Living the magic of Mardi Gras on my island
A lot of people only associate Mardi Gras with the main, well known New Orlean’s Mardi Gras, but the holiday, started in France, and now celebrated in part’s of the world such as France, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Caymen Islands, Columbia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden as well as a few location’s in the United State’s ranging from West Coast to East, and of course the Gulf Coast, is not a small one location celebration but a carnival to be celebrated with origins of blending the classes of society, and now countries, states and people, and culture. Behind a mask, laden with bead and dancing in the street’s, we are one.
Aside from the famous New Orlean’s, one of the top Mardi Gras location’s in the U.S., and the largest in Texas, also the longest informed about in Wikipedia, is right here where I make my home base, on Galveston Island. Upon the street’s only one block from our shipping harbor, three blocks down into our find-the-locals Down Town area and flowing through the street, called The Strand, of our Entertainment District.
For me, Mardi Gras is one more of a many event’s, heard noisily from my open window of my loft while I write, but it is a big one, THE big one, a unique one and a magical one. Living directly in the midst of Down Town and the Entertainment District doesn’t hurt at all. Even if one doesn’t get out into the crowd, they are one with the celebration. The festivities. Sit only in your windowsill and throw some beads, laugh and sing and clap for the dancers and floats in the parade’s.
Living in a festival, a carnival, is magic in itself, but when Mardi Gras overtake’s my island for two weeks before it rests in sacrifice, is magic in another way. Christmas may have been festive…but it was festive with obligations….now here lies a time to let all obligation and inhibition fall as loosely as the beads between our fingers to our feet upon the streets, often by now wet with spilt drink. A hurricane cocktail, a Texas Sweet Tea, a gin or a whisky are the common choices, but there is always the margarita among others. It is a talent to dance and not spill a drop. Pretending, for a day, a week or maybe two…underneath the stars you dance, to be someone else….someone…not yourself.
Because the carnival is magic, the story can be told such as this;
The sun set’s, day one…the relief of the weekend has already set upon us. I wake the next…it’s coffee and something of powdery sugar for breakfast, usually a southern found sweet. The sleep we wipe from our eye’s and the life of the day emerges. By night fall I am standing in front of a mirror…purple satin dress, bunches around my hips, tight around my waist, I lean in and line the black liquid along my eye, making the green of them pop, giving them a mysterious look even before I raise the mask to my face. Purple sequins and big plumes of feathers. I step back and shake the invisible wrinkles from the floor sweeping skirt and smile to the reflection staring back, no longer myself. But still, someone inside of me, emerged…