No Better

We’ve all heard sayings, proverbs, and little reminders about how we should live our lives. “A stitch in time saves nine,” reminds us to be careful observers, possibly reducing more work later. “A watched pot never boils,” nudges us to do useful things, not waste time doing something that has no effect. But an adage that seems repeated quite often is “The grass is always greener,” warning us not to imagine something better than we have right now. Yet, it’s the saying we most often ignore. Maybe someone else has something that we’d prefer. But things are often different than they seem.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some really positive aspects of dreaming. Our futures are born from dreams and imaginings. But we need to be a bit realistic and clear-headed.

A friend gets a divorce so that he may be happy again. Is he? Someone else buys a new car, but is reluctant to drive it, for fear that it could be damaged or dinged. Another friend buys a new home, only to have to work so hard to afford it that she’s rarely there.

This song captures the essence of the proverb to be careful of appearances since they’re often not quite what they seem. We think we’re smart enough not to fall for the “trick,” that we should all know by now—know better. The realization that we allowed ourselves to be pulled in, is difficult to accept. Maybe there was a “feeling” of something out of kilter, or off just a bit. However, our desire for something new, bigger or better, is sometimes even greater than our instincts that warn us against it. We lean in, justify, convince ourselves that our choice is good. Sometimes it is. Sometimes not. When it’s not, we can feel duped, even though we’ve done it to ourselves.

Wisdom is not only knowledge. It’s a blend of intuition and truth. If we choose not to “know” better, we feel “no” better.



Thought I knew better, head over heart

Left me deeply lonely, all alone and torn apart

Sure I knew better, started to second guess

Everything I felt was real, leaving empty rooms filled with regret

Being right is cold comfort through the many endless nights

I fill my days in the park with countless strangers

Random passers by in hopes that I might feel 

Something more than heartache and grief

Should have known better, than to trust my thoughts

They’ve betrayed me so many times, no matter how much I fought

Now I find myself feeling so broken, cheated, made a fool

If only I’d taken some time, a second or two

Just to play it through, I’d know what to do

Then I’d feel something more than heartache and grief 

You’d think I’d know better


This story and music is dedicated to the grass that always seems greener


From album – Quiet Comes Along
Track released – June 1, 2020
Cheryl Martlage – Lyrics, Vocals and Production
Emerson Martlage – Music, Guitar, Vocals and Production
Inspiration – a friend recently divorced finding himself alone and lonely