You Are Beautiful Now

Wisdom from a wonderful lady (and her mom).

J.R. Blackwell

Don’t wait to be beautiful now.

I frequently have clients who think they are ugly. They believe that they protrude at strangle angles, that parts of themselves are too long, too big, too small.

I think that all my clients are beautiful. But I have the advantage of seeing you from outside. I get to see  the filmmaker, the mother, the scientist, the artist, the physician. I get to see you as the sun sees you, light on your face, and I think you are beautiful.

A few years ago, my mother was looking at old photos of herself and realized that she was beautiful in those pictures. At the time, she didn’t think she was beautiful, but looking back, she saw herself as a stranger might, and she realized she was beautiful.

“Don’t wait to realize you are beautiful,” she told me, “you are beautiful now.”

Those words are…

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Light a Candle

Sometimes, the greatest gift of hope can come in the simplest of acts.  I have used this site before. I cannot recommend it highly enough

Light a Candle.

Small kindnesses

Random acts of kindness

Greater or lesser, large or small, obvious or anonymous …all have value.

Even done for those who will never understand them.

Do them even if no one will ever thank you.

Do them because they need doing.

Do them because it’s the right thing to do.

Do it because it’s easy, or hard.

Do it because someone, somewhere will draw hope and strength from it …even if they never meet you.


An update, a story and a private invitation

Life keeps you on your toes.

The last couple of weeks has proven that …in spades. Between crises at work, financials etc. and a friend having a crisis that has brought me to tears, lets just say that I am not bored.

I am lucky, there are those in far worse circumstances.

Sometimes a bad situation needs a fresh perspective. Taking a minute, a deep breath, a good meal or simply standing and taking a walk away can be helpful to refocus and resolve the problem.

Sometimes its easier to admit to to yourself that you made a mistake and start over. That can be very liberating, and there are times for it.

Which is the right way to go? Ah, now that IS the question.

Ultimately, its up to you. However, gentle reader please take care not to make that decision lightly. Even when it is just you, your life and your heart at stake – you owe it to yourself to think it through carefully. If you find yourself in a part of your journey where your decision impacts a lover or a family then you must really consider.

I don’t make friends easily, my journey has visited the sting of betrayal and loss upon me more than once. I have been a shy & quiet introvert for much of my life.
Yet I have been privileged to make a bit of a change and I speak more, and have made more friends in recent years.

I am a scientist, yet a man of faith, cynical of people yet a fiercely loyal friend. I am a traditionalist, yet I embrace change and those who innovate. Life is change and growth, but I am a romantic, I believe in redemption and I like happy endings.

Again, this is why I chose Quonundrum as a pen name.


I would speak of two friends, barely aware of me, at different parts of their journeys yet facing the same sort of difficulty.

One is single – having come to the conclusion that she was with the wrong person she decided [with difficulty] to end an engagement. She feels that she has been emotionally manipulated for years. It hurt to walk away but now she feels that healing can begin. I am glad for her.

The other is married almost eleven years, with a good woman as his wife and two very young children. He loves his wife deeply. Yet she is reported to be unhappy in the relationship. While I know that my friend has tried to help her, and probably should have gotten into counseling years ago, she took up with another man. Now most people facing this sort of situation would have called it quits. Not so for my friend, for he loves her still. He wants her to stay, no matter what happened. He is a good man, who deeply and fiercely loves his wife. He would storm the gates of Hell itself and remake his world to win back her heart.

Yet she wont talk to him, she texts him – even in their own house. She loves their children and she believes him to be a good father to them. But she feels that he manipulates her.

The other man separated from his wife of over ten years [they have no children] in order to travel a great distance to rest near to my friend’s home. Worse, it is a man my friend helped and supported years before that. My friend gave this man a place to live and helped him get onto his feet after a crisis. This man is very secretive, and yet made no secret of the fact that his motives are very self-serving. He is, in my estimation, a snake of the worst kind. This estimation is shared by those who know the and the players situation far better than I do – including mutual friends who know them all, including family. Yet for all of that, I believe that there is a better destiny for that man – one that will bring him fulfillment and help a great number of people … and not demolish a family.

But if that is true, where does that leave the family & the wife? Doesn’t she deserve happiness too? Must she be left in a marriage that is seeming to stifle her? What of her decision?

Life isn’t made of questions with simple answers. The important questions, the ones that matter, take a bit of careful thought.


I want to take a minute to speak to my friend’s wife; a person who has no earthly experience with me nor any reason to heed my words and likely may never read this.

I will use no names, I will not cause anyone to lose face. Yet I will speak my mind and they players will know to whom I speak.

We may never meet, but I would like to be your friend too.

Why? Because I think that you could use a friend. A friend who has an opinion, but not an agenda, who will listen and not judge.

Again, I don’t make friends easily, I don’t give that level of trust easily. I have been burned before – more times than I can count.

When you come to a cross-road, the ultimate decision as to which way to go is yours. It has to be. Please decide for yourself, if you listen to nothing else I have to say, don’t let ANYONE choose for you. Not family, not friends, not your new lover, for Heaven’s sake definitely not meyou.

Its easy to pitch everything familiar aside and go off and do something else. Truthfully, sometimes it is how it seems that it must be.

Yet, I am pleading with you, I think that you have blocked the fact that the life you want to pitch …is changeable. My friend pledged his heart and spirit to you and that has never, nor will it, change. He would change the world to fit your happiness. He would change himself to be the man you deserve.

He is a good man. I would not waste my time and yours if I thought otherwise.

You told him you were unhappy, more than once. You asked if you should seek counseling. You should have. Were I aware of the situation at the time, I would have WALKED the 1,500 plus miles to your home and slapped my friend upside the head and marched you both to a good therapist.

Right afterward, I would have collapsed into a heap – 1,500 miles being the distance it is to walk.

Ok, my friend was blind and slow witted. A man can be, and often is, a dullard and a simpleton at times – its in the handbook, see pages 473 through 974 [inclusive].

That said, a man listens and learns.

That man loves YOU. Loves the children you two brought into the world …together.

I have been around for longer than either of you. I have been married to the same person nearly twice as long. I am very fortunate that I won the love of a wonderful lady that would marry me again – over twenty [20] years later. We have held up this long because we talk.

Have I ever been tempted? Sure.
Have I ever? No.
Take that to the bank.

Its been my experience that there are two sides to each story, with my kids; I listen to both and try to come to the truth – which is usually somewhere in the middle.

I will listen to you. I will hear you out.

Still, I have an opinion. I will reserve reaching a conclusion until I have heard you out.

In the meantime, I offer this bit of thought.

You all came from very regimented [or constrained] upbringings. You married early, to a very good man. Now, over a decade later you have began to feel as though you are still constrained, you have been unhappy, but now reach critical mass – and go off to seek out the bad boy. He separates from his wife of over a decade to be with you. You won’t talk to your husband. You text him, even when he is in the same house. You tell him that he wouldn’t understand, that it is too late. You make the mistake of misunderstanding his passive and indulgent natue as ambivalence or apathy.

You gave up. He hasn’t. He still loves you.

He desperately wants to make you stop & turn around. He gave you his spirit and a piece of his soul. If you go, that part of him goes with you, but he won’t take away your free will.

Despite what you believe is a closed door, your husband wants you to stay and grow and will embrace change – even extreme change – for your happiness.

In case you didn’t get that, its love and strength and devotion that is extraordinarily rare.

On the other hand…

This lover listens to you, tells you what you want to hear, is shaping you into someone different than you were. Perhaps this is with your conscious consent.

You have no problem flying in the face of convention, yet there is a dark facet to this lover that EVERYONE else sees.

If he played his wife and left her a decade later, how long will it take before he does the same to you?

I hope that you stop, think and choose wisely. Do not confuse the flush of the
moment with where your heart truly leads you.

I hope to meet you one day. I truly hope it is with with your husband and kids, that you are smiling a warm heartfelt smile. If you aren’t, higher belt or not – I will stomp his sorry arse into the deck and march the lot of you off to find a better therapist.

Hopefully not one 1,500 miles away – my legs are getting tired and I don’t want to carry the big dummy all that way.

If you choose otherwise, I hope that you choose a better man.

My door will be open if you want to talk. I promise to listen.

Take care of yourself & safe journey.