June 3rd, 2020, Seattle, WashingtonHow a silent retreat turned into bootcamp for the national shelter-in-place: Author Jay Morse delivers another powerful installment of On the Road with Jose after spending time at Gethsemani Abbey near Louisville, Kentucky, and just weeks prior to the national shutdown. Morse traveled to Gethsemani, made famous by the writings of the monk Thomas Merton, to step outside of the hustle of life in 2020-America, to experience “a stripping away of those things we think are important but really aren’t, but have somehow allowed them to dominate our daily existence.” Morse’s attempts at silence are mostly successful, but what is revealed is far more powerful: a reminder that to go fast in life, we often times need to go slowly first. The result – Amateur Hour at Gethsemani Abbey – is a continued example of Morse’s themes of finding commonality of the human condition in off-the-beaten path places. His writing is vivid without being overbearing, and you feel yourself there with him every step of the way, from his first night at the Abbey imagining a silent drum circle involving hipsters and the Holy Trinity, to his acknowledgement that his grandmother’s lessons in religion were more enduring than his formal Catholic education; to his realization that silent treats are anything but. Morse eventually experiences that which we all hope is true but rarely take time to prove ourselves: just being quiet for a while feels pretty darn good.

Morse is retired military officer and a lifetime traveler, having worked in or visited more than 60 countries around the world, many of them conflict or post-conflict areas. He finds moving stories in the seemingly mundane, those places or people we walk by daily without taking the time to explore or think about. Morse continues to post some of the internet’s best essays, and to label On the Road with a Jose a travel blog is misleading – no “best hotels in (pick your tourist town)!” here. Rather, On the Road with Jose is reflective, funny, unique, and some of the most intriguing short-form writing around.

See more of his writings from baseball in America to the neighborhoods of Havana to the first free African town in the Americas to a heart-breaking eulogy of his beloved Great Dane, Mojo – start reading On the Road with Jose and it will be hard to stop. Subscribe to his blog at, or email him at [email protected]

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