At one end of the world there is a mountain; on the top of the mountain, there is a fountain. And the water springs forth without ceasing. At the other end of the world lies the heart of the world, and although all things have a heart, the heart of the world is more worthy than any human heart. So at one end of the world is the fountain that gushes from the summit crags, and at the other end is the heart of the earth.
Now, the heart is stuck at one end, the fountain way at the other. But the heart is in love with the mountain spring, it is filled with an unutterable, endless longing for that distant geyser of water spraying straight from the faraway peak. The heart cannot move; it lies scorched by the sun, but it stares at the mountain so far away, and, barely visible, it sees the gushing water. Since the waters roar only at the summit, they can always be seen, even from thousands of miles away. If the heart were to lose sigh of the spring for even one instant, it would cease to live. If the heart would die, then all the world would die, for the life of thew orld is contained within the life of its heart.
Once the heart tried to get closer to the fountain, but when it moved just a bit closer the water fell out of view, so it could not proceed, as it needs to be able to see the water to remain alive.
So what happens, you ask, when night falls over the world? The heart becomes dark with grief, for as the sun falls the water stops glistening in the distant sun, and the earth’s heart will die of longing, and when the heart is dead all the earth and all creatures on this earth will die.
As the day draws to a close, the heart begins to sing farewell to the mountain waters, singing its grief in a wild, astonishing melody, while the mountain spring sings farewell to the heart. Their songs are gilled with endless love and longing.
So why does it continue? Why isn’t the world long dead and gone if even one night brings with it such impossible sadness? That’s why we are here. The true and attentive human being keeps watch over the situation. IN that last moment before the day is done, and the spring is gone, and the heart dead, and the world over, a good person comes and gives a new day to the heart, and the heart gives the new day to the spring, and so they live again.
When the day returns, it too returns with melody, and with strange and beautiful words that contain all wisdom. And there are differences between each a day and every other. ANd each day comes with its own song, a song that no on has ever seen or heard before. And as long as there are good people, true musicians, on this earth, this new day will not be the last.
–Reb Nachman, as retold in David Rothenberg’s Sudden Music