Riding the Greyhound out of Manhattan, the East River—highlighted by early morning sun and exuberant joggers—is on the one side, the compression of the city on the other. I am struck by the way my perspective, of movement as imperative, is no less legitimate than the perspective of the joggers, whose movement is slower, or the water, whose movement is slower yet.

To me, all this morning scene, a panorama, a soon-to-be memory; to the others, a happening in their immediate experience. To them, I am a noisy segment in the caterpillar that snakes through the city at all hours, a mere link in the rusty grinding chain of the traffic wheel. A background rumble. To me, they are reflectors of sunshine, absorbers of shade, the dappled tapestry of this vivid, gritty city. Having spent the last year in Israel, this urban beauty is, I can momentarily admit, something I miss. This particular flavor of urban beauty, so jarring in its juggling of grime and ecstatic sunlit moments.

Later, when the bus takes off without me, leaving me all alone at a pit stop somewhere south of Rochester, the movement is all outside of me. The highway traffic, the people coming and going, fueling up with coffee for the long ride back to somewhere, or toward something new. Here there’s a perspective on my perspective. The speed of the bus that carried me is now somewhere down the interstate highway, just another segment in the many capillaries of highways that caterpillar criss-cross the country. There is a moment or two of startled disbelief (didn't the fellows in the seats behind me notice I wasn’t there?!) and helplessness, and it is the clear and somewhat curious voice that chimes in, at just the right moment, that spares me torrents of self-pitying tears. How interesting, that voice says, that this too is part of the plan. I want a quick rebuttal to that kind of complacent pacifistic acceptance of my abandonment, but I can’t seem to find a suitable comeback to my inner wise one. Something in me makes me ask the rest stop workers if this happens often, and they all shake their heads no, oh boy, no. Which makes me think that perhaps this plan is suited exactly to me after all.

So no movement now. And just yesterday—just this morning!—brazenly driving all over Brooklyn and Manhattan for the first time, and across bridges and through webbed patterns of sun and shade, through the Holland Tunnel, into New Jersey. A small red car, rented from somewhere on Fulton Street. If I can do this, I can do anything, my racing heart was saying all the way to where I was going. Finding my way among a maze of one-way streets, darting suicidal pedestrians, stopped vehicles, construction sites, poorly signed—not to mention poorly named—roads and highways. (The worst being “1 & 9 Truck,” and the best, “Van Winkle.”) And then, of course, the vivid redness of the car somehow adding to the ludicrous, head-spinning nature of my newly conquered fears, my new power of self-propelled motion. That was yesterday, way back this morning. Today, now, movement is in the hands of others, that leave me in . . . does this place even have a name?

The driver did come back for me. Somewhere along the highway, not too far, someone realized that I had vanished, and he walked back to get me. A scenic walk on many-toned long grass, amid wildflowers springing up here and there, and trees clustered in the distance. The bus claps for me. And I’m back on it, back in motion.

This is not a theme I think I’ll ever understand fully. This one of movements and perspectives. The way my movements in physical space are metaphors for the bigger picture, tell a story greater than themselves. Sometimes I get a glimpse. But inherently I’m limited to the dimensions of sight granted me by my two eyes. Angels may have many eyes. G‑d’s eyes encompass infinite perspective. So instead of trying to see it all, I raise my two short-sighted eyes up to heaven and ask, Mei-ayin yavo ezri, “From where will my help come?” And the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and the impossibly disparate perspectives of each? He never sleeps, never closes His eyes on what I know can only be a world of many-layered movements, even at the pit stops along this curious curving highway of life.