipped through the first few pages of her brochure and came across an entire page about pie. Everywhere it said “pie” was highlighted in bold. The page was also in red, white and blue and decorated with stars and stripes (was I watching too much CNN last week with the Democratic National Convention?)

And that was it. That was the whole dream. But afterward I had insomnia and started thinking about what the hell is so important to me about pie. Why pie? Why not frogs, like my brother Michael, who used to catch them in the ponds near our house in Iowa and has had a collection of frog-everything ever since. Why not pigs like my sister Anne who after naming her company “Corn Fed Inc.” started receiving pig-everything for gifts? Collecting is one thing, but do Michael and Anne dream about frogs and pigs? I doubt it!

So, as three a.m. stretched into four a.m., I started thinking more about pie. I like pie. I like to eat it, I like to bake it, I like to give it away, I like to teach others how to make it—and like to teach them to give it away too. I like working with my hands, I like creating something from natural products born of the earth, I like the meditative aspects of peeling apples and kneading (but, remember, ever-so-lightly) the dough. I like what pie stands for, for a more peaceful and generous way of life, a hark back to the days before CNN when people weren't so "busy" that that they stopped by your house—without having to call from their cell phone first—for a piece of pie and cup of coffee. And so what if I dream about it once in a while? Better to dream about pie than about Sarah Palin practicing shooting her gun so she can cull the wolf population in Alaska. Sheesh.

In fact, given the alternative, I hope I dream about pie again soon.

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