Re: Melting this list [was: Invit...Supper Sun, Feb 23
From: Bryan Burnoski (
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 17:45:31 -0800 (PST)

It's been a while since I attended a Hopework dinner, but when I am in town and 
the invitation is close to coinciding with my schedule I do think about 
attending.  Unfortunately it has not happened in some time.  I thought I'd take 
the time to respond to your "icicles melting" in this internet-email round 

Thank you for the ongoing Hopework invitations through the years. I feel 
welcomed every time I see an invitation to a dinner, and I am always reminded 
of my involvement in the Philosophy camp at Shalom Hill Farm in 2001.  I was, 
and continue to be blown away at what the folk school model has done and makes 
available for people.  That experience for me was remarkable and at that - life 
changing.  If I use the analogy of icicles melting, that year was the beginning 
of monumental changes in my began dripping. It seems so long ago.  
It has not been easy.   Drip, drip, drip. 

It's been several years now and I take the folk school lessons and the Hopework 
dinner discussions with me even still.  And not the discussions themselves per 
se, but the method, the attention to intention, and the listening that goes on 
in the format. Really inspiring.  The model accompanies me in the community 
oriented endeavors that I have undertaken since then in many ways.  The water 
continues to drip and the icicles continue to melt.  

For me, being more like water also represents the fluidity and happiness in my 
life that I have attained;  not stuck or frozen or fearful.  The more like 
water I become the less stuck I feel. Fluidity to me means choice is available 
to me and I am more adaptable...things seem possible.  I have been embracing 
the word "ease" lately.  And this comes up for me here because chipping away at 
ice is an arduous task and not an entirely efficient way to get a little bit of 
water.  The melting analogy feels more like ease to me; it's accumulative over 
time, abundant, thoughtful somehow, comforting, and natural.  The image of an 
icicle melting away is a childhood image for me...drip by's restful, 
clear, and meditative.  [deep breath]

Uncertain if I will be attending another of the Hopework gatherings or not, I 
rest well knowing that invitations appear in my in-box from time to time.  I 
currently live outside of Minnesota for most of the year.  However I'll put in 
a plug for April when it may be possible for me to attend a gathering.  I will 
be visiting from April 8th thru 20th.  Wishing you all a wonderful spring. 


> Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 10:04:52 -0600
> From: fholson [at]
> Subject: [Hopework] Melting this list [was:  Invit...Supper Sun, Feb 23
> CC: hopework-l [at]
> To: bryanburnoski [at]
> This is a reply to Lynn's message
> [Hopework] Invitation: Hopework Supper and Circle, Sunday, Feb 23, 4-7 PM
> The Hopework mailing list by which you got Lynn's and this message
> goes to about 185 email addresses.  Lynn's apartment holds about 12
> people for Supper and Circles.  Over time many more than 12 people have
> attended as indicated by names on the reuseable name tags kept in a
> basket. But I'm guessing most of the 185 people that could read this
> have not gotten to a circle (yet).
> This message is an attempt to "melt" this list a bit and try to get a
> bit of circle like conversation to flow. It would be particularly nice
> if some folks who have not gotten to a supper would write a few lines.
> In case you've never gotten to a Hopework Supper, they are very
> friendly, informal, home-like events.  If numbers allow (usually?)
> everyone gathers around one table of a size that one conversation can
> be conducted.  My impression is that unlike most informal gatherings,
> Hopework suppers tend have more "most/everyone in one conversation"
> time (not counting the circle which of course is) rather than
> conversations between 2 or a few people.
> The circle conversation held after supper is a very respectful (as
> circles tend to be) sharing of a wide variety of personal experience
> related (sometimes quite loosely) to a theme. A key feature of circles
> is that one person talks with no interruptions often for an extended
> period. When they are done the next person in the circle talks (they
> can pass and take their turn after others).
> This month's theme is "melting" :
> On Mon, 17 Feb 2014, Lynn Englund wrote:
> >This month's topic is on the image of "melting" and how it
> >can be used to describe parts of our lives. Icicles melt drop by drop
> >in the sun, glaciers melt more slowly with rivers flowing deep below
> >the surface before surface change is visible. Dig back in your memory
> >and find a story of a time of melting. Was the melting from the
> >outside first, like an icicle, or a slower and deeper shift? Was
> >something freed when the ice thawed? Did anything flow with the ice
> >melt?
> Conversation flowing (melting) vs lack thereof (frozen)
> For me I note that situations that could host rewarding conversation
> do not always do so. I find that when I am in mingling social
> situations, for example at social hour at the Unitarian Society,
> sometimes I run out of time talking to people for me -- conversation
> flows.  But other times I feel like I'd like to be elsewhere when I am
> not finding converstation. My personlity is clearly a factor,
> sometimes I'm more outgoing and talkative but I dont think I am
> unique.  And I do think there is a related group phenomenon.
> How the group has structured the situation can encourage melting/
> conversation.  Hopework circles are very successful at hosting
> satisfying conversation.
> I encourage you to write a few lines about "melting" here.
> BTW - The train to Lynn's is coming  and the instructions:
> > BUS: Take the 16 or 50 bus...
> will need to be modified on Jun 14 when the green LRT line (central
> corridor) opens with a stop in front of Lynn's.  I suspect there
> will be a day with free rides and celebration as there was for the
> Hiawatha line.
> Fred
> --
> Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
>      Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
> My Link Pg:         My org:
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