Link to recordings and more stories about this song: THE UNKNOWN


I go through my day to places that heal me

I cannot stay, you no longer feel me

My words will stun you, ‘cause I’ve begun to

Leave you behind; I escape in my mind


My tears I hide when you are near me

I cry inside where you can’t hear me

I’ve watched you brood; avoid your mood

There’s no connection without affection


I run from you; don’t know where to

The touch you withhold just feels so cold

That’s when I withdrew

I feel so alone; your heart is like stone

I lie awake and feel my heart break

I’m ready to face the unknown


You’re caught off guard; this is so hard

The touch that I crave has made me so brave


I’ve known you so long; I must alert you

This feels so wrong; I hate to hurt you

With so much pain, I can’t remain

You might not miss me, ‘cause you never kiss me


I run from you; don’t know where to

The touch you withhold just feels so cold

That’s when I withdrew

For years I stayed, ’cause I was afraid

don’t even know, where I will go

But I’m so ready

I feel so alone; your heart is like stone

I lie awake and feel my heart break

I’m ready to live on my own

I’m ready to face the unknown

I love the image of a baby hummingbird for this song. I also wrote a parable I named “The Songbird,” which tells my story with metaphors.

I love the image of a baby hummingbird for this song. I also wrote a parable I named “The Songbird,” which tells my story with metaphors.

Other alternative song titles that I considered:


“I’m So Ready”

“I Run From You”

“Heart Like Stone”


Title that a good friend gave my song:


“The F.U. song”


 My First Lesson with Peaches 7


When I began to write this blog in 2010, I was exhilarated and ecstatic. I was ready to try new things as I felt myself being transformed and healed. My excitement about re-learning my music and songs slowly crept into my life.


I was not afraid to put myself out there. I find that interesting, because currently my journey has led me to a place where I am refining my vocals so they are “acceptable” for me to release and eventually sell.


But in 2010 when I began my music, I felt certain I would become successful. I find that amazing because at that time, I could barely sing the melodies to my songs. I jumped into performing and I cringe remembering how I sounded.


A few months after I began playing my guitar, I signed up for inexpensive voice lessons at a nearby public park. My teacher’s name was Peaches Chrenko. For some reason, I hired a videographer to come to one of my first lessons.


I can’t remember my exact reason for doing that, but my guess is that I wanted to document something that I felt was an important step in my journey. The pictures for this story are from that video.


Even though I hardly knew Peaches, on that video it was obvious that we were already laughing and connecting about music.


Peaches certainly understood what it meant to be a passionate songwriter.


I might have been coping with difficult circumstances such as my mother’s dementia or my father’s declining health – but when I was at a voice lesson with Peaches, I was alive.


For so many years, I lived without laughter. But for one hour every week when I had a lesson with Peaches, I discovered how beautiful it was to laugh again.

My First Lesson with Peaches 8
My First Lesson with Peaches 1


As I began to compose songs again after 30 years, I discovered there is a part of my mind that is like an “empty space.” That hollow space is ready to be filled with a new song. I have no idea how or why my mind creates a song, but when it happens, it is something I have no choice but to allow for. It doesn’t matter how busy I am because when a song enters my mind I am stopped in my tracks.

Every song of mine is part of “the musical of my life,” and feels as though it is already written; I am simply discovering it. The process is magnificent and usually begins with chords and a melody; the words soon follow.


When I began to hear the chords and melody for this song, I had no idea what would be unleashed.

It is hard to describe how painful it was to extract lyrics from my soul while I was writing my song “The Unknown.”


I was grateful I could share “The Unknown” as it progressed with Peaches. I told her how I felt like my heart was breaking open as the words to my song emerged. Words can be powerful, and that same week I experienced terrible pain in my breastbone. It was while I was sitting in my doctor’s office waiting to get results from an x-ray, that I realized how my lyrics of  “I feel my heart break” had literally manifested as physical pain in my chest.

Heart on fire

I wrote the song lyrics for “The Unknown” while I was on vacation with my family. Late at night, painful words started to fill my mind. My deadened emotions, which had helped me cope with anger and hatred suddenly began erupting. As my honest feelings poured out with my lyrics, I could not stop them.


I felt terribly disloyal and guilty writing my song, but I had finally faced my feelings!


I was suffering every moment that I spent with my husband. He was critical, angry and remote. I had withdrawn from him so much that he certainly might have felt the same way I did. He could have written those song lyrics about me.

Judy & her guitar

This picture of me playing my guitar at the age of 15 is taken in the patio where I am now living. When I sing, I feel like I am that young girl in the picture above.

As I began to compose songs again after 30 years, I discovered there is a part of my mind that is like an “empty space.” That hollow space is ready to be filled with a new song. I have no idea how or why my mind creates a song, but when it happens, it is something I have no choice but to allow for. It doesn’t matter how busy I am because when a song enters my mind I am stopped in my tracks.

Hypnotherapy allowed me to “unstuff” my feelings in so many areas. I became very open, and the contrast with my marriage was stark and visible for me. My ability to be open and the desire to feel understood was something that would not allow me to accept my marriage anymore.


My husband was not interested in my journey and I shared little of it with him. In order to assuage him, I expressed extreme confidence that I would eventually become financially successful. That only added pressure, and was so counter to what I believed my journey was about. My joy was about helping other people. For me, any financial benefit would be to reach even more people and enable me to continue doing what I loved.


The heart of the matter was my willingness to go against what was familiar in order to face something that truly was unknown. I felt as if I were stepping off a cliff because worrying about financial security wasn’t going to stop me.


I never considered anything other than total commitment to marriage while raising my children. For decades, I had remained married in order to give my children stability, though sadly the lack of affection between my husband and I was not the example I wanted for them.


I used to believe that remaining married was the highest priority, certainly more important than my own happiness. It was amazing how I suddenly decided not to sacrifice my happiness anymore. My newfound desire to make each day of my life as precious as “a gold coin,” would not allow me to live in an environment as remote as the one I had lived in for such a long time. It was far too late to repair my marriage, and I had no desire to.


I did not leave my husband to find someone else. I was happy because I discovered I preferred to be alone; it was far better than my empty marriage. I was strong enough to face the unknown; whatever it might be. At the age of 51, I had never lived on my own, because I had left the security of living with my parents when I was married at the age of 21.


The most difficult part was hurting someone I once loved with whom I had spent so many years of my life.

I hoped he would discover a better life as I led the way into the unknown.

My First Lesson with Peaches

Below is a continuation of my dialog with Peaches, (my former voice teacher) while I was composing my song “The Unknown.”



Clicking the blue link below plays audio:

Clip #5 – Judy & Peaches discuss “The Unknown”


J.  I’m beginning to feel more spiritual lately; I have to tell you that.


P:  Oh, interesting.


J:  Because I’ve had a lot of doubts about God before. But I’m beginning to think that my music was sent to me to save me. That’s a huge revelation for me.


P:  Geeze, I don’t talk to you for six days and look what happens!


J:  One of my stories led me to write this song (“The Unknown”) because if I view every day of my life as precious I don’t want to live with someone who makes me unhappy.


I was reading about agents and books, and they said that book titles should be unique – easy to find. So I Googled “Beside Me Always” – there’s nothing with that title. There’s no other song; there’s no other book. There were just a few evangelical writings and they were named “Always Beside Me.”


You remember the song “You Light Up My Life?” I’ve told you this; I see how my song (“Beside Me Always”) might be taken by a lot of people looking for spirituality, even though for me it is about my child. But there’s more to it – it’s that comfort of being surrounded. So I think it’s a good thing.


P:  Yes, it just keeps growing. It just keeps getting broader, wider and deeper. It continues expanding, this multi-faceted journey of your life!


J:  Did you like the idea for the title? I think, “I’m” could come off. It could just be “Ready to Face The Unknown. Or, “I’m Ready.” That might be a song title already; I don’t know. “I Run From You” might be too mean, though.


P:  “I’m Ready to Face The Unknown” sounds too much like a sentence. You’re giving away your chorus a bit.


J:  Oh, yeah, that’s true. Although it’s more memorable with the word “unknown.” It is unusual.


P:  It is very much so.


J:  This feels like a musical. It’s a musical song, a story going on of my life.


P:  You said that before and I didn’t get that. But when you said it just now, I hear what you’re saying.


J:  I see a stage and someone singing  . . .


P:  There’s also a possibility of one-word titles like “Ready” where people don’t know what it’s about.


J:  Or “The Unknown?”


P:  When you first came to me, that was the title that I heard. Because I’m always looking for the unusual, simple titles that haven’t been used.


J:  I think I like “The Unknown.” Because when you say, “I’m Ready,” you could be ready for anything. That’s good, because it does sound like you’re leaving – jumping. It is not just about this. This is painful and scary. So “The Unknown” represents a lot more of what my song is about.


P:  And certainly adds a mystery and depth to it.


J:  It does! “The Unknown!”  Oh, I like that. Peaches, I love you!


P:  I didn’t say that to you earlier, because I didn’t want to sway you.


J:  Peaches, you didn’t sway me – that hits me!

My First Lesson with Peaches 10


Clicking the blue link below plays audio:

Clip #6 – Judy & Peaches discuss “The Unknown”

J:  I pushed it down for so long.

P:  Yeah, and this song feels like someone who feels bad about feeling bad. This is very tender. This is, “I respect you, but we’re just not connecting anymore.”

J:  I didn’t know when I wrote the music how it would fit. I am so pleased that I could do this. And then I even added, “I’m ready to live on my own.”

P:  Oh, I like that!

J:  I decided to make it clear – because it is part of facing the unknown. I’ve never lived on my own – EVER! I’m fifty-one years old and I’ve never lived on my own – my whole life.


J:  I love my new song but if I didn’t change gears I’m going to get sick. It’s so hard to have that. I want to record it, but I feel like I have to force myself to wait to record it. It’s sort of like – I need to keep it under wraps.

P:  Keep it in here? (She points to her heart).

J:  Yes, although I can look forward to recording it. But I’ve got to focus on other things. I’m trying to move ahead to see what other things I could work on to get this out of my mind.

P:  You’re so funny – so funny.

J:  Why?

P:  Because, these songs are your babies. And when you get them; that’s where you live. You have to deny yourself.

J:  I know!

My First Lesson with Peaches 2

P: You look hot, Judy.

J:  Hot? Like?

P:  Yeah, good hot.

J:   (Laughter) I’m sweating!

P:  No, no! (Laughter). Otherwise, I would just turn the air-conditioning up.

J:  A different look?

P:  Yeah.

J:  I have different eyes. I have a different way of seeing the world. I mean it’s sort of like the ceiling was taken off and I can see the sky. I have all kinds of ideas. I’ve never even been with someone who plays tennis. I was always saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be with someone who plays tennis?”

P:  Because you love tennis?

J:  I’m not looking for a man. There’s so many things I’d want companionship for and it would be nice to be with someone I could be with. And for him, too.

P:  Yeah.

J:  But for right now, this is a terrible time. I just don’t know why it came up at this time. There’s got to be a reason that the music did it for me. I know it.

P:  It always seems like a weird time for certain things. It’s never the time you would really choose. Rarely is it the right time.

J:  I would much rather have chosen to be busy traveling, promoting my book, making lots of money and then decide, “Now it’s real easy to just leave.” But, no! It had to come up now. When I’m just so at the lowest point, in terms of finances – you know, I’m trying to find my worth. This is really an opportunity for me to find my strength.

P:  That’s true, Judy.

J:  I have to totally self-talk and tell myself how valuable I am, because if he finds out now – I’ll be scathed. My betrayal – oh, it’s causing me stomach pain.

P:  Oh, goodness gracious – it’s hard. But everybody gets through it.

J:  I’ll come through it.

P:  You do it minute to minute, the way you’re doing it right now.

J:  Thank God for the music! Thank, God! Thank, God!

P:  Yes.

J:  You know what? People might relate to me in another area. I never thought of that. It’s interesting. Because I like to be an inspiration for surviving grief, but I would have also liked to be an inspiration on how to stay married. But I guess people might understand these feelings. I’m going to cause the divorce rate to go up! All these women are going to look at their husbands and go: “I’m ready! I’m ready to go shopping – to go travel! To go live without you!

My First Lesson with Peaches 11


Clicking the blue link below plays audio:


J:  It’s like I don’t want to express these feelings. I’m very good at holding my feelings in – but with music it causes things to come out that you don’t realize. It’s there for you. And this was not a good time for me to be writing that song. I’m not ready to share it. The only thing I can think of Peach, is I have that empty space – it’s not empty yet. I still have this in there. I have to move this out. I’ve got to start writing another song because this one plays and loops in my head – I’m so into it.


P:  Your brain works against you sometimes.


J:  As a songwriter, you have that?

P: Oh, yes. I totally have to see “play” and “stop” buttons in my head. And I have to push “stop.” Mentally – I have to see a button and I tell myself, “You will stop playing.”

J:  I wish I could do that. I don’t know how to stop it!

P: Well, you have to find something. Maybe you need to scream or slam something down – I don’t know.

J:  I wake up in the morning and I hear it playing. It starts the minute I wake up.

P:  Yeah, I know.

My First Lesson with Peaches 6


J:  Can I pull out my guitar?

P:  Yes, absolutely!

J:  Well, I feel like this whole thing is about how God has sent me my songs. I don’t understand the timing on this last song at all. It’s just like what you said. As a songwriter, it’s a baby and it hurts. It really hurts because I didn’t get to enjoy my baby. At first, a negative way of looking at it was it was the devil – the devil baby! A demon! I gave birth to something evil! Get rid of it!

But actually, I have a whole other way of looking at it. If my song was a baby, than that song was a premature baby. A “premature baby” meaning that I don’t understand why it came so soon. It came when it wasn’t supposed to and it required a lot of care. I just decided I have to let go of it. It is too much for me right now. So what’s the best thing I could do? Replace and move on! I went ahead and started writing something else.

P:  Great!

J:  I had to and it helped. It’s like I say with God; I just feel like I’m being comforted with the knowledge that I can do something else – because, this is not a time to be writing songs. I have a book to work on. I have plenty to do; but who can control it? So it is my therapy to move that song out and put something else in. And because it’s a gift I decided that whatever I write is going to be something that’s going to help other people. So I’m writing a song to inspire other people to know they can survive.

It’s sort of like – I was thinking of that “Titanic” song “Your Heart Will Go On.” But this is more of saying, “You will make it.” But I don’t have all the lyrics yet; I just have one verse. It’s so hard. I don’t want to be preachy and I don’t want clichés, you know. But the music speaks. I started by going on a chord hunting expedition.

P:  Oh, good!

J:  This you can appreciate . . .

(Judy plays guitar chords to her future song, which will be named “Hang On”)

My First Lesson with Peaches 4


Clicking the blue link below plays audio:

Clip #8 – Judy & Peaches discuss “The Unknown”


J:  I have it all with my music. What if I didn’t have my music? You know it is interesting because my music was there for me in my youth and I gave it up when I got married. But I found it again and I found it on my own. Sometimes we outgrow things; we need more in our life. And I think for me, I need more in my life. I realize wanting more can lead to less, in that you might not appreciate what you have. But that’s the unknown; I don’t really know. I’m willing to make a mistake and you know a risk has payoffs.

P:  Weren’t you talking about the melody feeling repetitious?

J:  Yes in the chorus. If you had any ideas of anything I could change.

(Judy demonstrates on the guitar.)

J:  Oh, I want to hear your suggestion . . . But I just had the idea of coming in higher here.

P:  Go ahead.

J:  (singing) Your heart is like stone.

P:  That’s pretty.

J:  But I found it! (Laughter) I say, “ Peaches, show me.” Then I sing right over you! What’s the matter with me?

P:  And she’s says, “I found it!”

J:  I feel like I’m ten years old!


P:  Judy, you’re in a hostile-type environment and it’s so strange with people you love. Usually, it’s clear – I’m in a hostile environment; people don’t love me. But to me, your situation seems nebulous and confusing.

J:  It’s very confusing.

P: You have the love . . .

J:  They love me, but they’re upset.

P:  And the fact that you’re doing this music in a hostile environment is amazing.

J:  It’s a miracle.

P: I don’t know if I’ve ever had that experience. It’s tough even being with people who support you. It’s hard to be naked; it’s hard to create because you just want to be alone sometimes and create stuff and feel free to try things and sound stupid. That’s hard.

J:  Yes!

P:  So you are doing this and it’s amazing! It’s like being on a battlefield in Afghanistan and writing those songs . . .

J:  And I used to have the love of my mom to support me with things I did. But I don’t have that anymore. I miss that feeling. But I feel myself. In fact it’s making me stronger, because I have to find my own purpose.

P:  It has to be, because you’re still doing it. Nothing is stopping you – you’re doing more than ever!

J:  I love my children and I understand because my daughter verbalized it well. She said, “I am happy for you, but it’s hard to be happy for you because what made you happy took you away from us.”

It took me away from devoting my life to them, which is something I can’t do anymore and I shouldn’t do at this stage in their lives. It’s not healthy.

P:  Exactly.

J:  But it was sudden; it wasn’t gradual. It happened so quickly. With time, we’ll have a different perception.

P: Yes, you know this can’t go on.

J:  And the irony is that probably in the long run it will be better for my husband, too. You know when you hear the words – he broods and with his mood, and there’s no connection without affection. It can’t be good for him. He’s very passive.

P:  Yes. When someone is exhibiting that kind of behavior they’re not having a great time.

My First Lesson with Peaches 5

© Judy Unger and 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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3 Responses to THE UNKNOWN-PART 1

  1. jmgoyder says:

    There is a lot of wonderfulness to read here so I am taking my time – absolutely love it, love it, love it!


    • Judy says:

      Really???? You made my night and day. OMG! I thought the dialog with Peaches was toooo much and too long. I see a lot of smiling pictures when this whole experience of ending my marriage was absolutely gut wrenching. I was ill for a year and still sometimes I wrestle with guilt. I don’t know if you can hear the audio – but it was so amazing to keep that song under wraps. Music really did save me. I’m so much happier now and true to my heart. Thank you again for your comment, Julie. We are truly connected because we both have homes with black and white floor tiles!


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