James Cameron Reaches the Mariana Trench — Now, What Can the Rest of Us Learn from His Adventure?

So, one week after our post on ocean explorer Mike Degruy, I learn that Hollywood director James Cameron’s dive to the deepest point in the ocean, the Mariana Trench, was successful.

That’s right.  James Cameron just reached seven miles to the very bottom of the ocean.

He went alone, in his sub called the Deepsea Challenger.

I like to think that Degruy, wherever he is, was right in that cabin with Cameron and sat there with him and watched out the windows as…whatever it was swam by.

Sound sentimental?  Maybe.  Especially for a guy who doesn’t know either Cameron or Degruy.

But I know about dreams.  And maybe that’s enough to buy me entrance into the cheesy, waxing-philosophic-about-others’-adventures club.

Whatever your opinions about James Cameron, his movies, like Avatar and Titanic, or his dive to the Mariana Trench, you have to be more than a little impressed with his latest feat.  I remember reading some articles about this before the descent to the Trench, and a lot of people were pretty down on the man and his mission, saying that all he did was pay for the engineering crew so he could take the glory for the Mariana mission for himself.  That this was an ego play.

I’m not an expert on such things, but I don’t know about that.  Great discoveries usually have a face to the world.  A pocketbook.  Or, some ego behind them.  Just because Cameron is controversial, does not make him unworthy of some praise for his latest efforts.

Anyway, as my regular readers know, I am a fan of ocean exploration and documentaries on the sea.  I admire the work of men and women like Degruy and channels such as Animal Planet and Discovery that bring us incredible images of ocean exploration that are larger than life.  Perhaps Cameron’s journeys will grace my TV screen someday soon even if The Abyss and Titanic won’t.

I think the point is that knowledge, truth, adventure, and exploration, in the end, have less to do with money, fame, fortune, and ego than they do with the ability to have a fascinating experience, see something new, or share in the joy of discovery.

There I go getting all sentimental again.

But you know?  As a man passionate about writing and creating with words, I like sitting around with other creative folks and talking about…well…creativity.  The creative process.  New work.  New passion.  We can get to such heights, much like Cameron’s depths, doing nothing more than sharing tea and ideas.  There is something powerful in that, and the group is richer for it when we disperse into the night and the real world.

No matter your opinion on the man himself, take some time to follow the story of James Cameron’s dive to the Mariana Trench.  Worry less about funding and ego and get involved in knowledge and new discoveries.

Maybe that’s what makes a feat memorable — not the box office take or a critic’s reviews.

Here’s to the journey….

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