Last Spring, my husband John and I participated in a weekend event called Episcopal Marriage Encounter. Since then, we have joined a Spirals monthly dinner and discussion group which has strengthened our Marriage Encounter experience.
What is Marriage Encounter?
“Marriage Encounter began in Spain in the 1960’s as a program to enable couples with basically good marriages to enrich the quality of their lives together. … The success of Marriage Encounter led to the formation of the Episcopal expression in 1971 and since then EME and other faith expressions have expanded worldwide. Since its inception, over 3 million couples in 45 countries have attended a Marriage Encounter Weekend. … The purpose of the Weekend is for a husband and wife to develop a better knowledge, understanding and acceptance of each other through the use of a communication technique which is taught on the Weekend.”
At most Spirals evenings, there is a dinner, group sharing and discussion, plus time for each of the six or more couples to use ME’s communication technique to share their thoughts more privately. This month, our Spirals group did something different. Vance and Cynthia brought a small book containing a short story written just after the turn of the last century called The Diaries of Adam & Eve, Translated by Mark Twain. Vance and Cynthia had thought to read just a part but we started passing the book around the group to read it aloud. We found it so funny and endearing that we ended up reading the whole story instead of following the planned program.
Here is a little bit from early in Adam’s diary:
“MONDAY.–The new creature says its name is Eve. That is all right, I have no objections. Says it is to call it by, when I want it to come. I said it was superfluous, then. The word evidently raised me in its respect; and indeed it is a large, good word and will bear repetition. It says it is not an It, it is a She. This is probably doubtful; yet it is all one to me; what she is were nothing to me if she would but go by herself and not talk.”
And from Eve’s:
“MONDAY.–This morning I told him my name, hoping it would interest him. But he did not care for it. It is strange. If he should tell me his name, I would care. I think it would be pleasanter in my ears than any other sound.
He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not bright, and is sensitive about it and wishes to conceal it. It is such a pity that he should feel so, for brightness is nothing; it is in the heart that the values lie. I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches, and riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.
Although he talks so little, he has quite a considerable vocabulary. This morning he used a surprisingly good word. He evidently recognized, himself, that it was a good one, for he worked in in twice afterward, casually. It was good casual art, still it showed that he possesses a certain quality of perception. Without a doubt that seed can be made to grow, if cultivated.”
Photos Copyright 2008 by Katy Dickinson