“We are such stuff as dreams are made on
And our little lives are rounded with a sleep.”
Eric Soares was a great dreamer. That is why he accomplished so much. Eric and his great friend Jim Kakuk spent hours daydreaming about life and coming up with ideas and plans for the future. Their relationship was all about freedom, equality and opportunity, and it allowed them and their visions to flourish. They formed the Tsunami Ranger kayak team and went on adventures. In fact, Eric often used the time spent during one adventure to brainstorm with his teammates and form plans for the next. One of Eric’s favorite lines was “What’s next for the Tsunami Rangers?”
Eric once told me that many if not most of his ideas never came to fruition, but instead of a failure, he saw that as an inevitable result of the sheer number of ideas he had. His best ideas did manifest, such as the forming of the Tsunami Rangers, the inception of the Sea Gypsy Race, the Tsunami Ranger retreats, the many videos and articles he produced, and his books. Another of the visions he brought to fruition was his website and blog post.
Since he moved to Ashland, Oregon in 2008, Eric spent less time surfing waves and more time surfing the Internet. But he started his blog, and he loved it. He spent hours talking about topics for posts and researching and writing, and he loved seeing who would comment and what kind of comments he’d receive. The blog allowed him to reach out to kayakers all over the world, and some amazing discussions came out of it, often but not always about kayaking. It was Eric’s dream that his blog would continue after his death.
This leads me to an interesting aspect of dreams. A dream can be bigger than the dreamer. The blog was Eric’s vision, not mine. It never occurred to me that I would have a role in it other than being a sounding board for Eric. But when it looked like no one wanted to take it on, I realized I didn’t want to see it go away. It meant so much to Eric. It is too big a project for me alone, but Eric and I always appreciated the value of a team. Much can be accomplished by a group where one would founder. That was the whole point of the Tsunami Rangers – to allow individuals to safely kayak together in rocks and caves where it would be foolhardy (and boring) to go alone. So I asked the Tsunami Rangers to help me with the blog, and Eric’s brother John offered to teach me to run the site. Now together we will continue this interesting and valuable contribution to the kayaking community. The blog will be another team effort, this time online. Eric’s vision has now involved all of us who will participate, creating new relationships, new challenges, and new adventures. Once again, Eric is bringing people together.
Needless to say, the blog will become less focused on Eric and more focused on the Tsunami Rangers as a group and on kayaking in general. Each of the Rangers has a unique perspective. They are all strong, intelligent and capable kayakers. And some of them can really write! Eric attracted the best. We are also thinking of soliciting suggestions from readers and passing them on to the Ranger who can best address the issue at hand. We may ask for people to send in questions that could spark new articles and discussions. We will intersperse our posts with pieces Eric had already written. The good news is that Eric left us many stories, poems, unpublished articles, and other writings which he would have liked to have shared. All we ask is that people keep reading and participating.
I’d like to say a few more words about dreams. We need time and freedom to daydream. How can we create that space in our lives? I remember sitting around the breakfast table with Eric and my son Nick discussing our dreams of the night before. Who can we share our visions with? I remember a year or two before Eric and I moved in to our house on Harbor Drive across from Pillar Point Harbor I had a dream in which I was floating about 20 feet above the ocean on a dark night about a mile and a half out to sea. I was looking back at the land and the lights of a small town were sparkling against the low hills. I was dancing to the Boz Scaggs song “Harbor Lights” and I was supremely happy. Can we have faith that our dreams will lead us to our bliss? I have had many dreams of Eric since he died, and two waking visions. Dreams guide us, comfort us, and exhort us. Dreams can be prophetic. What can we learn from them? All great adventures begin with a dream, a daydream, or a vision of one kind or another.
Eric would be the first to encourage us to follow our dreams. What’s your kayaking dream? Share it with us below.