Poem, number 23
and the power of shut-up
has visited me this morning
on the beach
My good dog wanders a full circle
of sniff and piss around me
and then settles right there
between the sand-castle
and my bare feet.
Nearby in a still-life of threes,
my sandals, my empty coffee cup, and her poop in a bag.
I listen for the sounds I prefer
morning birds singing that song,
the waves skimming onto shore
and the whiff-like sigh of heat rising from these rocks.
What is this story of this together?
what is this idea that our animal self
with separated legs will walk towards
the edge of this divide,
this gulf filled with your abstract thoughts
my chaos and dreams?
How does this companion of mine,
who is mostly deaf and going blind
know that my true heart
will always connect to the task of
making good on paddling
over to the other side
no matter where she is?
Another oven, another pie…
Summer Solstice 2010. I’m in another home-place. Out of the woods, and the lovely little wishbone, fairy hut. Back into town. Next door to Charly’s studio in the alley. Another kitchen, another oven. And, it’s time to bake.
The thing about a pie crust is the way it feels. Pie crust, ingredients combined with human hands, becomes a living thing. And, like any other living thing and with the human who’s hands mix, shape and roll it out; it breathes. If there is no breath, there is no life or goodness going into that pie. And then, what is the point?
Pie therapy. A way to bring life. as I know it, back into balance. Much needed, as always, in this present moment. All lists of this and that are inconsequential. Conversations and tellings cease. A gathering of ingredients, an open-space with elbow room. Countertops at the proper height. Pie as art, and in the making. Ahh….I’m feeling I’m in the right place for pie-making, and it’s been a very long time.
What does making and baking pie have to do with “community”? This is not a hard question for me to answer. Everyone, and I mean everyone, wants a slice of the pie. Unless it’s mincemeat, of course. Cake is over-rated, and been capitalized on. Wedding and birthday cakes are the products of the Hallmark Card Holiday propaganda. Before there was even the thought of Marie Antoinette and her nasty attitude about filling the masses on cake, there was pie. Pie is the wise guiding and just-so grandmother and ancient one. (Truthfully, I only bake a chocolate or cardamom cake when absolutely necessary.)
Pies happen often. The pies I bake are ceremonial. There is a real and unspoken need for them. My pies have taught me their purpose; to be shared and eaten with intention and reverent thanks. A crust carefully concocted with a filling inspired; binds those sitting round it. Around it and within it, as it were.
Sometimes it feels right to make declarations, once you realize them. And, so I’ll make two: I’m not a kitchen witch. Like many good women before me, I’m a pie witch. And like this Summer Solstice day, and this pie-making endeavor I’m embarking on, it seems good energy is coming into balance already.
As I tie on my grandmothers’ purple checked and cross-stitched Cinderella apron, I wonder out loud to my son, will this new heat box do it’s part? How many pies can I fit in this tiny tot of an easy-bake oven? He wanders in and out of our little kitchen as I work. These rituals have been going on for most of his twenty-something life, and it gives me a mama-thrill that he is here with me now, on the longest day of this year, to witness, and to later partake.
My pies are created for artistic delight, well-being, and, for love. And sharing is essential. Eating a pie alone is like trying to take over the world. Pies are not for selfish eaters. I pity the fools who have mocked and perverted pies in Hollywood movies. Like pie therapy, there is also pie karma. So, if you live alone, I suggest you think about the sharing part well in advance of rolling out the crust. I myself schedule one or two “Pie Socials” each year for a larger, community gathering and pie-healing through my O’k CSAe bizness.
In my new little oven, I was able to bake four; one big mama, two little pot pies, and a turnover. Good even heat, not much bubbling over. Pulled out and cooling 40 minutes later, shared with my family and with our new neighbors.
Sometimes, I also share the recipe, when the traditional one I’ve followed in my falling apart Joy of Cooking cookbook, has been properly altered and I can call it my own, expecting someone will soon alter mine. The filling always depends on the goods you have, and what is calling out to your pie-making sensibilities. This is what called out to me, and turned out to be a lovely, slightly tart pie filled with mostly deep, red burgundy, with a smattering of dark blue and purple….Recipe ABOVE the sky….