…ill-supprest sighs, Not in many an oath and promise broken, Not in my wilful and savage soul’s volition, Not in the subtle nourishment of the air, Not in this beating and pounding at my temples and wrists, Not in the curious systole and diastole within which will one day cease, Not in many a hungry wish told to the skies only, Not in cries, laughter, defiancies, thrown from me when alone far in the wilds, Not in husky pantings through clinch’d teeth, Not in sounded and resounded…
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For everywhere she looked, everywhere she turned, was the rhythm, and as it continued to control the systole and diastole of her heart, the intake and outlet of her breath, the red miasma began to creep before her eyes again, and she was afraid that she was going to lose consciousness, and if she did that she would he completely in the power of IT.
Madeleine L’Engle -- A Wrinkle in Time
Cotton was the heartbeat of the section, the planting and the picking were the diastole and systole of the red earth.