Michael Mendizza

Writer, Filmmaker

Like A Tsunami


Birth and Bonding, Parenting

It is an immense honor and privilege to serve as Carly Elizabeth’s guide, to be constantly aware and alert that my behavior with her and with the world is a compass that will light or darken her way for a lifetime. Loving her demands the very best I can be, in every way, every day. It demands that I pay keen attention to her intent, her feelings and her needs and respond clearly, without praise or punishment, to what she actually is this moment which will never be the same again. And it is not my words that she listens to; rather it is the tone of my voice, the look in my eyes, the playful, affectionate, safe torch we share, always encouraging her next new discovery and mine.

By our normal count, twelve cycles, the moon coming and going and before you know it Carly Elizabeth is one year young, twenty-one months really, conception being the true beginning, incarnate, and who knows beyond that. Does she care? Not for a second. She is too busy expanding her world, touching, exploring, standing, reaching and yes, now walking. Forget watching the telly or pawing the dumb-phone. Watching, holding, chasing – loving Carly is pure enchantment. The abstract world with its fears and worries so easily disappears.

We celebrate the day of birth but this is really an artificial demarcation. The exponential change that Carly Elizabeth is continues to move like a tsunami. Every moment of a new human being’s life is this movement of exploration, discovery, learning and unfolding capacity. We have all placed dominos in a row and watched as one tips over striking another and another, round and round. Imagine a near infinite row of dominos and another and another lined up like little soldiers. To this add more rows vertically stacking rows upon rows higher and higher to infinitely. Instead of falling over imagine each domino glowing as they are ‘touched’ by another. Zoom out ten times ten times ten and you have a newborn’s brain radiating like the norther lights with each new sensation. Notice how, with each shimmering light that ebbs and glows, new rows of dominos appearing, and then another and another. This has been going on in precious Carly Elizabeth every second of her sentient existence, a truly miraculous chain of events. Every day Z and I watch with wonder as Carly’s world expands and she with it.

Through interaction, intelligence grows in its ability to interact. We are designed to grow and be strengthened by every event, no matter how mundane or awesome. The flow of nature and seasons, people, extreme contrasts, apparent catastrophes, pleasantries—all are experiences of interaction to be enjoyed and opportunities for learning, leading to greater ability to interact.

With what is human intelligence designed to interact? With anything and everything possible. If there is anything intelligence cannot interact with, that intelligence is to that extent crippled. A fully developed intelligence is one designed to exchange energies with anything existing, without ever being overwhelmed. A mature intelligence should be able to interact on three levels that correspond to and arise from the three stages of biological growth. These levels are: first, the ability to interact with the living earth according to the principles and natural laws of this earth; second, the ability to interact with the earth according to the principles of creative logic developed in the mind-brain system; and third, the ability to interact with the processes and products of the mind-brain system itself, which means the thoughts and creations of our own mind. The minds of others, and the whole thought system underlying our reality. Any definition of intelligence that does not encompass these three categories of interaction is incomplete. Any development of intelligence that does not move through these three modalities falls short of the biological plan for intelligence and betrays nature’s 3-billion-year investment and trust.

Joseph Chilton Pearce – Magical Child

To fully grasp this brief paragraph is to understand the totality of Joe’s collected works. Carly, of course, is completely occupied with the first level, sensory, fine tuning her body as it moves and interacts with the physical world. The second level will begin snowballing in the coming months with unfolding of symbolic and metaphoric language and imagination. And the third? “

The ability to interact with the processes and products of the mind-brain system itself, which means the thoughts and creations of our own mind. The minds of others, and the whole thought system underlying our reality?” Well, this is a bit tricky. Our culture is too distracted to even contemplate this third level which, for Joe, is the real reason for the first two.

It is written that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. Another word for God is creation. One is a noun, the other a verb. Of course, Carly is a vast creative process, not a thing, and indeed she is creation incarnate. Actively entering into and participating in the creative process is this third level. Will Carly Elizabeth continue her tsunami development, ever expanding in all directions, never stopping, including the causal, reality forming power that lies under what we consider to be brain, mind and its content, consciousness? We’ll see.

But that is far, far away. Because each unfolding layer of development is the foundation for the next, our attention is on the present moment, enriching, expanding, playing and learning moment by precious moment sitting in a roasting pan half full of organic kidney beans. Most ‘articulated’ toys are driven by limited concepts. Once the concept is grasped the toy loses its enchantment. Instead, Carly reaches for the purse or briefcase carefully removing everything and then, well kinda, replacing everything. Rocks, sticks, water and leaves are her playmates and, of course, squirting water in her mouth with the hand held shower resting in the tub. And all of this play-learning-expansive growth is contained in the safety net we call bonding.

Each new experience is an exploration into the unknown and, as we all know, the unknown can be scary. I don’t think Carly Elizabeth has a concept for scary that she projects into the next moment and then must overcome. This safety to move again and again, play really, with and in the unknown is the most important gift we can provide our children. Standing firmly on this foundation the exponential tsunami we call childhood continues to open and expand infinitely.

As Joe often said, “Nature asks with each new generation, can we invest our energy and attention in exponential growth, creativity and wellbeing or do we need to defend ourselves from ourselves, again?”

What exactly Carly will make of this most precious gift we call being human is a mystery. All I know is that there has never been another miracle quite like her and never will again. Nurturing miracles is what I do these days and the more I do the deeper, brighter and more optimistic I become. Happy Birthday to us all! And for you dear Carly, another scoop of beans.

Michael Mendizza