Hawaii Forgiveness Project

Images of Forgiveness Awards
Winning Entries, 2009

presented at
International Forgiveness Day in Hawai'i
August 1, 2009

Gold Medal:

"Fire Within Ice"
triptych of digital images

J Forest Ocean Bennett

I was out in the Black Rock Desert a few years ago and watched this several hundred pound block of ice melt. It was being melted from within by FIRE, and created an eerie hollow mourning sound that rolled over the desert floor. At first, the block of ice, in itself, had little beauty, but the creation of the void inside, filled with FIRE, shook me to my core with its beauty. I felt like I was listening to something deeply alive, like the sound of the flame was actually talking.

It think perhaps Forgiveness is like that. As a block of ice, we are cold and lifeless, but when we make the effort to cultivate Forgiveness, a warmth, a rush of power can well inside us and hollow out all the coldness, leaving a devastating beauty, seemingly empty but filled with shining colors we have never seen before. As I stood and watched that cold lifeless block of ice melt, I hoped that someday I could be as beautiful inside as that void created in the disappearing ice.

May each one of us find that vortex of compassion, the heat of love and passion for a purpose greater than ourselves, so we can all shine beautifully from within as we move in the darkness of this world.

Silver Medal:

"Banyan Peace Tree"
Acrylic paints with hand dipped pen and India ink highlights.
On 100% cotton canvas.


This Banyan Tree sits in a typical Hawaii landscape. There is a lava rock wall that is so typical of all islands.

The leaves on the tree represent all the diverse peoples of Hawaii growing and living together to offer such a beautiful result on many levels.

Bronze Medal:

"Floating Lanterns"

Robyn Ocepek

This Floating Lantern Ceremony touches a very special place in my heart. Every year at this time it brings me closer to my dad who passed away in Oct. 2004.

When everyone is sending off their lanterns, an inner peace runs throughout my body. Making me feel that world can forgive; and by forgiveness we are that much closer to world peace.


© copyright 2009, Hawai'i Forgiveness Project
and by each individual artist