Reason to Stay

by Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

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about

Reason to Stay is about “Questioning the Dream.” There is an inevitable period of any soulful journey where plans fall apart, losses mount, energy dissipates—we wonder where we are, and where we are going. Activities that once seemed so vibrant and alive are suddenly without animation or meaning. We are still searchers but instead of seeking enchantment, we look merely for a reason to stay in the dream.

Check out our related stories at Uncommon Promise
uncommonpromise.com/album/Reason+to+Stay

credits

released January 1, 2005

Dedication:
This musical story is dedicated to the memories of Harry Emerson Martlage and Paola Martini-Quagli—two very special people who inspired us along the way. Even though they are no longer physically with us, we feel their presence daily as we continue our journey.

Credits:
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Tom Tomasello - Producer/Arranger
Jim Bruno - Vocal producer
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Patricia Barry Ryley - Graphic Design

license

all rights reserved

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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: Reason to Stay
I found your black velvet scarf
By the letter you lost in the drawer
Located the missing spare key
And the last puzzle piece on the floor

I hear our favorite song
In the car as I drive to the store
Recall every touch of your hand
See that old opal ring that you wore

Sometimes I hear your voice on the phone
Hope when I come back I’ll find you at home
Now I discover I’m on my own
Lonely and all alone

Some days I try to erase
Those reminders that get in my way
I find each lingering trace
But I can’t find a reason to stay
There isn’t a reason today
No I can’t find a reason to stay
Track Name: Roses from the Garden
Winter comes, just another season
Sitting still, waiting to be warm
Missing all the roses in the garden
Are they gone, merely sleeping, or taking other form

Careful fingers, weave past thorns
Reaching for flowers
Brushing loose petals
Sending them gently down
To the ground

Voices inches from their faces
Whisper to the blooms
Yet another afternoon gathering
Flowers for every room
Each and every room

Seasons change, just another lifetime
Standing still, trying not to sigh
Dreaming of the roses from the garden
Pressed and dried
In the scrapbook
Safely held inside

Pressed and dried
In the scrapbook
Safely held inside
Track Name: Bad Habits
Stuck under my skin
Sliver of wood
This irritation
Does me no good

Lurking, creeping, sneaking back
Bad habits prowl

At first it’s something special
Charming quirk or a nervous tap
Uniquely individual
What makes good habits go bad
Good habits go bad

Tossing and turning, too restless to sleep
Pacing the floor, ruts surprisingly deep
Night winds howl chilling me to the bone
These bad habits have lives of their own

Caught in my throat
Little white lie
Muffled cough
Tear in my eye

Lurking, creeping, sneaking back
Bad habits crawl

By now it’s nothing special
It’s turned into a character flaw
My worst traits accentuated
These bad habits continue to gnaw
Hungry habits gnaw at me
Hungry habits gnaw

Tossing and turning, too restless to sleep
Pacing the floor, ruts surprisingly deep
Night winds howl, chilling me to the bone
These bad habits have lives of their own

Bad habits creep
Bad habits crawl, they creep and crawl
Bad habits prowl
Sneaky old bad habits
They get the best of me
The very best of me
Bad habits get the best of me
Track Name: The Good Doctor
Not so long ago, in a small town there were
Children dreaming of what they might be someday
One longed to be known ‘round the whole world while
Another wanted to write prose and poetry
And as they shared their dreams aloud
A third boy softly spoke:

At the birth of every child, see them smile
Then to look into their eyes, open wide
I want to know each baby born, watch them grow
To be the best doctor in our town
I will be the best doctor in our town

After years of hard work finally he
Became the doctor he always thought he’d be
Yet his life was not full
In the springtime he found a young wife
Soon a son was born, completing his life
A sweet daughter, the next year

When we try, anything can happen
Confident and working hard
Sometimes what we imagine
Can become the way things are

With each baby the town slowly grew
Every single child the cherished doctor knew
So his kindness was returned
His own children loved their father even more
And his life was so much better than before
As he dreamed it would be

When we try, we can make things happen
Steadfast and working hard
Sometimes what we imagine
Is exactly just the way things are

Then he lost them one by one, first the son
His poor wife with grief-consumed followed soon
Then last summer his girl drew her last breath
Taken from the best doctor in our town
No he couldn’t save them
Even the best doctor in our town

In the mornings now, on the narrow streets he walks
Meeting people he’s known since they were children
Reflected in their eyes, he sees days gone by
Hopes passed on, woven within memories
Just not what he hoped to see
Or the way it should be

When we try to make things happen
Steadfast and working hard
Sometimes what we imagine
Is different from the way things are
The way things are
Track Name: Telling the Truth
No facts, just interpretation
Plot without proof
Crimes of the heart are secret
Hiding the truth

Stealing around each corner
On the sly
Conspiring with the shadow
Silently living a lie

Motive and justification
Scheme without cause
It seems that crimes of passion
Break all the laws

Another perfect alibi
Covers tracks
Excited by the prospect
Intrigue, with no turning back
No turning back
There is no turning back

Where are those quiet moments
We used to know
It was a different life then
Where did it go?

On the weekends we’d take a walk
In the park with some friends
Do you remember, when we too were friends
Memories will never lie

Where are those peaceful moments
We used to know
It was a different life then
Where did it go

Now on the weekends there are no walks
No park and no friends
Special holidays came to an end
Those memories will never lie

Promise me good conversation
We’ll work this through
Longing for honesty
Try telling the truth

Sincere and trustworthy
Nothing to prove
Living life with intention
Always caught telling the truth

No turning back
Just tell the truth
No turning back
Why not just tell the truth
Track Name: Letting Go
He takes his first step
We catch a deep breath
Rushing to help him land
We take his hand

He is not steady
We are not ready
To stand and watch
Him go all alone

She pedals faster
And through the laughter
Her father on demand
Removes his hand

She is not steady
He is not ready
To stand and watch
Her go all alone

He is her yesterday
Where she is from
She is his yet-to-be
What can become

By letting go
Each generation
Hands hold hope for family
In letting go
By letting go

Her kind grandfather
Smiles with our daughter
The years passed by as planned
She takes his hand

He is not steady
She is not ready
To stand and watch
Him go all alone

And then her brother
Walks with my mother
He has become a man
He takes her hand

She is not steady
He is not ready
To stand and watch
Her go all alone

She is his yesterday
Where he is from
He is her yet-to-be
What can become

By letting go
Each generation
Hearts hold hope for family
In letting go
That’s how we grow
By letting go

Letting go
Track Name: Jumble of Fences
The table caught the baseball
Also the shattered glass
Careless, yet accidental
Stray toss in a game of catch
Wild pitch in a game of catch

Impulse to flee on foot
That ball fell from the sky
Straight-faced, while convincing
It came from some passerby
Implicate another guy

There is no way they could know
Who had thrown it
Since kids always play
In the backyards
Jumble of fences
Jumble offenses

But on second thought
I could face the consequence
Take my chances
Admit it was me

But I know, on the other hand
If I say I was the one
I’ll have to work hard
Til each day is done

Simple truth
Restitution isn’t easy
It’s an uncommon decency

There is no way we can know
Who's to blame here
Since we never stay
In our own yards
Jumble of fences

We lose our friends over
Jumbled offences
And we make amends over
Jumble of fences

Jumble of fences
Track Name: Rocking Chair
Weary one, day is done
Drift off to sleep
Tired eyes say goodbyes
Then slumber deep

Rocking chair, arms worn bare
From years of holding on
Gentle motion back and forth
On creaking floors

Rocking chair take me where
Cares fade to memory
Soothing sounds around me
Lullaby of pine and oak
Wood on wood

Carry me home
To the place where I find contentment
Show me the way
Give me a calm tomorrow
Offer me grace
Open my eyes and renew innocence
Wonder and awe

Rocking chair, always there
Exhausting hour after hour
Heavy head nods off to rest
As breathing slows

Rocking chair showing wear
Fingers cease holding on
Wistful worries fall away
Lullaby in slow-motion
Hand on hand

Spirit me home
To the place where I find contentment
Show me the way
Give me a calm tomorrow
Offer me grace
Cover my eyes and release innocence
Wonder and awe

Weary one, day is done
Drift off to sleep
Tired eyes say goodbyes
Then slumber deep
Track Name: House of Cards
In this house of cards
Black three holds the queen of hearts
Gently placed with care
Game of solitaire

Fragile towers, numbers and faces
Countless hours, diamonds on spades

Colors worn and cracked
Old deck, cautiously stacked
Sensing when to breathe
Becomes strategy

Steady and slow, card by card
How high they go
Will we know when our hopes have been met
and the steeple is set
Shining eyes reflect the dawning

Table kingdom slides through fingertips
Aces teeter as the joker slips
The joker slips

From these paper walls
Towers rise and fall
Start again, build new
Deck of fifty-two

In this house of cards
Black three holds the king of hearts
Gently placed with care
Game of solitaire
Track Name: Another Day
When long days are over
Feeling lonely, broken, used and worn
I drag myself off to bed

Staring at the ceiling
Through the darkness at the edge of sleep
And yet I can’t seem to fall
I’d give anything if I could fall
That’s where another day begins

Worried, barely living day to day
Can’t get ahead or get a break
Sick and tired of facing reality
Just on the verge of something
Another day begins

Until now somehow I thought
Life is just too hard, so give in, don’t fight again
Yet knowing so very well
Only time will tell, my way might be okay

At the end of trying
When my eyes are dry and finally clear
I pull myself up from the bed

Standing at the mirror
Looking for a reason to believe
To take just one more chance
The darkest hour gives me one more chance
That’s where another day begins
Somehow another day begins

And then, another day begins