June 14, 2011

Making Sense(ing) of it all.

I am an ISFJ.

If you know what that means, then you already know by putting myself into one of  the16 MBTI boxes, I like the orderly consistent behaviors that the MBTI indicators type. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

One of the big battles I have is with the "S" in me. People are typically an "S-Sensing" or an "N-Intuition"(or maybe somewhere in the middle. See I AM trying!) To determine if you are an "S" or an "N" one question that helps is "Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?" Or if you are like someone I know once said, "Do you like poetry or not?"

I don't.  

I wish, wish, wish I did.  I try to.  But I just don't get it.  It isn't literal enough.  What if what I interpret is "wrong"?  My friends would argue that that isn't the point; that you are meant to take what you can out of poetry.  I say, tell that to my English Teacher that still had to grade our papers. 

In any case, I decided to try to "get" poetry and Isabella & I have been reading some of the poetry books that  her Gigi has given her over the years.  I figure maybe a now 4-year old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY IZZY!!!) can help me interpret poems from her eyes. Heck, it seemed to help her process Simon's broken arm when the night it happened she recited Humpty-Dumpty and Ring-around-the-Rosie!

And in a different way to help me understand poems, I started to read the Psalms.  I always steered clear of them.  They seemed so antiquated, overly happy with their harps and trumpets and singing; or morbid with their enemies and dust to dust; and sometimes both! The Pslams just seem so OUT there.  Like "look at me! the Lord is SO MAJESTIC!" I didn't get them. I think one profile of mine described me as having a "distrust of the fanciful" and Psalms just seemed too fancy.  I mean, even the world Psalm with the silent "P" thing is too fancy.  Words should be written as they sound.  ISFJs do SO well in Spanish!
But,at the same time, I don't think it is right just to dismiss something entirely because I don't get it.  So I have been trying to at least read the Psalms.  I may not understand or interpret them, but I will try.  

This week, I came across this Psalm and decided to give it a whirl.  I read it.  And then let it sit. 

Here it is:
Psalm 8
O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
And then something came out of it.  I recalled it when I saw a youtube post on facebook, and then when I started writing more and more meaning came out of it.  Here is the youtube post:

I don't know about you, but when I see this, when I listen to this little girl talk about potatos, when I listen to Isabella process her brother's broken bones, I am moved to try to put understanding around poetry, around the Psalms around my life, around my choices.  Even if those choices are as simple as reading a poem over a Disney book or picking an organic sweet potato over a seemingly similar looking non-organic one.

Maybe this will help me get out of my ISFJ box and put me somewhere in the middle.

Do you know your type?  Do you care?  What about poetry....do you read it, write it, love it, hate it, strive to understand it? What about this Psalm?  What does it say to you? Inquiring ISFJs want to know!


Sarah Baker said...

INFP. And I love poetry. Because it lets me feel the areas of grey for which we don't yet have clear words.

Curt said...

Still an INTJ... the interesting out of the boxing for me is that I have learned to surround myself with SP's to help me function better. They keep me from intuiting myself into a hole of my own making, and keep me from closing off options before I have given a decent shot at everything else.

I LOVE the way you describe Izzy's use of poetry, and how you let it in to you as well. Sure, I love poetry; it works for me when other stuff just doesn't. And, well, did I ever tell you that I used Psalm 8 as the structure for my ordination paper? Funnier yet, it is the lection for this Sunday, so combining it with the "some doubted" at the Ascension, you wind up with a title of "Doubt and Awe..."

And for me, this week, watching the power of your kids in yours and their daddy's lives, and seeing the awe in Brian as he takes on the same awe-filled task David does (with similar gifts and patience and life view!)... I am looking forward to a Father's Day banquet on Sunday!

Thanks for sharing this really neat window on your world...