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One day Em discovered and liked a blog called “Emilywithaheart."As he scrolled through her site, he found our drawing of Sand Castles attached to a poem. It was quite surprising to find it, leading to a spontaneous message.

At the time she was living in Colombia, volunteering as a teacher. In one of our routine exchanges we had offered thoughts about expectations. She said that she and a friend were off on a mountain hike for several days and that she had decided not to hold any expectations for it. She saw only “an open road, an open mind, and a blank journal in front of her.”

We asked if we could use the idea of an “open mind” for a story/song. That became our second internet, long-distance collaboration!

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


There’s a moment when
I know it’s time for me to go
Something beckons me
Toward the open door

I wonder what it is that I might find
As I hit the open road, with an open mind

Knowing, There’s nothing to prove
Just me and the road ahead
Aren’t we all just passing through
To somewhere else we’d rather be instead

Maybe I’ll be back
On another day
Until then I’ll go my way alone
With an open mind, along the open road

Feeling, sometimes the lonely times
Make me want to stay
But the time has come
For me to walk away

With an open mind
Off to find my way
On the open road
With an open mind

Off to find my way
With an open mind


from By Invitation, track released August 1, 2009
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Inspiration - Emily Witt at "Emilywithaheart"


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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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