Indigo Blooms In The Sky
Sight and sound: here’s some electric blues custom made to go with the pictures and prose–listen while you read for the full effect.
Ready? Let’s go . . .
in·di·go ˈɪndɪˌgoʊ/ [in-di-goh] noun, plural-gos, -goes, adjective –noun
1. A blue dye obtained from various plants, esp. of the genus Indigofera, or manufactured synthetically. 2. indigo blue (def. 2). 3. any of numerous hairy plants belonging to the genus Indigofera, of the legume family, having pinnate leaves and clusters of usually red or purple flowers. 4.a color ranging from a deep violet blue to a dark, grayish blue.
Scientists and historians agree that indigo was produced two thousand years ago as a rich coloring agent made from the refining of various chalk-line substances. The word comes to us through a multitude of languages, most recently the Romanized version of the Greek term “indikon,” denoting the deep blue we know today. This, the learned men tell us, is “blue.”
What the hell do they know?
I’m here to tell you, blue is a place you climb to. You gird yourself in metal and plastic and glass, burn tons of jet fuel to a gas blue sheen and ride the rocket upward.
If you can wrap yourself in blue top and bottom, you’re there, screaming along but so high you’d hardly notice by looking way back down to the junk on the ground that creeps by in miniature.
I’ve rolled in it like a dog in the grass, slats of sunlight and blue and brown dirt falling in a kaleidoscope maze that hints of up or down but who cares? The blue sky has no top or bottom.
I’ve done the rendezvous in the blue dozens of times. You track down that gas station in the wide sky, glide in behind the tanker and perform the footless elephant ballet, taking on tons more fuel so you can sail across a whole ocean.
That’s a good feeling, high and hot and fully fueled heading out over a blue ocean below and above. Seriously, the only time you can have too much jet fuel is when you’re on fire.
And I’ve done it without the airplane, actually. It’s not real smart–I don’t recommend it–but skydiving’s pure blue: fall out that door and when the tumbling and pitching gives way (be patient!) to a hundred twenty miles per hour straight down, above below beyond–you’ve got blue. You can’t miss it, because all you have is sky.
Nowadays it’s a calmer (most of the time) deeper blue. Tamer, thankfully, but no less spectacular. There’s time to wonder at an undercast, the crossing of time and space, to appreciate the passage of both. To think, to look into the blue and see more than just clouds and sky.
Wrapped in blue is to be transported. Are you still listening? That’s a doubled up “B” and “E” string nipping at the heels of a triplet-feel backbeat, chasing Pentatonic stair steps after a three-chord blues riff that really doesn’t notice or care.
You can plant yourself in the middle of blues–safer than falling out of a plane, trust me–and it will carry you away swift and sure as a jumbo jet. Doesn’t matter whether you’re pulling the notes out of a Strat or laying back on drums and riding the time on a mellow brass cymbal big enough to roof a small shed or even just listening, blues wants to wrap you up, to make light in the dark, to carry you as far as you’re willing to fly.
When you’re in the middle of that, when your band is locking into a steady blues progression like the tide on the blue sea, you’re not even playing an instrument–you’re riding the blues. And when the crowd gets it and everyone’s flying, living the blues you just never want the moment to end.
And it never does anyway. There’s always a backbeat, a riff, a wide open sky to be written on like the a blank page of sheet music. There are a million shades of blue across a spectrum of time and space, slivers of sunlight splitting dark into blue like the minor notes talking back to the blues chords against the melody, sunlight poking through cloud breaks.
It’s the best you can do, all wrapped in the blue. And everybody wants it that way: bluer, brighter, faster, higher, louder. If you can surround yourself with it–so much the better. Then you’re on your way.
So never mind those smart guys who live with both feet on the ground and speak of “Indigofera, of the legume family, having pinnate leaves and a color ranging from a deep violet blue to a dark, grayish blue.”
There’s a much simpler explanation that makes more sense to me: indigo blooms in the sky.
The audio track “Indigo” written, performed and produced by
Copyright 2010. All Rights reserved.
Music distributed by
Beijing – Los Angeles