Back to the future
We (or more specifically “I”) tend to assign forward action to the concept of progress. It should move in one direction. In a straight line. Always taking us to a better, more evolved state of life than we had before. Right?
The day I learned the truth: that the trajectory of progress does not travel in one direction, I was both relieved and dismayed. Though devastated by cultural setbacks over the years, both in political discourse and our social compact, I take some comfort in knowing that progress marches to the beat of its own drummer. Eventually it will get on course and march in the direction I desire.
I’m not particularly happy about the revelation (believe me, I am the queen of “one step forward, two steps back”), but at least there is confidence in knowing we’ve got that “one step forward” in our back pocket if we choose to take it.
Post pandemic Ann ArborAs Ann Arbor fully embraces Summer 2022, I’ve been so delighted to see Shakespeare in the Arb, hammocks on the Diag, and Sonic Lunch on Liberty. We’re so starved for hustle and bustle that we don’t even care that State Street is completely torn up right now. Top of the Park has returned with its shady beer garden and food stalls, wacky performers, and dancing toddlers.
These steps forward are a miracle in many ways. For the past few years, our streets have been nearly deserted and frankly, a bit sad. It is heartening to see and hear this life-affirming progress unfolding before our very eyes and ears.
And then came the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24. A passionate protest earlier this summer reflected the mood of Pro-Choice protestors, who anticipated this would happen after a draft of the SCOTUS’ potential decision was leaked. Empowered to express its disapproval, the crowd on the Diag that day did its best to uphold the status quo and protect the progress made by a 50-year legacy of women’s healthcare and bodily autonomy.
Progress chose to take a turn yesterday. Depending on your perspective, it was one step forward, or two steps back.