A wizards' dinner
is a lavish thing. I and my companions sit as guests in the corner of a great hall, built of wood in various pleasant hues of dark brown and filled with jovial hubbub
. The room is lit by a great many jars hanging from the roofbeams. Seated under a balcony, I can see that the ones near me are squat, wide, slightly translucent affairs with small amounts of what looks like glowing tallow. Most are simple and plain, but as several people appreciatingly remark, a few stand out by their craftsmanship or ornamentation. These ones are not just lights, but recorders, capturers.
We eat and make some conversation, and I hang up one recording-jar, but everyone's here for something else. Then lights start to fade, and as they do the deep night sky comes into view. This is not just an illusion on the roof, but something far more real.
The cosmos brought its music. Its sounds are deep and resounding, something like drums. The slowest, most ponderous ones start faintly on the edge of hearing. As they build up, higher and nimbler ones gradually join in, each acting independently but not clashing with the others.
Then the music changes, becomes faster, everything making it together, and suddenly there's a rhythm.
And my mother calls me, ten feet and a million miles away;
And for an instant I feel the world buckle;
And reality turns out to be a bitter disappointment.
Six notes linger for a moment, then fade.