As I started to paint, Riders on the Storm, my favorite Lake Michigan music, was taking me out of the mood of the painting. I switched to Pavarotti, Nessun Dorma evoking la dolce vita, and smiled at the irony.

La Vita di Thing1 has been many things — adventurous, heart-wrenching, miraculous. It has rarely been peaceful.

Still, it was easy to get lost in the music and then the memory as the painting took shape, creating the kind of peace that only comes with stopping to appreciate, unreservedly, the good moments that make up your life.

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