Watch

Listen

Podcast S1 | Ep. 6: Air Guitars and a Useless Monk

Creator:
Published:
December 5, 2023
June 21, 2021
Watch how a "useless" monk and an air guitar coincide.|Watch how a "useless" monk and an air guitar coincide.

In the season 1 finale of Good and Decent, Javi pitches an idea to Josh and Sara: A group of air guitarists in Boston have something in common with a cloistered monk in Kentucky. Confused but intrigued by this contrasting pair, the three hit the road for their first post-pandemic road trip...and their first time working together as a trio in person! They set out to discover what it is that connects these seemingly disparate people.

Along the way, they discuss the meaning of life — is it always and only about what we produce in the world? Our work is important, surely, but isn’t there something more to life? Both our air guitar friends and Brother Paul Quenon seem to have a deep-down joy that doesn’t come from work. For the former, the joy of playing an instrument that doesn’t exist speaks to delighting in spontaneity. For Br. Paul, as he puts it, “The purpose of art is art itself.” Br. Paul lives a self-proclaimed “useless” life. And for the commuters in Boston watching the air guitar troupe rock out on the subway, they may also conclude that it is a fairly useless act. 

When something is truly use-less, having no apparent “use,” it is done for the sake of itself. Br. Paul describes that there’s a freedom in that. Both playing air guitar and praying as a monk develop a kind of interior life. It’s not about making anything, it’s about being. “Being is more important than doing,” Br. Paul reminds us. His antidote for overactive “doing”? Meditation, and leading a contemplative life. As season 1 of Good and Decent comes to an end, join Javi, Josh, and Sara on the road down to Kentucky as they ask the big questions.

What in your life is use-less? Is there anything you do for the joy of it and nothing else? Can we truly find deeper meaning in simply being and not doing?

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
December 5, 2023
June 21, 2021
On a related note...
How Venerable Matt Talbot Turned His Life Around

How Venerable Matt Talbot Turned His Life Around

Molly Gettinger

Good and Decent EP 21: Comedy of Life

Good and Decent EP 21: Comedy of Life

Grotto

Is This What Heaven Is Really Going to Be Like?

Is This What Heaven Is Really Going to Be Like?

Josh Noem

How to Plan a DIY Wedding

How to Plan a DIY Wedding

Molly Cruitt

8 Essentials for Setting Up Your Home Bar

8 Essentials for Setting Up Your Home Bar

Ken Hallenius

Finding the Humor in Grief

Finding the Humor in Grief

Molly Cruitt

Give the Gift of Charity This Christmas

Give the Gift of Charity This Christmas

Jessie McCartney

St. Bernadette Spotify Playlist | #GrottoMusic

St. Bernadette Spotify Playlist | #GrottoMusic

Grotto

This Blind Music Teacher Has Perfect Pitch

This Blind Music Teacher Has Perfect Pitch

Grotto

3 Ways to Love Those We’ve Never Met

3 Ways to Love Those We’ve Never Met

Mike Jordan Laskey

Artist Brings Beauty to Skid Row

Artist Brings Beauty to Skid Row

Grotto

Volunteer Nurse Cares for Isolated Migrant Shepherds

Volunteer Nurse Cares for Isolated Migrant Shepherds

Grotto

Doctor’s Paralyzing Injury Brings New Perspective

Doctor’s Paralyzing Injury Brings New Perspective

Grotto Shares

Feast Day: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Feast Day: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Grotto

Go Vote! | #GrottoMusic

Go Vote! | #GrottoMusic

Grotto

A Tiny Lesson on Living Simply

A Tiny Lesson on Living Simply

Jessica Mannen Kimmet

Sturgill Simpson’s New Album Tells a Story Worth Slowing Down For

Sturgill Simpson’s New Album Tells a Story Worth Slowing Down For

Bond Warner Strong

Podcasts Currently Resonating with Grotto Readers

Podcasts Currently Resonating with Grotto Readers

Grotto Shares

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Spotify Playlist | #GrottoMusic

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Spotify Playlist | #GrottoMusic

Grotto

From Oil and Gas to Renewable Energy: A Story of Calling

From Oil and Gas to Renewable Energy: A Story of Calling

Grotto

newsletter

We’d sure love to be pals.

Like what you see? Make it easy on yourself and we’ll meet you right in your inbox next time.