FLOATING FACE - Mark Smith
Watercolor, Pen & Ink 9X12”
FLOATING FACE: The jellyfish-face floats up to the surface of the sea. Its mental entanglements strewn deep down into the ocean of the psyche. Emerging from the deep to reach the surface dissipates the face. It begins to disintegrate from the upward exposure. The identity of the individual represented the experience of forces supporting the creation. The elements of thought, experience, and emotion act as invisible constructs that give equilibrium to the emerging face distinguish the self from other parts. This process is similar to the cycles of volcanoes. The magma from the center of the earth is alive, powerful, and formless. As it nears the surface, it changes to lava and begins to thicken to form the crust. The raising of the jellyfish to the surface imitates this: from the depths of our soul comes an eruption into our lives; before, it was formless; now outside of ourselves, it is shaped.
We have something to work with.
Emergence - by Jin Kong (originally published on June 4th, 2009 in memories of June 4th, 1989.)
20 years ago I stood on the streets of Beijing unable to believe my eyes. The surreal moments of peace and violence that seemed to have blurred into a passing memory.
Today, I can only recall bits and pieces of the month that led to the massacre of students on Tiananmen, and I can only vaguely remember my parents explaining why people choose not to eat and why so many of them were so young yet spoke with so much wisdom.
What I do remember today, are the disheartened way my father spoke of the government and the saddened expressions of my mother when she told me of the reasons for such a massive gathering.
My father and mother supported the students and participated in their protest. I roamed freely in the alleyways on my oversized hand-me-down bike and help delivered water and bread to the people gathering at Tiananmen. The troops moved in silently at first, met minor resistance from the population. I even remember the young faces of those soldiers and the way elders pleaded with them. I thought to myself that they knew no more than I did of this event. I felt pity for them at first because my father told me they were just like me, young and ignorant of the way of the world. I felt their hesitation as the elders formed lines of blockade hoping to prevent their progression towards the students.
Then the tanks rolled in and trucks of soldiers began to advance in a uniformed direction. Under orders they had little choice. And under obligation, they took away a generation’s hope for freedom and government accountability.
I was 10, and knew little of the sense of freedom and patriotism. It wasn’t until later that I learn the significance of democracy in action. It wasn’t until I served a combat tour in Iraq did I truly understand what the students were asking.
Before my combat tour, I had debated my citizenship to the United States of America. I served this country as a citizen of China and rejected the notion that patriotism need be indicated by a piece of paper.
My hesitation was primarily due to my emotional ties with the country of my birth, and I had not the principles instilled by sacrifice to realize the importance of this nation’s ideologies.
When I began employment with The American Legion, trying to help my fellow veterans with their transition needs, I realized my deep investments in the principles fought for and believed by the students of Tiananmen protest. I now know the sacrifices of students on Tiananmen Square and the sacrifices of soldiers in Iraq had something in common, that they shared and believed the preservations of rule of law to serve the best interests of their citizens. The inherent rights of all must be advocated and protected at all cost. Should it be death, then I must follow their example, to stand proud and not live in doubt and with reservations of my own beliefs.
That is the beauty and strength of this nation, and with that strength, I became a proud citizen of The United States of America.
And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in all the world.
And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.
And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual rights to be free.
For anyone who is alone, without faith and without country, the weight of days is dreadful, and without ethics he is a wild beast loosed upon this world. His freedom is nothing but a chance to be better, to live for the last judgment therein every day, in every act of rebellion to express his nostalgia for the innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.___________________________________________________
The beginning of an end.
Today is the Fourth of July, Independence Day. We take today as a symbolic moment of our passing of the realms. Today, our work begins.
This is the conclusion of Project ECHO on The Green Elephant. There are at least another 150 pages of content to the project. To post them all on this blog will take over the important issues we need to address about sustainability. It also does not serve the entirety and dept of the project justice.
We have decided to reserve the remaining content and what has been published here for a printed version. We will also host selected content online, on a different domain, once the printed version is ready. If you would like to reserve a limited first edition of the book along with a personalized message from the artists, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All copyrights are reserved.
We hope to publish the works and raise money for the project itself. We are in the process of establishing a 501(c)3 to raise funds from Project ECHO to provide art classes, one-on-one counseling, and job skill development for veterans, especially homeless combat veterans.
We hope to bring expressive therapy to these combat veterans and at the same time empower them to be champions of sustainability for our communities. We hope to bring a metaphysical tool to the lost souls and provide them with skills they need so that they may lead again; we want them to lead well and we hope to empower them to face their fears and help us with our challenges.
They are our heroes, the braves ones who confronts their demons on their own, but burdens the world on their shoulders. Keep an eye out for these lost veterans and the future of this project. We promise to care for those veterans that need to be sustained for our society the most. We hope they will lead us into a brighter future and we hope they will continue to defend the life, freedom, and happiness of all.
In each of them, there is a hero waiting to be just a man.
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.____________________________________________________
Universal Declaration of Human RightsPREAMBLE
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
The General Assembly
This Universal Declaration of Human Rights
as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948)
Adopted on December 10, 1948
by the General Assembly of the United Nations (without dissent)