A Love Letter to Tangible Things.

Amanda Eagleson
5 min readSep 16, 2020
A stack of letters bound with string. One letter open with a photo under it.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood

Everything is grey.

The wildfires in Oregon and California have formed a fog of smoke that sits over a city resigned to its existence.

It’s easy to be resigned to our failures.

I sat on the beach with an old co-worker on Sunday. We got stoned and stared out at the ocean. The horizon hidden behind a dull veil.

In January this same beach hosted the 2020 Polar Bear Swim. Everyone decked out in speakeasy swimwear.

A mass of people pressed together in bizarre ritual.

Three months later I would be grabbing one last box of donuts from Cartems on my last day of work at the office.

Not long after this, I would be laid off.

I started a Covid diary. Sloppy sketches, random thoughts, a daily record.

It seemed important. To have something that could be held. Pages tracking days, artistic ‘progression’, failures, frustrations, worries. I don’t keep it daily anymore (I’ve gained two part-time jobs and an exhaustive list of responsibilities since then), but I do still keep it.

six photos of a drawing journal done collage style

It’s just more a monthly thing.

I have seen a holy writ defined as “a writing or utterance having unquestionable authority” but also as “the sacred writings of any religion”. The former is the more technically accurate definition. The latter is what we need.

In March I bought the book Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi. I took a John Hopkins course on Epidemiology. I bought notebooks for all the classes I anticipated taking.

In April I contacted a man I used to work with at the airport. He has OCD. I imagined this all must uniquely stressful for him. I was reminded there is value in simple sincere gestures.

“How are you? Are you Ok?”

In May I messaged a friend in Minneapolis. Checked in on the state of the city. The curfew. How she was.

“There’s good happening here and I don’t see it on tv. People opened their homes to protestors caught out during curfew. I didn’t see…

Amanda Eagleson

Poet, Writer at Optimistic Learner and Digital Economy Forum. Board member at Vancouver Poetry House. www.optimisticlearner.com