Invitation: March 27 supper and story circle
From: Lynn Englund (
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 04:22:03 -0700 (PDT)
Dear Hopework Friends,

A month ago it snowed enough to close the University. This morning there's a good rainstorm. The equinox has passed and spring is here! Celebrate by attending the next Hopework supper and story circle this Sunday, March 27, from 4:00-7:00 PM.

February's story circle asked participants to share something about what it is like to work to bloom in their environment, enrich the soil, and improve the climate for ourselves and others. The themes of some of the stories that stuck with me focused on shifts in self: in meditation there is no self; an annual performance evaluation is all about one's self. Pregnancy is an environment to prepare for the birth of baby's new self, but also the birth of self as mother. The practice of yoga and dancing in an improvisational dance group were associated with an incubation of the self.

I also found provocative questions in many of the stories: Do I bring self to an environment I enter, or do I attempt to change self to fit? Has frequent repetition and change slowly grown self and improved the environment? How do I find the courage to develop self in a new cultural environment? If the soil I find myself in is not to my liking, is self enough to change it? Do I find the nutrients in the manure of my environment? Do I have a trellis to support my growth? Do I allow self to give to self and accept what I truly desire? Can I see how much I've grown?

Over many years, I've learned to appreciate the structure that seasonal images and metaphors provide for my reflections. The changing images and metaphors help me to refract my experiences in new ways and become story markers along the journey of life. This month's topic is related to the image of freezing and thawing. My friend Gina Coburn owns The Three Crows coffee shop in Delano on the bank of the Crow River. The threat of a flood is a concern every spring. A year ago, the river filled her basement to within a few inches of first floor joists. This year the river could flood the building to the windows, unless we have a few more days of freezing temperatures at night, a slow thaw during the day, and not too much rain. The timing of freezing and thaw cycles could start or stop a flood. Repeated freeze and thaw cycles break down mountains, create potholes in the roads, and set the sap running in the trees. Freezing and thawing make my walk treacherously icy in the morning and full of puddles on the way home at night. My energies and plans and actions all seem to have freeze and thaw cycles. Come on Sunday to share a story of a time when you experienced freezing and thawing in your life and the result.

Date: Sunday, March 27, 2011.

RSVP: Please let us know by Saturday night (3/26) how many plan to attend. Call or email if you have any questions. I have room for about 12 people around the table (and at least 20 if we move it out of the way!)

Time: Arrive at 4:00 pm (or at 3:00 pm if you would like to visit and be on my cooking and setup team). The meal will begin at 4:30 pm. We usually finish telling stories and cleaning up about 7:00 pm.

Menu: Bring a dish or a favorite beverage to share. I'll provide a main dish (usually vegetarian) and will make coffee and offer my assortment of teas.

Topic: Life's cycles of freezing and thawing.

For those of you who are new, Hopework is the practice of creating spaces for people to get to know and like each other and to find renewed hope and purpose with and from each other. Hopework' suppers and story circle evenings are a way to reconnect with friends who have shared in our work and to meet new acquaintances who share our interests. Each month we look forward to greeting Hopework friends, Philosophy Camp/Lives Worth Living alumni and fellows, and making new friends and acquaintances.

This year we will meet on the 4th Sundays of most months. Please join us when you can! Future dates: April 17 (Note: 3rd Sunday to avoid Easter; and last Hopework supper until September 2011).


Lynn Englund and John Wallace
The Metro Lofts
2650 University Ave West, #315
Saint Paul, MN 55114

651-646-0069 (home)
612-710-7287 (cell)

Map and directions:

Park on University Ave. near Dunn Bros. Metro Lofts' entrance is on the east side of the building, just past the Dunn Bros. entrance. (It is probably safe to park in the building lot, although it is posted for commercial business customers only.)

Push "451" on the security box to have John buzz you into the building.
The elevator is to the right of the lobby.
Turn left on the 3rd floor when you get off; we're in unit 315.

Lynn Englund
lynn [at]

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