Keith Anthony Sanford

Artist, Father, Life Editor, Real Piece Of Work.

Month: May 2015

Rope-A-Dope

I know from experience that life hurts when you’re growing and we all have, from time to time, experienced growing pains. I also know that some people refuse to grow and as a result, they feel nothing and the only thing worse than feeling pain is feeling nothing at all. At least with pain you know you’re alive.

Good for me, God speaks to me in a way I can relate. The heavens don’t open and a big voice doesn’t speak directly to me like in the movie “The Ten Commandments”. Instead, He drops a small thought for me to nibble on as I go about my day. Some people call this intuition, some call it gut instinct. Whatever you call it, every once in a while I get the smallest morsel in which to digest and it renews my appetite for growth every single time.

I was on Youtube this morning and I saw something that reminded me of Muhammad Ali and one of his most effective modes of defense: the “Rope-a Dope”.

The key to  this maneuver was to stand in a posture with your guard up that protected your vital areas while your opponent wore himself out attempting unsuccessfully to break your will. He even dared his opponent to break him, talking to him as the opponent gave him everything he had.  Ali knew his opponent would eventually run out of steam, but in order for this to work, the most important thing he had to do was efficiently and effectively protect himself on the ropes, move his head and rock side to side to lessen the impact of the attack.

LESSON OF THE DAY: If your posture’s not right and your guard is weak and you don’t keep moving, your opponent will most assuredly beat you up.

Tired of getting beat up by your circumstances? Consider your posture.

The “Uniter”?

I am glad to be back contributing to my blog. It’s been a while since I’ve even written anything. I suffered the loss of my only remaining sibling and I have to admit, there’s something missing. I’m not even sure if I was aware of how much my sister Saundra meant to my creative process. We would speak a few times each week and not really about what I was working on, but more about her art and writing. Saundra  was a creative person who lived to express herself. She often drew and painted and wrote poetry. She is the reason I went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I was always wanting to be like my big sister. We were nine years apart, but because we lost our Mother so young(I was 15, she was 24) she just kinda became more of a parental figure than just an older sibling.

I am the youngest of five children. There was Mary Katherine, my eldest sister, Charles Edward, my eldest brother, William my other brother and Saundra Renee, aka
“Nay Nay”. Technically, my brother William is still alive, but he’s been estranged from the family since the 80’s. I’m not really sure why and because I never really knew him, I don’t really care. Family has always been about who decided to be there for you, so as a result, I have an abundance of “brothers and sisters” who share no DNA with me, but love me and I love them.

I would always say in defense of being a “family” person that “biology is overrated”. It doesn’t take common blood for a person to be there for you. It’s really about a choice. My dilemma now, though, is the fact that Nay Nay was the “family” person. She stayed in touch with cousins I’ve never met and did things with our family without me. She knew the importance of keeping in touch and she accepted from me the notion that it didn’t exactly matter to me. That is probably a direct result of my suffering so much loss in my life. My Mom, my older siblings and finally my father passing lead to an even greater withdrawal from “my people”. I think subconsciously it seemed like everyone that was important to me was being taken, so my defense mechanism was the distance I safely kept between me and those related to me outside of my children and my sister’s children. Now I’m in the position of being the “uniter” between my nieces, nephew and sons and the vast landscape of blood relatives that I’ve all but ignored my entire life. I have, by way of my sister’s passing, become the catalyst to stifle the random diaspora of Sanfords related to me. I have to bring us all back to the table and encourage the continuation of our conversation of getting to know each other. I’m not sure I have it in me, but for Nay Nay, I’ll give it my best.

Pray my strength…