I went to Ash Wednesday Mass tonight with Tyree. It puts Mardi Gras into context to go to church after everything is over. And the priests of New Orleans have so much imagery to pull from, the ashes aren't even necessary. I get it. I get how ephemeral this world is. How you can't take it with you. Whether the beads are gold, glass or plastic, you can't take them with you. Usually, by Wednesday, you've already figured out that it's all worthless junk you pined for. But some people never figure it out; their whole lives they pine for junk that is worthless in the face of eternity.
Orfeu Negro is one of my favorite movies of all time. I read in the New Yorker that Obama's mother loved it as well, but when he saw it later in life he found it condescending and stereotypical. That could be said, but the film still has a lot to offer us. This closing scene, to me, is perfection. The tragedy is over; the sun will rise again out of the ashes Carnaval leaves behind. It's like a gift from the director after hitting us in the head with our mortality.