I just returned from my annual retreat at the Gethsemani monastery in rural Kentucky. Nothing like a week of silence in the hills to put things in perspective. The monastery was built by Trappist monks in 1847. The look of the abbey church pictured here is the result of a renovation in the 1960s that kept the bones of the church intact but dramatically simplified its lines and overall spirit, in keeping with Trappist notions of simplicity. One of the crosses in the cemetery pictured is that of Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk who was a best selling author in the 1960s; any library or bookstore still has many of his books. The day after this sketch was done, rain set in, followed by a howling snowstorm the next day. My timing for sketching was fortunate.