Three days ago, my mentor brought me to visit a musician. He was in the fourth manifold of quasi-local reality, so I brought my coat, goggles, gloves and other accessories with me. My mentor said that visiting this musician can help me with connecting to and parsing the different realities and manifolds, so I can better understand and execute his instructions in the future. I have always found it hard to get into the minute gaps between the realities, not to mention getting anything out that are close to being legible. Now, after my visit, I can indeed dive into those spaces better. But to me, the experience of the visit itself is far more grandiose, enlightening and significant comparing to the improvements in my skills that resulted from it.

The manifold was as cold, bleak and bare as usual. The glare of those "light" from the pitch-black sky was still clean and rigid, illuminating everything beneath it while leaving no traces and having no sources. I realized that the musician was in the first stack when my mentor led me up the tall spiral from the central structure square, a stack I have never entered before. As soon as we arrived, its defining characteristic immediately set it apart from the rest of the manifold. The ground, or floor, was even more perfect than the already flawless crystal surface I just walked on. It was not reflective but not black, not transparent but not white. It almost had no characteristics, as I could only see it, picture it, remember it as the embodiment of the idea of a surface. No more, no less. Paradoxically, that was its greatest feature. The sensation I got as I walked on it can be described, poorly, as somewhere between walking on marble, on granite, on ice, and on sand. Its ideal texture was apparently beyond the scope of my comprehension, so jarring to me that I did not even thought of touching it with my hand. Instead, I just stared at it, marveled at it, and walked on top of it.

As my mentor led me toward the musician's place, I started to see some white figures showing up from the horizon. After a few moments, I realized that those were sculptures, made out of a material that closely resembles plaster. From afar, I could tell that each one had a different shape. As we walked closer, more of them appeared from behind the horizon, and I was able to make out their shapes better. The first thing I noticed was that they have no shadows. This phenomenon was actually nothing new to me. It was just like everything else under this looming field of "light". But these sculptures made it extremely obvious, because their surfaces, as well as their inner structures, were so intricate and fine-tuned, that the lack of shadows made them look out of place and unreal. In retrospect, the only objects made by human that may have any resemblance to them would be those ivory puzzle balls. However, despite having up to thirty layers of concentric spheres, each meticulously carved with lace-like geometric patterns, they only manage to come close to the crudest ones among them. The more complicated ones apparently exploited the geometry of the manifold, and contained structures that would fade in and out of sight, even while I stood still to observe them. The structures were like fractals, but far different from any ones generated by equations devised by mankind. The most I can say is that there were curves and straight lines, jagged lines and fuzzy surfaces, squares, polygons, tetrahedrons, spirals, loops, scattered bubbles, and shapes beyond my wildest imagination. These figures intertwined among and on top of each other, in a never-ending tunnel of precise relationships that was not entirely regular, not entirely repetitive, but definitely not undisciplined.

The outer appearance of the sculptures, when seen from a good, proper distance, were also intriguing. They came in different shapes and forms, but can be generally described as potteries made on pottery wheels. I describe them as such, not because they were symmetrical, they were far from that. It is because they somehow gave me the sense that they were constantly emerging out from the bottom and retreating back at the top, just like a pottery would have a bottom to sit on, and a top to pour its contents out of. I felt like those sculptures would flow from bottom to top naturally, while moving all of its glorious details accordingly in a manner I simply cannot picture, but could somehow imagine. Witnessing those two-meter-tall structures made out of stone-like material flow brought me great satisfaction. Once I started to see one of them to be moving, all the others seemed to start flowing as well. It was pure joy, the joy of disconnection between my senses and my mind.

Yet more bafflingly, each sculpture would give me a different sensation. Just comprehending their shapes was enough of a task for my brain, but at the same time, each of them would deliver a unique mixture of feelings right into me. The calmness of a lake in the snowy forest, the frenzy of lava roaring in a volcano; the happiness of a grass field absorbing sunlight, the grief of a whale that just lost its child; the longing to a faraway hometown, the hatred toward an undefeatable enemy; the pleasure of overcoming obstacles, the regret of succumbing to impulses; the transcendence of spiritual devotion, the frustration of everyday bother; the grandness of space shifting above our planet, the delicacy of the feather of a nestling, and the shear power of a raging tsunami. They came in well balanced streams, just right for me to take in. I describe them here as concrete sensations that can be related to experiences. But they were more like their ideal incarnations, just like the ground in this stack, seemingly unrelated to the rest of the world yet having their presence everywhere. In fact, those feelings were so intimate, they almost made me feel like having a heart. Once those cocktails of feelings started pouring in, seconds became hours. As my mentor took me through that field of sculptures, I couldn't tell if it took a lifetime to reach the end of the endless field, or that it only took a few hundred steps to cross it. I was sucked into an ocean of emotions, losing myself amid the back-and-forth waves while forgetting that I was drowning.

As I emerged from the end of the field, my vision slowly cleared up as the seawater dripped away. My mentor gestured me to look forward, toward the musician. I saw a figure in white robe, sitting on the ground. The texture of the robe was almost crude, it seemed to be made extremely carelessly when compared to everything else that exist in this stack. Nonetheless, it did seem to be fitting for the scenario. She was carving a new sculpture, with a chisel and a hammer. I had no idea how she managed to sculpt structures with such height while sitting down, but it didn't seem to matter a lot. At this point, she was clearly aware of our presence, but she didn't utter a single word, just busied herself with her work. I could hear the strikes of the hammer resonating in my skull, bringing out the overtones of a metallic ring. I watched and listened for a while, maybe for a few minutes, then looked to the direction of my mentor. To my surprise, my mentor was gone, no longer to be seen. I looked back to the musician, and she was gone as well, along with the sculptures and the tools. All that was left, was an ever-stretching plane of perfectness, accompanied by the regular beating of the hammer strikes.

I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. But I would rather not to if I had the choice. For this precious moment, I could reflect on all those wild new elements I was exposed to. My mind finally had the chance to think of something that were not literal to what was in front of my eyes, and immediately I understood why she was called "the grand musician." I have always had the idea that all music exist somewhere in the world, ready to be realized into forms that we can appreciate. The composers and improvisers just discover these musical structures, and pull them into concrete existence. Accompanied by the way those music were usually preserved, namely, written down as fixed markings of ink on physical sheets of paper, they became something to be read, interpreted, visualized, and experienced by the performers and listeners as sculptures in time. When a piece of music is performed, I would indulge myself in the never-ending space of undulating musical events, which I would either perceive as emotions, or as hints to the outline of the sculpture that defines the entire piece. In this sense, she is the grand musician. Those sways of the hammer were creating the very structures which we would stumble upon and turn into vibrations in the air. Those emotions that enwrapped me were the direct consequence of the music hitting me from all around, as I was able to look at them in their purest form for the first time. These thoughts clustered and focused in on myself, then slowly directed my attention back to the ringing of the hammer. And I just listened, and listened, and listened.

After a period of time almost definitely longer than the amount it took me to cross the field of sculptures, my eyes focused back onto the object in front of me. I saw a finished sculpture, right were the musician was sitting. Honestly, I couldn't tell how it was different from all the other ones I have seen so far, because the glaring "light" contrasted intensely with the darkness I just came from. But it was finished, it was brand new, and I could somehow tell it from the way it reflected the "light." I turned to my side, my mentor was back there with me. He told me that the musician has finished her work for this moment, and it was time for us to leave. I nodded slightly, and turned back to walk with my mentor.

I cannot remember how we got back from the musician's place to the central square. Anyway, we arrived back at the bridge and left the manifold. The warmth of earthly air rushed onto my face, reminding me of how I was almost frozen by the coldness. My mentor did not wait though, and told me to go back home and get some rest, so is to reinforce my newly improved skills. I walked out of my mentor's place, went back to my home, and put myself to bed as fast as I could.

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