Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Whale that Ate the Wind


We tend to think of whales as unexciting amorphous beings that more or less exist to float and eat. Their reputations as monsters seem to stem solely from their overwhelming size. However whales could be comparWhale that Ate the Winded to raptors of the air but their domain is the sea. They drift and circle the oceans along the very upper edge of their world, diving down to feed on prey. Among the mightiest creatures on earth, they feed on the smallest and in the millions a bite. For those tiny creatures surely monster does not even begin cover their sentiment but for the human observer even this seems somehow gentle.

So the story goes there once was a whale all too aware of his mighty stature, his mysterious imposing shape, his awesome appetite and his majestic uniqueness. But that awareness did not come from his heart. Because his heart was missing from the picture he did not know himself as God knew him. He knew himself as a creature others feared, others laughed at, separate from the world around him because he felt so different. There were so many things about himself he would change if he could but the whale didn’t understand he was what he was for a reason.

Like all of the other whales he would regularly breach the surface just enough to catch a breath and then smoothly slip back under the water. One day, in a sudden burst of energy, he leapt for his breath and his whole head breached the surface before splashing back to the sea. What a surprisingly pleasant moment that was.  He didn’t crash into the sky. He did not get hurt on his return to the ocean. He felt the wind and he wanted more.

Feeling excited about his accomplishment he planned his next leap. This time he would throw himself into the air until only the tip of his tail held him to the ocean. He was magnificent. He could feel the wind on his belly and this time he also felt the sea on his back as he crashed back down to his home. To feel the wind again and the sea he lived in for the first time must be what they call joy! How easy was that? To feel the best he had ever felt in his life just by taking these leaps.

Eventually it was time for the whale to fully release his joy and throw his whole body into the air, letting go of the sea down to his tail, and trust the sea will open up for his return. But fear started to creep back into his heart. What if once he left the sea so completely it would not take him back? Before the questions could overtake his heart he thought about how he dove for the shrimp that filled his belly and that would be his plan. He would dive into the air as if to eat the wind. If he could not return to his home in the sea he would spend the rest of his days as part of the air, the wind would fill his belly and the joy would fill his heart.   

Now with his heart full he could see that he was the sea and the air and all the magnificent creatures that filled them and he could see himself as God sees him, as part of the glory that is all of creation.


Copyright 2013. Face the Mountain. All rights reserved.





 We have points in our life when we feel like we’ve almost reached the end of that guide rope we hold onto and all of the sudden we have dropped the rope and now we are lost, again. We all want our angel to put that rope back in our hands so we can get to the end sure we have gone the right way because like good children, we have followed the path laid out for us.

When we’ve lost our grip on that rope is the answer to gently probe the area already staked out for us or is it an invitation to be our own guide? How else do we learn to live as free spirits, to run or fly or swim if we can’t let go of the rope. That rope will always be there should we need it and our angels will always be happy to put it back in our hand or even hold our hand if we need. But if that help doesn’t come as soon as you’d like, consider that you angel may be challenging you to take that walk into the forest and learn by adventure.


 lighting close


Copyright 2013. Face the Mountain. All rights reserved.

Dragonfly Dreams and Better

 Dragonfly Dreams and Better


We’ve all done this. Once in a while we’ll ask for a special experience in a dream. Maybe a chance to feel what it’s like to fly or to speak with a lost loved one. Once in a while we’ll be inspired to ask for a special indulgence, To experience something outside of what we can fully experience in our waking life, because sleep is where we are allowed to experience all possibilities without having to answer to logic. My special request had to do with the artist in me. I was feeling stagnant and stuck. I could paint a pretty picture but felt unable to create art that would inspire anyone to feel anything on an emotional level.

During a before bed meditation and prayer I put out a dream request to experience what it is like to see through the eyes of a dragonfly.  Dragonflies have a 360 degree field of vision. They see a much greater range of colors than humans starting at orange (no red but that’s not one of my favorite colors anyway) all the way up the range of UV light not visible to the human eye. What a magnificent world they must see! To experience that just briefly in a dream could teach me to see like an artist again. The first and most important part of being an artist is to see through the eyes of an artist. Any technical skills are mechanical and can be learned, or not, depending how you chose to express yourself.

When I woke up the next morning from a very sound sleep I couldn’t remember any of my dreams, let alone a dragonfly dream, but not to worry. Answers almost never come when and how you expect. Just stay open and you will recognize it later, when you are not looking for it.

Later that day we had gone through another series of earlier evening thunderstorms that were quickly dissolving as the sunset became visible. What was left of the storms created a deliciously fluffy kaleidoscope of colors. Bright burning orange cottony clouds piled along the eastern horizon, bordered by beautiful blue, purple and gray frosted outlined clouds occupying different places in the atmosphere.  At  first I just wanted to sit back and enjoy because it was wonderful just watching the colors and shapes change. Part of me wanted to grab my camera because I would probably never see those colors again but my logical mind said “Why bother? In 10 minutes there are going to be ½ a dozen pictures of the same clouds on face book.  Any more there are an infinite number of pictures of magnificent clouds on the internet”.  But something deeper inside told me the pictures were an important part of holding onto the inspiration.

The next day I downloaded the photos onto the computer for a closer look. It was then that I realized I had lived my Dragonfly dream, confirmed by the dragonfly caught very clearly flying through a photo against the brightly burning clouds in the background.

– P.Ciavardone

 click pics to enlarge

 fireglow_withDragonflydragonfly cropped

 Copyright 2013. Face the Mountain. All rights reserved.