Fitting Pieces

by Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

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about

"Fitting Pieces" represents a milestone on what was an eight-year journey at the time. We had gone the distance, having actually lived the dream we imagined. In that time of reassessment and reflection, we lay out all the pieces on the table—only to find that they fit together in new and surprising ways, giving fresh insights into all that had happened. We were eager to re-envision what had become customary and routine, to continue our ongoing journey of discovery together.

credits

released July 1, 2007

Dedication:
This CD is dedicated to our beloved pets—the dogs in our life: Emelee, Abby, Izzi-B, and Tuesday. They unconditionally offer affection, balance and grace as no others can. Nothing feels quite so comforting as a little "fur therapy." Their presence helps make all of the pieces fit. For "The Girls."

Credits:
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Patricia Barry Ryley - Graphic Design

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about

Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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Track Name: Fitting Pieces
Scattered before me
On the table, random pieces wait to be
Pressed into their one and only destination
Connecting part to part
Completing the scene

Searching for corners and edges I begin
Fitting pieces where nothing has been
Until it all falls into place
No longer just scattered before me
Making sense finally

On the box there is a photograph of a place I’ve never been
Merely fiction 'til I fit the pieces in

Yet the picture seems familiar, like something I once knew
Reminiscent of a memory
But somehow with a missing piece or two

Searching for corners and edges I begin
Fitting pieces where nothing has been
Until it all falls into place
My days are scattered before me
Finding just how they’re really meant to be
Fitting each piece
Completing the scene
Track Name: Family Ties
Near the end of autumn
When the leaves have fallen
They’re arriving for some days
Once or twice a year vacation
From daily expectations
Just to share our time and place

You know, we’ll have some late night card games
Laugh over losses and gains
Admit it has been way too long
Far too long, since we were together
But now we’re feeling better
Making family ties strong

Though we each have our own lives
There is an understanding
When we are together
We pick up where we left off

Reaching beyond the miles
We’ll always have the memories we share
In family ties

Scattered across the country
Yet we are bound together
Because we know each other
We don’t seem to miss a beat

Even without words
We find comfort in the simple times we share
In family ties

Maybe in the springtime
When they need to unwind
They will visit for some days
Once again we will come together
This time in different weather
Just to share our time and place

So we long for those common moments
Deep in the company of friends
Making family ties strong
We are truly where we belong
In family ties
Track Name: My Shoes
“You’re so lucky,” people tell me
“To be living like you do.
Trading places might be fun
Let me walk in your shoes
If only for a day
Just one day”

What is lucky, can you tell me
It took years to find my way
Charting this course took some time
You can walk in my shoes
But not for just a day
There’s no way

Maybe my life looks easy
Outside looking in
But every step was taken
Starting from exactly where you stand
Right where you stand

You’re as lucky as I am
With the help of chance and fate
Everyday is one more step
You can walk in my shoes
But not for just a day
That’s the way
More than just one day
No other way

Only day by day
Track Name: Without Words
Without words
He lets me know that I’m the missing part
Of a promise that he made
To somehow find his way
Searching for the one, only one
Make me want to stay, take my breath away
Believe some things are meant to be

Without words
A simple gesture gently reminds me
Of a promise that I made
That we’d share the day
Walking in the park, until dark
Without a care, delighted to be there
Convinced that this was meant to be

Then Life took over
Broke through our savored silence
Beyond the din we knew
Stillness was simply waiting
Surely it would return one day

Without words
A quiet pause reminds us once again
Of a promise that we made
Forever and a day
Sitting by the fire, hour by hour
True until the end, dedicated friends
Convinced that we were meant to be

Without words
Tucked between a whisper and a sigh
Is the promise that we made
Track Name: The Measure of a Life
Hours, ounces
How do you measure a life
Inches, or in minutes
Tell me how do you know if your life counts or not

With so many ways you can calculate
What is the measure of a life
When there are so many ways you can estimate
What is the meaning of someone’s life

Day after day the clock ticks on
It gives us one more fleeting moment, but then it’s gone
Offering one more chance to try again
To finally figure it out
Just how to gauge a life

With so many ways to evaluate
What is the measure of a life
When there are so many views to deliberate
What is the meaning of someone’s life

Footprints, good friends
How do you measure a life
Half-pints, acts of kindness
Tell me how do you know when your life counts or not

With so many terms to negotiate
What is the measure of a life
When there are so many notions to contemplate
What is the meaning of someone’s life

Seasons, reasons
How do you measure a life
Heart beats, or in good deeds
Who can know just how to measure a life

Who can know how to measure a life
Track Name: Clearing Customs
Eleven hours in coach with no room
Collected all of our luggage from carousel B
Shuffled with people all heading for
Passport control to present our IDs
Along with a claim form
We have nothing to declare
To clear customs and enter the country

We approach the guard in the booth
Seeking only permission to enter
If our documents are all in order
Perhaps we will finally get beyond the gate
Destination so close at hand

Going to a different place
Means we’re strangers here on foreign soil
Every village and country trail
Leads us further still along

Searching always some special place
Means we’re pilgrims here, on our way
Crossing borders of each frontier
Takes us past the edge we’ve known

Now at the window it’s finally our turn
To be approved, get the authorized mark
Officials ask us to state our intentions:
“Business or pleasure.” “And where did you start?”
He hands us our passports
Scans our faces one last time, “Have a good stay here.”
We cleared customs
We are all just waiting our turn to clear customs

To clear customs
Track Name: Different Cloth
Watching people I have seen that
There are two certain ways to live
Those who settle rather simply
Into the daily take and give

But then there are others who never quite fit in
It seems to me, there are some who shatter every rule
It seems to me, there are those cut from a different cloth

Going down a different pathway
Seizing every chance that comes along
Never living only half-way
Reaching for the brass ring and beyond
Sealing and embracing their fate
Hearing and singing their own song
Since they are cut from a different cloth

There are people quite content
True to the way they choose to live
Those who settle nice and easy
Into the daily take and give

But then there are some of us who never quite give in
It seems to me, sometimes we love bending all the rules
It seems there are those of us cut from a different cloth
Although wandering are never really lost
It seems to me, there are those cut from a different cloth
Track Name: Get Away
Paint me a picture straight from a fantasy
Tell me a story about somewhere I’d rather be
I’ll stop the paper and ask them to hold all my mail
Plan a flight to some other place

Then I’ll say some good-byes, sever some ties
Narrowly make my escape, to take it easy

Leave town without a trace
Nice and easy, I’ll find a way
To slip out, get away

Mine is a simple life
And in the day to day
I never ask for much
All I want is just to get away

Send me a postcard stamped with a foreign seal
Tell me the details so vivid that they seem real
I’ll call the neighbor and ask him to water the plants
Pack my stuff, set the date

Then I’ll finish some things, tie up loose strings
Finally make a clean break, to take it easy

Leave town without a trace
Nice and easy, I’ll find a way
To slip out, get away
It’s never easy to get away
Track Name: From an Olive Branch
When times are just right, we all leave home
Create new lives, venture out on our own
Filled with faith, hope and love, we begin
Our journeys, reaching out and within
Reaching out, reaching in

Living our dreams
So inspired by passion
Needs the hearts and wills of family & friends
With giving ways

Making it real
Is our right of passage
Building brick by brick, and hour by hour
Through countless days

All who came before
Are present, held in each detail
Even with different names
We share a common family tree
All from an olive branch

When times are just right, we all come home
To celebrate all our lives, made into one
Filled with faith, hope and love, we vow
To stay the course, reaching within and out
Reaching in, reaching out

All who are here today
No matter where you first began
Make up our family tree
And share a common legacy
All from an olive branch

From an olive branch
Track Name: Within Reach
Sometimes right after supper
I need something or other
To sweep away the day
Relax, let go and slow down

It may be time to work on the puzzle
Just as I start is when I notice a nuzzle
Hold out both hands
Connection completed in mid-air
Small dog just within reach—the missing, fitting piece
Ever nearby, all along

Imagine thinking
You have all of the pieces
That fit together
Then finding out you’re wrong

Imagine seeing the unknown missing pieces
Appear before you, then jump into your hands
Your open hands

They jump into your hands
Take you by surprise
Nudge you to look for more

Sometimes right after supper
I need something or other
To sweep away the day
Relax, let go and slow down

Today I’m ready, willing and able
To take a lesson from that dog on the table
Hold out both hands
Connection completed in mid-air

Small things just within reach
The missing, fitting pieces waiting

Ever nearby, all along
Always nearby, all along
Waiting nearby, all along