In Memorium Eric Soares August 1, 1954 – February 1, 2012

by Nancy Soares on February 1, 2016

Editor’s note: Thanks to my son Nick for this segment of Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. At this point in the poem, Ulysses (the speaker) is walking to the port, soon to depart. Here he begins his final thoughts before departure as a sort of swan song essentially rounding off his reasoning for leaving again after so many years lost wandering the Mediterranean World.

Neptune

Neptune

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

We miss you, Eric. And we love you still. 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Lloyd February 1, 2016 at 9:48 am

The day I first met Eric (accompanied by a small contingent from his band of plucky brothers), first impressions would became the indelible image that would stick whenever the mention of his name came up again: a rascally, yet all-wise waterperson with a spirit as wide as the ocean and a grin to match all grins. A professor of serious dedication to fun and adventure on and sometimes, in the water. An inspiration to me and many; a nightmare to my loved ones. Few understood the cautionary component Eric strived to convey. Nor the aliveness he invigorated, even now that he has passed.

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Micaila February 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm

I love this comment!

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Nancy Soares February 3, 2016 at 9:29 am

Me too!

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Nancy Soares February 3, 2016 at 9:28 am

Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your memories, Doug. I cried when I read it but in a good way 🙂 Rascally, yes. That grin… But you’re right about his spirit – it was so inclusive. He had so much generosity and enthusiasm for life. I try very hard to be like him in that way. It’s not particularly natural to me – I was raised by a critical judgmental parent and the tendency to judge and criticize is powerful. If I can embody even a little of his broad acceptance of people I’ll be happy.

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Steven King February 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm

I love that comment as well, captured so well the core of his essence.
I hugged his and Misha spirit tree above the redwoods in Purissima Canyon with Don Miguel yesterday, a weekly ritual whenever possible. It is after 1 hour hike up the Canyon, Don Diego is there on the hike, in the trees, in stream as it gurgles through the forest. Upon returning home the wind was howling and the sea was churning as I have not seen in many months, in the sea and the waves I saw and felt Don Diego spirit and it lifted my spirit. The power of the Ocean is the trumpet of his ethos and he did inspire and revive in me a primordial hunger for the connection with the water planet. I remain forever grateful to have been on the the path and waves with him. So few people live life with such passion and humor. I pirate his haaa, he, he, haaaaaaaa yodel on many occasions, especially when I am in the zone, feeling light and playful!

Thank you Don Diego Cien Fuegos, we continue to paddle in your wake or down the front of the wave or crash up and through it, in a decisive moment to crash and burn or drop over the top and land with a joyous thud! We love you Don Diego!!!!

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Nancy Soares February 3, 2016 at 9:31 am

Hi Steve! It’s so great hearing about you and Don Miguel and the spirit tree. Some day you’ll have to take me there. Love to you and the family. Thanks for your comment.

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Andapo February 3, 2016 at 3:07 am

Lovely poem… I like his spirit in going sailing again, though he may die but there is the chance of seeing new places, even if he is old, he still has the adventurous spirit… nice.

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Nancy Soares February 3, 2016 at 9:53 am

Hello, Andapo! Good to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the poem. I think it’s especially apt because like Ulysses, Eric was both a trickster and a warrior. I love the spirit exemplified in the poem – we grow old but the adventurous spirit doesn’t have to die. “Tho’ much is taken, much abides”… Thank you for your comment.

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Moulton Avery February 5, 2016 at 9:12 am

In his relationship with the sea, Eric embodied the finest qualities of a Waterman – a warrior’s spirit tempered by awe, respect, and humility in the face of Mother Nature’s power.

The Tsunami Rangers are well known for their daring exploits on the ocean. Fewer people are aware of their tenacious commitment to safety and the innovative contributions that Eric made to that side of sea kayaking. I’m reminded of it every time I share a gem like the Sea Conditions Rating System with a fellow paddler.

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Nancy Soares February 5, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Hi Moulton! Thanks for bringing up the SCRS http://tsunamirangers.com/articles/sea-conditions-kayaking-difficulty-rating-system/ one of his accomplishments of which Eric was most proud. You are absolutely right – all those years, all those boats, all those adventures and yet no one was harmed (too much) in the process apart from some superficial lumps and bumps. The reason of course is what you mention – all of the Rangers have a healthy respect for the ocean and a powerful desire not to die. Consequently they observe, brainstorm, discuss, and plan before they ever embark so that when they do launch they are damn well prepared. And they are all really good swimmers!

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JB Michaels July 26, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Eric was an amazing man full of such energy, vitality and such a craftman. When I lived near him I would go down and visit and hear great tales and dreams of what he still wanted to do. Part of you will always be in the sea and the passion you had lives on.

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Nancy Soares July 26, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Hi J.B.

Thank you so much for commenting. It’s always good to hear from people who knew Eric and appreciated him. The passion he had definitely lives on in the lives of all those he touched.

Thanks again,
Nancy

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