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When we lived in Indianapolis, years ago, Emerson and his friend, Dave rode bikes on the weekends. They always had a destination, but found that the process of going there was ultimately far more important than arriving. This was the perfect storyline to help us connect to an important idea.

The story spilled out effortlessly. We really liked the image of the “birds sitting on the line” watching us ride by. We even imagined ourselves as the birds, watching our own process, reflecting, with a new perspective.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Sunday morning at seven
10-speeds to take us on our way
All the gear is packed and ready
Final check before we get started
Know just where mid-day will find us

We’ve made a number of shorter rides
This is the longest we’ve tried
To a finish line
That makes it worth all of our time
Yeah, it’s the finish line
That we have in mind

On each and every ride, we always take some time
To laugh and talk together, rhythms aligned
It really makes no difference whether we’re going slow or fast
What matters more are milestones that we pass
Soaring by patchwork fields of green
Meadows as far as we can see

Over the summit we pick up our pace
As we glide downhill, wind our faces
Tires hum and spin
Birds sit on lines with all of their friends
Watch us and wonder where we have been

Take a break around lunchtime
Under the shade of a maple tree
Eating while we are talking
Last minute thoughts before getting started
We conclude there is no reason

To focus only on the end
The best place is the one that we’re in
Not a finish line
That makes it worth all of our time
It’s not the finish line
That we have in mind

There is no finish line


from Toward the Light, track released January 1, 2008
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Em and Dave's weekend bike rides - Inspiration


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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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