A talented but jaded architect, Nicholas Black, struggles to design a new art gallery in Portland's Pearl District. As he strives to regain confidence in his abilities, a woman from his past returns, reminding him of his passions but also of his disappointments. Through a series of memories, Nicholas recalls an ill-fated design competition in Rome, where more was at stake than pride - and where his own patterns and evolution began to reflect those of the city he studied. Given a new opportunity in Portland, he is offered a chance at redemption, and the hope that he is not destined to repeat the mistakes of his past. This poignantly humorous story of loss and ambition explores the creative process in a way that reminds each of us how easy it is to find and lose our own muse.