“Anyone can revolt. It is more difficult silently to obey our own inner promptings, and to spend our lives finding sincere and fitting means of expression for our temperament and our gifts.”
Georges Rouault, a French Expressionist painter from the nineteenth century wrote down these words. Or spoke them. Or spoke them and then thought he should write them down, lest they become lost forever. Bottom line, this meaning-full and beauty-full thread of words made it all the way from his mouth to a piece of green construction paper next to the door of my art classroom, hand-written in Sharpie. It has hung there, heavy with truth, for almost three years now. I am, on many occasions, asked by the young people who cross that threshold each day to define words like “revolt” and “promptings” and “temperament.” Once I explain what is being communicated by Mr. Rouault, most children stand with half-blank stares, but some kids get it. They get it and they like it. There is a quiet challenge that hides within his words, and we do love a challenge, don’t we?
But I thought it’d be neat to hear what you all think it means. Maybe I will gain new insight and wisdom to share with the young artists who are in my care. What significance does this statement have for us as creative and faith-alive humans? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller…Let the dissecting begin.