I got up early today as I normally do on a Friday. After having some coffee and toast with my wife I drove to the Abbey of Gethsemani. My goal was to visit the grave of my friend, Father Dennis, and to spend a few hours enjoying the silence and solitude of the monastery. After a visit to Dennis's grave, which was little more than a patch of dirt, I went into the retreat house. I was sitting in the dining room quietly minding my own business when a lady working in the kitchen asked if I was on retreat. When I shook my head no, she gave me a look that made me feel like I was trespassing. Perhaps I misinterpreted her body language or she was simply wondering why I was there at a time when some guests are leaving and new guests are arriving. I couldn't help but think to myself, "Lady, I used to be a member of this monastic community and I have been visiting here for over 40 years. I don't think anyone would have a problem with me sitting in here". Maybe it was just my mood. On the way to the monastery I drove past Father Dennis's home and his truck is still parked in the driveway. It made me a little sad. While I was at the monastery I felt restless and a little lost, to say nothing of the tug of war that seemed to be going on in my intestinal track. I climbed up St. Joseph's Hill and took in the panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. I sat in the Abbey church for a while but it was humid and stuffy. I felt like I was just wandering around and that I couldn't find a spot where I could relax and be. My last stop was the Gift Shop where I purchased my favorite raspberry jam made by monks at another monastery as well as an excellent jazz CD by local musician Dick Sisto. He has a connection with Gethsemani and was a friend of Thomas Merton. He's also a wonderful vibraphonist. I decided the rest of my day would be better spent at home which is where I am as I write these notes. On a positive note, today's weather is picture perfect and I had a very pleasant drive home through the countryside.