My sweet guitar, my difficult mandolin; my slender, straight fingers and hands are gone and so no longer able to torture and tune you. Now I distract myself from these swollen, ugly paws with pretty sparkles and colorful rakes. Renoir, stricken with rheumatoid arthritis, had to choose between walking and painting – thus lost mobility and independence in order to pursue his passion 20 years more, in the end painfully grasping the brush in a frozen, tight claw. His later work “Girl with Mandolin” hangs beside my guitar and mandolin, so I remember that some of the best things are yet to come.