Ambient, Not Quiet

I’ve been meaning to write a post about why the gaps in between posts have yawned on longer and longer here recently. For now, here’s the short answer: fatherhood, job search. That should cover it, but, as usual, I have a few more things to say about said hiatus. Let’s save that for another post, as there are a few publication updates to be had.

Mainly, I wanted to share my newest In One Ear column installment over at The Good Men Project. It came out a couple weeks ago, but since it’s my attempt at telling a birth story, the subject matter is not diminished by the passing of time.

But, before we get there, GMP commissioned me to write a short piece about laundry (riveting!) for the Clorox Company blog that just went up today. It’s a quick view into what life is like when you have a newborn, but no easy access to laundry facilities. The result is, well, messy.

And, the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue (one the formal, governing sponsors for my gig at State of Formation) commissioned me to write a piece about the role that narrative can play, specifically in building bridges with the Islamic community. It’s slated for their next issue, so I’ll post a link when it goes live.

As always, be sure to check out the regular posts at New Dads Strut.

Ok: on to my next In One Ear installment. Given that my fellow GMP columnist/daddy blogger pal Matt Salesses wrote a birth story in his series, Love, Recorded, I decided to follow suit. The challenge? I wanted to review the newest album by the ambient music gem Julianna Barwick AND tie that in with the story of my son’s birth. It didn’t come along so easy. But, as these things tend to go, the final result ended up being something I was proud of.  It’s not the first time I’ve discussed ambient music as a genre, but it’s a subject I always feel I never quite get right on the page. Part of that is because people think of ambient music as “quiet, background music,” whereas I see at as the exact opposite. There’s something about those lesser details that seem to hold a universe tangled in their notes.

With that, here’s the second installment of In One Ear, “An Ambient Birth Story

The Magic Place

The room is swallowed in a darkness that somehow seems to cast a mottled green hue off the vinyl recliner I am trying not to sleep on. My wife Natalie is on the bed next to me, an ancient, matriarchal pain laying into her every ten minutes or so. “In labor,” everyone’s calling it. But, they’re quick to specify “early labor” so as to make sure we know that this fight between pain and the helplessness that 2 a.m. brings is far from over.

Ever since the previous morning, the whole “labor” affair has been obscured by ambiguity. Despite birth classes, books, paranoia-drenched web forums, and let-me-tell-you-how-it-really-is friends and family, Natalie and I still assumed that the moment you discovered you were “in labor” would be definitive and impossible to miss. Read More


About bp

I'm writing a book. It's called, Wake, Sleeper. My writing revolves around this idea of art: attempts to recover what is lost.
This entry was posted in Good Men Project, Music Reviews, New Dads Strut, Published Elsewhere, State of Formation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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