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How to begin again? What about the kids? What about the dogs? What about the house? What about the money? What about our parents? What about our friends? Would we ever want to return to our jobs again if things didn’t work out? What if the two of us couldn’t find common ground that was inspiring for both?

There obviously were no answers, only many questions. We made the decision first and had to figure out the details later. We felt there were clearly big risks in the choices we were about to make, and we fretted over them for quite a while as the dissatisfaction grew and grew. When we couldn’t delay any longer, we decided.

We realized the depth of courage it took to move into the unknown together. For one person the struggle may have been significant, but it seemed even more so for two jumping at the same time. Our success depended on cooperation and teamwork. We imagined the metaphor of a dance floor, getting the nerve to step out, leaving the shadows behind. Spontaneity promised to be compelling, but first we had to stand up and engage.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


To believe in no limits
To embrace possibility
To imagine the infinite is to take a chance

To find comfort in solace
To discover simplicity
To dissolve into silence is to begin romance

Quietly turn the page
Laced with change
Day to day
Filled with grace
Written on each yesterday

Bravely facing the truth and the trust every day
As boundaries fade
And doubts fall away
Strength will remain
Courage created

Stepping out of the shadows
Crossing onto the floor
Face to face with my partner
Wondering what is in store for me
Pressing palm to palm—synchronized movement

To enjoy independence
To explore commonality
To create connectedness is to dance with life

Take a chance to romance life
May I please have this dance with life


from Swinging Statues, track released January 1, 2004
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


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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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