How incredible an experience it must have been for James Cameron to descend [solo ]into the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a place where no human has ever been. [Correction: two men, Piccard and Walsh as part of the Challenger Deep Mission made it in a bathysphere in 1960.] The Trench is the lowest spot on the surface of the earth, over seven miles below the surface of the Pacific, just East of Guam. At the bottom of the Trench, Cameron's underwater vehicle experienced over 8 tons psi of pressure on its surface. All went well and Cameron saw and experienced a place--and probably feelings--that none of us will ever have in our lifetimes.
From another perspective, if Cameron had ventured up rather than down, his voyage would have been totally unremarkable--since airliners routinely ascend to this altitude on a daily basis. The difference, of course, is the "alien" environment of water and its weight which increases with depth, while air decreases in weight as one ascends.
In any case, thinking about being where no one has ever been before returned me very quickly to many childhood fantasies that I entertained as a youngster. I spent lots of time hiking through Kentucky woods, playing explorer, and amused myself by wondering if any human had ever seen what I was seeing exactly as I was seeing it at that moment, or if anyone had put a foot down exactly where my foot was planted. Surely, somewhere in my ramblings I must have been the first to touch a piece of ground or see a particular vista or tree or stream.
As a young man, being first was actually more important to me that the actual quality of the experience I was having. I wonder what was most important for Cameron. This world places such a high premium on being "first" that he may have been seduced by that motivation. Or it may have been fame, money, or as several observers noted, the self-aggrandizement of a "rich leftie" who didn't mind spending $50 million to toot his own horn.
As for me, right now I am satisfied with exploring mostly safe environments (art museums, the Botanic Gardens, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde, relationships, etc.) and letting others do the "deep diving" and "heavy lifting" off earth's surface. The only unsafe environment I enjoy exploring these days is the abyss of my "Unconscious" which I do each week with my Jungian therapist guide. My interior life, I find, is bottomless, and exploring it provides me with quite enough in the way of excitement and thrills to keep me more than satisfied... and in my place. And yes, for sure, I am the first to set foot in this particular wilderness.
A welcome to readers
As a resident of this planet for more than four fifths of a century, I have enjoyed both successes and disappointments in a wide variety of vocations, avocations, and life experiences. This blog satisfies my desire to share some thoughts and observations--trenchant and prosaic--with those who are searching for diversions which are interesting, poignant and occasionally funny. I also plan to share recommendations about good/great movies I've watched and books and articles which I've found particularly mind-opening, entertaining, instructive. In addition, I can't pass up the opportunity to reflect publicly on how I am experiencing the so-called Golden Years. Write anytime: