If my life were a pie, it would probably be a coconut cream—the funniest of all pies—thrown during a messy, confused melee in hopes of finding comic purchase on someone’s surprised mug. Or, perhaps it would be a tart rhubarb pie, something a bit sweet but a bit biting. Or, better yet, it might be a black bottom pie: heavy and sugary, but with a chocolate crust as crumbled and grave as earth; the duality of the cream layers (black and white) like the duality of the darkness and light inside of me.

Yikes. That’s a bit much symbolism for pie. Still, there’s something about the simple versatility in the melding of pastry and filling that just begs to be used as symbol and metaphor. Who better to understand the symbolic capacity of a pie than Pietopia, the blog dedicated to the self-same dish?

Each year, Pietopia sponsors a pie contest like no other. This is nothing like the heated baking contests of State Fair fame where ultra-competitive grannies seek to outdo one another for the blue ribbon. No. This pie contest is a bit more… Shall we say, Portland-esque.

Here’s the skinny on all the fattening details (from a Pietopia e-mail):

What does it taste like to be unemployed, starting a new job, just married, divorced, a new homeowner or desperately searching for housing? What kind of pie would describe the way you are feeling right now? Could you imagine your thoughts, concerns or joys transformed into the All-American Pie? This is a call to entry that has been put out for the past two years to the city of Portland to find out what the flavor of peoples lives are through a pie.

So it’s like a biography in the form of a pie. Oh! Oh! A pie-ography! Eh? Ahem… Pies are judged on creativity, innovation, and (one assumes) how well your life translates to your pie’s ingredients. Pity the poor soul who’s world is filled with bitterness; for unless they can find some sweetness or savor to balance their pie, I doubt it will ever win.

Here are the submission guidelines:

To participate, please submit your pie recipe and written explanation, including why you chose the recipe and how the taste of it relates to the current state of your life in under 300 words by July 15th, 2009

Winners will receive adoration and a unique silkscreen which visually represents the theme of their essay and pie. They’re actually very beautiful. The contest culminates with a pie tasting August 20th at the Eastbank Farmers Market. Email you submissions to pietopiacontest@gmail.com.

Good Luck!