Almanack Contributor Don Wynn

Don Wynn

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve: Two Paintings, Two Realities

Christmas Tree oil 26x35 1976When I was younger, Christmas Eve was always a magical night. We finished off the decorations on the tree, which seemed better every year, in anticipation of Christmas Day and wonderful gifts and visits from relatives, festive food and drinks. But the night itself was a wonder like no other. As I look back, the life-enhancing quality this time of year gave everyone has gradually been replaced by the imposition of something quite different, as the holiday progressively morphed into an orgy of un-affordable acquisition, more and more hideous decorations and music, with “consumers” spurred on by a massive onslaught of greed-driven corporate advertising.

Sometimes I can still sense a glimmer of the original quality that set these days apart from all others, but it takes effort now to evoke the feeling of past Christmas Eves. In the clamor of today’s rushed holiday insistence, it’s hard to remember why we celebrate the great significance, the beauty, and the ultimate tragedy and rebirth of this cyclical myth, whether literally true or not, a story that has been embodied in various forms throughout human history. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cat Ponds: A Brook Trout Story

Fall fingerling growth rateIn July 1950, I had my first fishing experience on a cold, spring-fed brook that meandered down from the hills near Great Barrington, Massachusetts. My parents and I had planned a break from the heat and crowding of our small Brooklyn apartment and would be staying for a week with their friends.

My eighth birthday was coming up in September, but I was presented with an early present before we left, a child’s fishing outfit that contained a stiff little metal rod and miniature reel, a selection of snelled hooks and split-shot sinkers, a pencil bobber, and some “flies,” which should have been used to adorn some lucky woman’s hat. All of it came packed in a metal tube with carrying handle, clearly stamped “Made in Occupied Japan.” I was delighted and couldn’t wait to use my new tackle!

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