Mardi Gras beads in monochrome.

Mardi Gras 2018 has come to an end.

Today it is Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, which confuses some people. Yes, I made pictures yesterday. This is one of them. I decided in a dream to change my approach a little. I’ve been working toward my kind of art for a while. It just seemed like this is a good day to take it further. Especially after what I wrote yesterday. Thank you, old friend.

Besides, it very well may be the last time that we see these cheap plastic beads. While the city was cleaning out the storm drains following the floods of August, they removed 46 tons of plastic beads. There are already moves afoot to ban them. Many people say they are just filler. They say that what parade goers want are everything else. Stuffed animals. Better beads with the krewe’s symbols on them. Doubloons. Nerf footballs. Frisbees.

All I can tell you is what happens around here. We keep the good stuff and give all the beads to charity. We don’t want them either. A few years go by and we don’t even want the good stuff. We keep the handmade throws like Muses shoes, Nyx purses and Zulu coconuts. Those matter. We know who made them.

I have to wonder about the tourists who chase beads. They jump around, flash, beg, and are tossed a few beads and then what happens? Do they take them home and put them in their closets only to be tossed in the trash a few years later? Do they cherish them as a reminder of their Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans?

This picture. I made the picture on the street as I was walking by. Then I went to work on it. I did this, that and the other thing. And, here we are. I think it’s a pretty good closer for Mardi Gras and an opener to Lent, when many people give things up. And, life gets a little colorless for 40 days.

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