Author Archive: Hannah Lynn Mell

Hannah Lynn Mell grew up a missionary kid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Now she lives in Rowley, Massachusetts with her exquisitely kind husband David, their plucky three-legged cat Thomas, and a needy-yet-lovable dachshund named Birdie. She's worked with singers since 1998 and loves to help people of all ages free their voices.

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a lesson from Lydia

a lesson from Lydia

| October 29, 2012 | 4 Replies

This weekend I visited my family in Pennsylvania. I went down to see a CD release concert by Constant Recourse, Ben and Jess’s band. I went down to see their daughter Lydia, whose presence I’ve pined after since July. I went down for family dinners and walks with Mom. I went down to admire Dad’s […]

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trees, sparrows & jackhammers

trees, sparrows & jackhammers

| October 21, 2012 | 2 Replies

A few years back, I started walking the labyrinth at my school. In the midst of a bustling teaching day, taking ten minutes to walk and breathe feels courageous. It’s how I remind myself that presence is more essential to my students than productivity. I plod between painted lines on the cement patio, crunching leaves […]

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when Mom came to visit

when Mom came to visit

| October 11, 2012 | 3 Replies

When Mom came to visit we walked to the beach and stared at the waves. We spoke of mundane matters: an old friend who got married, Facebook photos. We ate frozen yogurt for dinner and pizza for dessert. When Mom came to visit we took turns on my heating pad. We’d both just been to […]

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the cure for unwanted weather

the cure for unwanted weather

| October 7, 2012 | 2 Replies

The cure for unwanted weather is immersion. You envisioned a scenic drive to New Hampshire but woke to interminable drizzle? Snap pictures from the driver’s seat as you zoom up I-93. The blaze of autumn is only snuffed out if you don’t show up to see it. If it is not truly pouring, ride your bike […]

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keep watching

keep watching

| September 28, 2012 | 3 Replies

The day after David and I got engaged, I rode my bike out to Salem to walk a friend’s dog. A host of purple-gray clouds were congregating in the southeast, and the sun overhead shone like it knew its time was nearly up. The black lab frolicked through the park while fear clenched a sweaty […]

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source

source

| September 19, 2012 | 2 Replies

In honor of the new school year, I offer an essay I wrote last spring at a writing retreat offered by The Sun. Thanks to the great Alison Luterman for the prompt; thanks to Elin’s mom Deb for the picture; thanks most of all to Elin for the inspiration. Six-year-old Elin has a new song to […]

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play of light

play of light

| September 15, 2012 | 3 Replies

Friday afternoon I found myself in a funk. I was home from school, a week’s worth of postponed, pleasant tasks stacked in my mind, and nothing sounded appealing. I ate my favorite snack and could barely taste it. I reclined on my bed with a magazine and wanted to claw out its glossy pages. I […]

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freedom of the blank page

freedom of the blank page

| September 9, 2012 | 1 Reply

I’ve filled up dozens of journals over the past twenty-ish years, and in the first entry of each one I’m inclined to write how lovely it feels to hold a book of blank pages in my hands. I like to wonder who I’ll be by the time I fill it up with words. No, that’s […]

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the stillness of the room after a chapter of Ann Patchett

the stillness of the room after a chapter of Ann Patchett

| September 5, 2012 | 3 Replies

When we encounter beauty – when we open up and let it in – it can jumpstart our senses. I finish a chapter of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto and place the book beside me, feeling its loveliness settle from my brain into my lower organs. I take in the ordinary vistas of my apartment: the […]

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return of the moofie

return of the moofie

| September 3, 2012 | 2 Replies

Few people would set out to make moofies. I blundered into my first batch two weeks ago when I found myself with a bowl of cookie dough and no cookie sheet. (I’d tossed my ancient specimen weeks before and forgotten to replace it. It may be unnecessary to note that I don’t do a lot […]

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summer slips away

summer slips away

| August 26, 2012 | 8 Replies

I’ve been carrying the sadness of summer’s end on my shoulders like a shawl I’ll need in winter. More than any other season, summer intimates eternity: the long hours of light, the effortless warmth. More than any other season, summer seems to slip away before I’m ready. I gaze at the dying flowers on my […]

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messy desk zen

messy desk zen

| August 23, 2012 | 4 Replies

Today I will clean my desk. Since I live in a one-room studio, I endeavor to keep visible surfaces clutter-free. I rarely let my desk look the way it does right now. This morning I woke with my brain abuzz like a beehive, zipping through all I hope to accomplish before I go back to […]

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how to find your voice

how to find your voice

| July 4, 2012

Start as soon as you slide down the birth canal. Be loud and unaware. Alternate wailing with intent listening. Coo a little. Make all the sounds your body will muster. Be delighted. Pay close attention to those who listen to you and respond. If possible, store up their wonder for future nourishment. You’ll need it. […]

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