Is that sweat on your cheeks?

While in the south of France a month ago, Tina and I sat down on a park bench overlooking a vista. The view was a landscape that seemed to end in the Palace of Popes situated in the walled city of Avignon.

We sat quietly for about 3 or 4 minutes. I looked over at Tina and noticed a water droplet on her cheek near her jawline. “Are you sweating?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said sarcastically.

We laughed. The view had taken her. And she couldn’t help but let it move her.

Above is a still I pulled from a phone video I took.

Between the two of us, it seems that one of us is more frequently moved to sweaty cheek syndrome. We are two emotionally connected people, internally and externally. And when something with substance moves us, we don’t hold back.

There are any number of impetuses for sweaty cheeks. Both silly and not.

For instance this video (below), as soon as the woman tentatively steps onto the dance party decal and sees the impending dance party professionals approaching, my cheeks start sweating.

Sometimes I sit and watch our oldest dog, Talulah. She’s been at my side or around me for 11 years. I watch her slow down. Her fur is graying. She can’t hear me approach her to cuddle her. But when I do, she seems to love it more than anything in the world. I stare at her and my cheeks sweat.

Or watching Ted Lasso and his radar-laser focus on helping others. It gets me every time.

I read this Jason Kottke post this morning about Ted Lasso and his curious idiot syndrome, and it moved me to tears.

Kottke posted a portion of an interview with the Ted Lasso team. Jason Sudeikis talked about the approach to the antithesis of the stereotypical man, who is arrogant and un-intouch with his emotional side. He said:

What if you played an ignorant guy who was actually curious? When someone used a big word like “vernacular,” he didn’t act like he knew it, but just stops the meeting like, “Question, what does that mean?”

Kottke then pointed out that author/artist/blogger Austin Kleon responded with this:

That last point might be the most important: care is a form of attention, and unlike talent or expertise, it can be willed into being at any time.

If you care more than everybody else, you pay better attention, and you see things that others don’t see. To ask the questions that need to be asked, you have to care more than others about what happens, but care less about what others might think of you in the moment.

Care in the form of attention.

Wow.

Sweaty cheeks.

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