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Why Pie & Chai

Expanding Minds, Forging Connections, Sweetening Lives

We’re launching Pie & Chai Magazine for a simple reason: to provide good writers with a place to tell good stories, the kind worth sharing. In these stories—under the broad categories of Deep Dives, Being Human, Prescriptions, LOL, Etcetera, and 22401(ish)—we hope to move, enlighten, and amuse you, and draw you in to a creative community.

We aren’t here to make money. We won’t sell subscriptions, we won’t run ads, we won’t pirate your data, and our contributors won’t get paid. Everything here will exist because someone cared enough to create it. For free.

art for article Umgebung titled “Beware the Jubjub Bird” by artist and author Bucky McMahon

The Umgebung

Sort of a Christmas Story

No one at the Christmas party seemed particularly interested when Bird brought up Jakob von Uexküll’s insight into the mind of the tick. The tick? people said to Bird, eyebrows raised, shoulders turning ever so slightly towards an exit. Are we talking ticks? I wouldn’t think a tick had much of a mind. Exactly! Bird said. As von Uexküll pointed out, the tick’s simple sensory apparatus recognizes only three aspects of the physical world: a sensitivity to sunlight which leads it to the top of a blade of grass; the smell of butyric acid from the sebaceous follicles of mammals, which tells it when to let go and fall; and the heat of blood which guides it through the hair to its dinner. In von Uexküll’s theory that’s the tick’s umwelt—it’s self-world—the specific way in which it is embedded in the umgebung, the otherwise unknowable reality which surrounds us all. Though surrounding isn’t quite accurate…

Papa Don’t Preach

Put Away That Cell Phone or Ernest Hemingway Will Punch You in the Face