In Africa every morning a gazelle awakens knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning a lion wakes up knowing that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It makes no difference whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you had better start running. - African Proverb
...in memory of us
by Bus Howard
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Two of my favorite musicians, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Sun Ra, inspired me to create in words, what my ears experienced. I have never forgotten some of the acts that they put together to deliver their know-how. Aside from the incredible music they played, they created a climate of multi-sensory images that seemed to flow as one. In that regard, over the years, I have used some of these stories as performance art pieces. I blend live music, mostly the blues, and projected images to add a visual to the spoken word. My intent is to create (one day) as close as possible, an atmosphere of an “Old time Medicine Show”…complete with a barker shilling some potion that cures ills, grows hair, improves credit and renews good relations with in-laws. In this atmosphere, these stories are woven with a sound of music that is familiar to all. This is my attempt to bridge traditional African storytelling to American telling of tales.
I began writing these short stories in response to an article I read about one of my favorite writers, Alice Walker. She said that she wrote what she would like to read. I thought that that was a challenge. As a performer I use that same logic, I challenge myself to perform what I would like to see. Octavia Butler, helped me understand that science-fiction doesn’t have to be relegated to just outer space and space travel. I had to ask myself what type of stories I would find interesting. Did I possess the chops necessary to deliver that kind of interest?
As a Baby Boomer, I grew up with the television shows of, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and One Step Beyond. The stories told made me wonder…What If? My interest in quantum physics and meta-physics inspired many of the stories I have written. Out of ordinary situations something extraordinary happens and how will the characters react. In those moments of déjà vu, moments when time appears to stand still or warp, what exactly has occurred? I pray that the reader finds some story here that stretches their imagination in the same way. Who knows, maybe one day that person on the other side of the mirror will wink at you.
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