It's been marvelous to re-read E. M. Forster's novel, A Passage to India. Some people say we read to experience beauty and also to learn how to live.
After I read this passage about fruit-bats--and other things--I felt I could live more peacefully; but, to be true to Forster, only for a moment, before the peaceful mood changed, yet he beautifully describes a moment of acquiescence.
The promontory was covered with lofty trees, and the fruit-bats were unhooking from the boughs and making kissing sounds as they grazed the surface of the tank; hanging upside down all the day, they had grown thirsty. The signs of the contented Indian evening multiplied; frogs on all sides, cow-dung burning eternally; a flock of belated hornbills overhead, looking like winged skeletons as they flapped across the gloaming. There was death in the air, but not sadness; a compromise had been made between destiny and desire, and even the heart of man acquiesced.
Often I don't acquiesce but give up in exasperation. Tell me, when does your heart acquiesce?
The window is open: sparrow chirp gets in, a warm breeze too, but no sounds as evocative and foreign as fruit-bats kissing. Here it's still day. At twilight the crickets will start. My friend, L., said that crickets don't hear each other except when one loses the beat. They hear that one! Then what? I wonder. Do they get the out-of-beat, off-beat cricket back in rhythm?