I was going through a little rough patch emotionally. My friend and I were enumerating all our blessings, so that we would remember and so that I could keep my own little troubles in context. We covered the usual and the most obvious blessings: access to drinkable water all the time, everywhere. Food and shelter. All the amenities of white privilege in modern day America.

And then my friend said, “Connection. We’re connected. We have people who know us well, who care about us, whom we can turn to when we’re in trouble. That may be the biggest blessing of all.”

I remembered how, the previous night, two friends and I had seen the new Linda Ronstadt documentary at a Portland cinema, and afterward I gave a guy a dollar outside the theater. He asked me what movie I’d just seen and I told him, and then he wanted to talk about Linda Ronstadt. He started naming songs, and he wanted to sing them with me, and we sang a few snatches of song together. My friends were walking away without me up the sidewalk and this man just wanted to hang on to my company as long as he could, sharing old Linda Ronstadt hits. He was so hungry for connection.