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This story took place in the family room at Oak Place where Emerson’s parents were sitting, talking near the end of their visit. We had recently begun living our new life and had become very practical, losing much of the early naïveté’ about how things would happen. We were both at a point of “no nonsense.”

Emerson had been working on some elements of his past in therapy , trying to move out of old habits that were debilitating to him. Now, there we were saying goodbye to his folks and his mother began to cry as always, as expected.

Emerson became quite frustrated and spoke bluntly to her. He impatiently asked her why she cried. She said she didn’t know, which signaled to him that it was time “to clear the air.” He said that he had been working on “letting go” of the past and her tears dragged him back once again. He said that he suspected that she was sad about not living nearer to each other. He literally asked her to “let him go” so that he could get on with his life. He invited her to create a new way of being together.

Processing the material through story/song as we always did, provided plenty of conversation.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals


from The Way to Love, track released July 1, 2006
In your eyes again
Tears have just begun
And I wonder what it is I might have done
Holding onto memories
You miss the times gone by

Holding on tightly
To what used to be
Today you cry for me
You cry for the yesterday me

Yes, those were sweet yesterdays
But they are gone
How I love those times we shared
Now let’s move on
That was then, and you are here

Holding on tightly
To what used to be
Today you cry for me
You cry for the yesterday me

Now I’m wondering
If we can begin
Without getting caught up on where we have been
What are the chances
You need no more

Holding on tightly
To what used to be
Please don’t cry for me
Don’t cry for the yesterday me


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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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