If you were given the chance to go back in time, would you?
When I first started Emmett’s bio, if I had been given the option of going back in time to meet Emmett, I’d jumped at the chance, without reservation.
But now, almost 20 months into the project, I’d say no.
Like the Time Traveller was curious about the Eloi in H.G. Wells’ book, The Time Machine, I’m curious about what Emmett’s life was like at the turn of the last century. Just seeing him ‘in action’ in the courtroom, or among his friends and family would be incredible from an information-gathering point of view.
Also, like the Time Traveller, I couldn’t remain a detached, uninvolved observer.
I know I’d want to interact with Emmett; but once Emmett dealt with his own version of the Morlocks (i.e. started drinking), I’d try to stop him.
I could see myself trying to talk him out of taking a drink, or, at least, to leave a copy of the Big Book and other AA literature on his desk so that he would get the message to stop drinking. Not only would that turn him off (and perhaps make him feel insulted), I’m sure my giving him AA literature would disrupt the time-space continuum somewhere, as the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous didn’t come out until 1939, 21 years after Emmett died of alcoholism. Even though Emmett’s family and friends tried to help him defeat his enemy, it was ultimately Emmett’s challenge to overcome, no one else’s. Emmett versus his own Morlock.
Unfortunately, the Morlock won.
You and I know it is difficult to watch someone we love suffer and/or struggle. Everyone has their own personal Morlock to wrestle in life. We can reach out and do what we can to help someone going through a difficult time and that’s fine, but often, the best thing we can do is step back and let our loved one go through the entire process, beginning to end, and come out stronger, or at least, smarter for the experience.
The main lesson I’ve learned in 2014: I must view my Morlocks as my teachers, not something I must necessarily defeat to the death. The Morlocks in our lives do serve a useful purpose, somewhere. It is up to us, individually, to figure out what they are trying to teach us.
And in 2015, I will strive to remain teachable. It is a good resolution.
Bring it, Morlocks!
Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
The University of Maryland Global Campus