Nice

FeaturedNice

Two years ago, St. Augustine, Florida. I’m at a gas station, after having spent some time helping a distraught woman with directions to where she needed to go. She can’t figure out her car’s navigation system. No smart phone. The last person she asked had just confused her more. We figure out her destination. Turns out she had over-shot her exit by thirty minutes. She writes down the steps on paper as we go through it on Google maps, me calming her, talking her off the ledge as we go. She’s terribly relieved.

Her: “Thank you! Thank you so much! You’re so kind. So nice….” She examines my face. “You must be a Christian.”
Me, reflexively: “Oh God, no.”
She’s confounded, disappointed.
Me, hopeful: “I can still be nice, can’t I?”

*****

Enjoy My Kingdom, my latest collection of poems, short stories, & short plays for stage & screen, now available in paperback and Kindle editions.

 

2018 QCFA Self-Made American Award presented to Dr. Leonard Peikoff

Featured2018 QCFA Self-Made American Award presented to Dr. Leonard Peikoff


We recently had the great pleasure and honor to present Dr. Leonard Peikoff with the 2018 QCFA Self-Made American Award. In justice, Dr. Peikoff has earned this and so much more. The text accompanying the award, first announced at the 2019 OCON in Cleveland, follows:

The Self-Made American Award, presented by our gallery, Quent Cordair Fine Art, is awarded annually to an individual who has exhibited exemplary independence, self-responsibility, perseverance, and courage in working to achieve personal and professional ambitions, building a good life, a better life, for himself, as left free to do under the protections provided by the U.S. Constitution.

The term “self-made man” usually denotes an individual who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps and made his way in life by his own hard work, having created his own material success and wealth. Indeed, the first two recipients of this award are exemplary businessmen and entrepreneurs. But as man is a being of self-made wealth and self-made soul, he is also, and even more importantly, a being of self-made mind. This year’s recipient is a man of the mind.

In her introduction to The Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand makes reference, metaphorically, to bridges, identifying Aquinas as an example, as having bridged Aristotle and the Renaissance, and herself as a bridge between the esthetic and cultural heights of the nineteenth century and anyone today willing to take up the cause of pursuing the ideal, the good, the rational, the right, the world as it could be and should be.

We are deeply indebted to those long, high bridges that span the millennia and centuries, but there are critical bridges across the narrower gaps and chasms too, across the intervening decades and years, bridges that can be no less crucial for those attempting to make their way through a wilderness of irrationality. Our award tonight goes to a man who has provided a bridge between Ayn Rand and the generations following, including a generation of which I am one. The man is an exceptional teacher, a splendid original thinker and communicator in his own right, and moreover, a stellar example of what an ambitious intellectual who is not Ayn Rand can be, what he can accomplish and achieve over a lifetime, when he sets his mind to it. There’s no doubt in my mind that Ayn Rand would be as proud of her student today as she was the day she wrote, in her introduction to The Ominous Parallels, “It is so wonderful to see a great, new, crucial achievement which is not mine” — to which I will add, “It is so wonderful to have seen, in my lifetime, a man who has built, sculpted, and shaped his mind and character in such a way that he has been able to accomplish all he has, in the way he has.”

This evening, we recognize the man not only for what he’s done and continues to do, but for providing the vision of what a man of the mind could be, should be, and is. We salute him for what he’s made himself to be.

In recognition and appreciation, the recipient of the 2018 QCFA Self-Made American Award is Dr. Leonard Peikoff.

*****

Featured

And Again the Angels

And again they called to heaven
When around them rose a hell;
Again the angels came from earth
In answer to the bell.
While flesh and blood fought smoke and flame
And kept the black line manned,
The thanks went to the god by whose
Own breath the fires were fanned.

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“And Again the Angels” ~ Quent Cordair, My Kingdom, 2019

“Firefighter Rick Blakemore protects a structure along Highway 128, south of Pine Flat Road, northeast of Healdsburg, on Sunday, October 27, 2019.” (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat) 

Featured

Salute to Hongkongers

Friends, please feel free to share the above image widely, particularly with any and all who may have Hong Kong connections. May the photograph and the words help strengthen the resolve of those willing to stand for their freedom, for their lives, against the march of tyranny.

Award-winning photograph by P H Yang, used with permission.

#HongKong #Hongkonger #Freedom #Individualism #FreedomHK #rights #FreeHongKong
#NoChinaExtradition #hongkongprotests #StandWithHongKong

My favorite “illegal-immigrant” story is FREE today ~

My favorite “illegal-immigrant” story is FREE today ~

A fan favorite, and certainly one of mine, “The Seduction of Santi Banesh”  is free to download today through Monday midnight Pacific (10/21/2019).

Santi’s story: “While traveling to America with her family for the first time, the daughter of a third-world diplomat makes a life-altering decision during a layover in San Francisco.” From the reviews: “… a delicious pleasure to read … a joyous journey of discovery … The ending is one of the most perfect I’ve ever encountered, summing up the benevolence of the whole experience with its simplicity and inevitability.”

“The Seduction of Santi Banesh” was first published in the 1994 summer issue of the Atlantean Press Review. The Kindle edition of the story is FREE TODAY through Monday midnight for U.S. readers. To download your complimentary copy, visit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006596U8G . Thanks for everyone’s generous reviews — they’re greatly appreciated.

Enjoy!

~ Quent Cordair

p.s. Say ‘hi’ to Santi’s little brother for me. Love that kid.

Castle Walls

FeaturedCastle Walls

 

Castle Walls

Peace, peace, but not a moment to be found,

No closet or armoire is free from the sound,

For now your enemies live here in your head—

Sitting at your table—

Waiting in your bed—

And who is to blame for their being inside?

What use, castle walls,

When the gate’s open wide?

~ Quent Cordair

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“Castle Walls” is from the My Kingdom collection of poems, short stories, & short plays for stage & screen, now available in paperback and Kindle editions.