True Blue Indigo spent his childhood a dreamy boy in the forests and fields of Kentucky before taking himself to Alaska as a young person, where he has spent the majority of his life enraptured by natural beauty. Because of the Alaska lifestyle, True Blue Indigo is factotum, having been a log peeler, slime liner, greenhouse worker, carpenter, roofer, cab driver, electricianâ€™s helper, substitute teacher, whitewater rafting guide, wildfire helitack technician, timber cruiser, lifeguard, police dispatcher, childrenâ€™s theater teacher, culvert mucker, groundskeeper, truck gardener, subsistence caribou hunter, and subsistence salmon fisher. He is a self-taught pilot, aircraft mechanic, and flight instructor. He served as Executive Director of the Alaska Natural Energy Institute, which held an international conference on Hydrogen Futures for Alaska. True Blue Indigo designs his own clothing, which he calls â€śmodern indigene,â€ť lives in a dirt-floor canvas Sibley tent while in Alaska and a VW van while traveling throughout the United States advocating for human nobility to overtake humanity.
In the interview below, True Blue Indigo discusses his creative process, his influences and motivations, and offers a little window into the life of the author of A Personal Aristocracy: Cultivating the Power of Spiritual Nobility. Enjoy!
What book is on your nightstand now?
A nightstand would be so lovely. I am currently traveling the western United States for a book tour in my VW van, studio V. However, if I had a nightstand it would certainly hold A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde or perhaps an early translation of Boccaccioâ€™s Decameron. Something pretty, something gorgeous and rare. We have this language, this miracle, to combine words and sounds in endless combination, and we can make beautiful sounds bearing beautiful words as repayment to creation for this rare and extraordinary gift. Shall we honor this gift together in gorgeous and comely language for one another? We should make only beautiful sounds through beautiful words as out breath for beautiful thoughts. Letâ€™s vibrate together.
Is there a book that changed your life?
I would ask to be forgiven for what may read as a narcissistic statement, but A Personal Aristocracy is a changed life made into a book. I wrote it for myself, as it is a guidebook into a separate realm of experience, a guide of how to interact with life itself in the highest possible embodiment. We are all works in progress, and A Personal Aristocracy expresses the possibility of a higher standard, sublime, sensual, and exquisite, a life changed and recorded in the pages of a book presented as a gift to humanity. A Personal Aristocracy was not written for money. It was written for love. This is my love. It is yours, take it.
Who are some writers whose work you admire?
I admire the writing of comedians a great deal. We forget that comedians are writers first and performers second. When Steve Martin received the Mark Twain Award he stated that he wished to be remembered as a writer primarily and a performer secondarily, as did Jerry Seinfeld when he won an award from HBO. They were most proud of their accomplishments as writers. Should we turn to conventional writing, I am attracted less to specific writers than the language a work holds in gracious, flowing periodic sentence structures and an obvious intelligence and taste. I love the human-ness of Garrison Keillor, having mentioned Mark Twain above, as he must surely be the Mark Twain of 20th Century America; the wry humor of Vonnegut and Louis-Ferdinand Celine; the early antecedents of magical realism in Mikhail Bulgakov in 1930â€™s Soviet Russia; and the entire suite of southern American women in Flannery Oâ€™Connor, Eudora Welty, Marjorie Kinman Rawlings, and Carson McCullers. D.H. Lawrence. Walter Pater. I like pretty things.
When did you think about becoming a writer? Was there someone who got you interested in writing?
I thought about being a writer my entire life. I began reading at age 3, cereal boxes and such, so I was placed in first grade at age 4. Being so young I daydreamed continuously, wanting to be in trees, any place but where I was. Consequently I repeated first grade at age 6. I cried so hard when I had to go back but my parents explained it was the law. Some people wanted to be astronauts or policemen. I have always wanted to be a writer, but I had nothing beautiful to say, since Thoreau said nearly everything relevant and was essentially paid no heed. Now I do have a thing to say. Now I strive to create beauty in every facet of my life and I recognize that possibility is open to every person who desires more than this rather monochrome and decidedly unexamined existence of modern life, and when a person brings themselves to this place oneâ€™s entire being tingles with the feeling of it. It tingles, deliciously so. The truth is the universe writes, not me. I am only its secretary, and take its dictation.
What’s the greatest influence on your writing?
Shabd Sangeet Khalsa, my second wife. A Personal Aristocracy would not have been written without her as catalyst. She is about three hundred years ahead of her time and taught me nearly everything I know about new consciousness and new thought. Since childhood she has been able to perceive the energetic realm, explore its contours, see it, feel it, and live it. I read one book by Tolle and one by Chopra as I wrote Aristocracy just to know what was going on, but previously I have always read ancient, musty tomes done into middle English with nonstandard spelling; Aristophanes, and Tully, Marguerite de Navarre, French fablieaux, things such as this. Modern books rarely hold the vitality and beauty of language contained in the ancient works, so I suppose all the classics from Gilgamesh up to maybe Raymond Chandler have had a very profound influence on how I write. Chandler was educated at Dulwich, and with his passing so ended the era exemplified by taste and a kind of chivalry of person. This has all but been lost to us, and Aristocracy was an intention to recall it, and begin a dialog on its rebirth. I have always intended that Aristocracy be the voice of change that changes the voices of change into something magical, something over the horizon, brought back from the only possible future if we are to evolve into completely human humans.
What made you decide to write A Personal Aristocracy?
I never made a decision to write it. The book made a decision to come through me. I had no intention of writing anything, and then, in the space of about three weeks it downloaded through me, this one impoverished, contaminated human filter, and there it was, a wriggling, newborn child coming into the world. I am from Alaska, a rather brutish and unsophisticated frontier society, but when I came to America after 30 years of being away I was struck by the dreadful clothing worn by Americans, the dreadful language, the beastly intercourse, the common-ness of it all even in the fashionable enclaves which appear to be based upon cars and houses and suntans rather than an inestimable human embodiment. The richest nation in history and this the brave new world and these the people in it. In my travels throughout North America, I have found no settlement, no place, nowhere, where beautiful humans have decided to make a stand for elegance and beauty by creating an intentional community set to the task of evolving us away from this adolescent phase in our development as a species. So, the universe asked me to describe this place. It is inside. Only then can it be described outside.
Is there any particular story to tell concerning the writing of this book?
That I still struggle to answer the inevitable ‘What is it about’ question, like trying to write a letter onto a postage stamp. Nobility is gossamer and delicate and so difficult to shrink wrap and package neatly, and this may account for the reasons it vendors are few, but we are dedicated, and give away more than we sell, but are well compensated nonetheless if the ledgers of the eternal truths are accurate. I would say a personal aristocracy is an inverse law of attraction, which runs from the obvious notion that one attracts that which one desires or seeks to a somewhat childish notion of a kind of spiritual Santa Claus who brings us money and houses and such if we just wish for it hard enough. These still rely upon outer referents, things outside us, but a personal aristocracy relies upon that which is already in us and which only need to be amplified, expanded, made larger than anyone has previously imagined, and then embodied outwardly in our expanded love, our oversized compassion, our voluminous elegance, our exceptional truthfulness, all of our virtues and beauties as a gift we share with the world. Nobility is not meant to be gathered. Nobility is the inverse to the law of attraction. It creates wealth and abundance not by receiving, but by giving, by sharing, by radiating this inside abundance out. We become producers of something rather than consumers, which is true empowerment. Enlightenment is about bringing light to, not taking light in. I still can’t put it on a 3 x 5 card stock yet.
To be continued…Part Two coming soon!
In the meantime, check out True Blue Indigo’s website at TrueBlueIndigo.com.