Weekend Ponderings: In the Still of the Night

Have you seen “Delovely” — the life of Cole Porter, as told through his music?  The first time I watched it, I was struck by Ashley Judd’s portrayal of the longsuffering Linda Porter, who endured the repeated humiliations of her husband’s repeated gay affairs and the additional burden of infertility for 34 years before succumbing to emphysema in 1954.

Their marriage by all accounts was one of mutual convenience — she, to maintain social standing and a measure of self-protection from her first, abusive husband; he, to protect his professional and public image. Neither of them were free to abandon themselves to the kind of sacramental union marriage is meant to be. And yet, they persevered with great determination and friendship.

I was listening to one of Porter’s tunes the other night, when my migraine medication kept me up intil the wee hours.

“In the still of the night
As I gaze from my window
At the moon in its flight
My thoughts all stray to you . . .

“Do you still love me as I love you?”

Did she? And do we? It’s a question that can resonate with many couples, I think. Within the intimacy of family life, a husband and wife have ample opportunity to renew — even each day — the promises made on their wedding day. Often with a clearer and more realistic view of exactly what is on the line.

In the still of the night, to mull over the conversations of the day . . . Smile at the little endearments, mentally erase the irritated snipe.

“Do you still love me, dear?”

In the still of the night, to ponder a long line of inevitibilities. Things to be done, again. Things to be taught, and learned, again. Choices — to give, or to withhold; to love and respect, or demand my own way.

“Do you still love me as I love you?”

In the still of the night, to savor the solitude . . . and to recall the moments when my chosen vocation (for better or worse) presses and fashions its imprint on the soul. In those moments, no longer simply “Mom” or “Honey,” but . . . just me.

Is this my dream come true? Hard to say. Some dreams can be hard to see with eyes wide open.

And so, I’ll just mull things over a bit, just sit and ponder and head on off to bed. In the still of the night.

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