So here is what I see when we reclaim the church ladies: a woman loved and free is beautiful. She is laughing with her sisters and together they are telling their stories, revealing their scars and their wounds, the places where they don't have it figured out. They are nurturers, creating a haven where the young, the broken, the tenderhearted and the at-risk can flourish. These women are dancing and worshiping, hands high, faces tipped toward heaven, tears streaming. They are celebrating all shapes and sizes, talking frankly and respectfully about sexuality and body image, promising to stop calling themselves fat. They are saving babies tossed in rubbish heaps, rescuing child soldiers, supporting mamas trying to make ends meet halfway around the world, thinking of justice when they buy their daily coffee. They are fighting sex trafficking. They are pastoring and counseling. They are choosing life consistently, building hope, doing the hard work of transformation in themselves. They are shaking off the silence of shame and throwing open the prison doors of physical and sexual abuse, addictions, eating disorders and suicidal depression. Poverty and despair are being unlocked - these women know there are many hands helping turn that key. There isn't much complaining about husbands and chores, cattiness, or jealousy when a woman knows she is loved for her true self. She is lit up with something bigger than what the world offers, refusing to be intimidated into silence or despair.
Sarah Bessey
Despite the chaos that was tearing her head apart, Tevi understood what scene Yenneg was attempting to play out, with herself as a conscripted actor. She needed to force out an explanation or denial, but no words could get past her lips. Jemeryl's presence was paralysing her, an effect far more irresistible than anything Yenneg had achieved.Tevi watched Jemeryl take another few steps forwards and then crouch down so that their eyes were no more than a foot apart. Tevi thought she would die from the shock. Yet somehow, she forced her mouth to shape the words, Wine. Love potion.Her voice was not loud enough even to count as a whisper. Certainly nobody else in the room would have heard, yet Tevi could not control her breathing to manage anything else.At first Jemeryl showed no sign of comprehension, but then suddenly, the bewilderment on her face transformed into fury. She leapt up, her arms moving in a blurred aggressive swirl. The gesture ended with an action like hurling a ball. Blue fire erupted from Jemeryl's hands and shot towards Yenneg.The other sorcerer had obviously recognised the gesture and made an effort to protect himself. A shimmering shield sprung up before Yenneg, but it was not strong enough and the shockwave knocked him off his feet. His shoulders slammed into the wall behind him and he crumpled to the floor. Jemeryl had been telling the truth when she claimed to vastly excel the acolytes in magical ability, not that Tevi had ever entertained doubts. Jemeryl's hands moved again and this time Yenneg was sprawled on the floor and in no state to mount a defence. A second bolt of blue fire burst in his direction.Lightning in the form of a whip snapped across the room, intercepting Jemeryl's attack before it struck. The diverted fireball hit the wall of the summerhouse two feet from Yenneg's head and smashed through it, as if it were a stone going through wet paper.
Jane Fletcher
Yes, we were good at using the grapevine. But what we were best at, what we were really the kings of, that was buses and sitting around in bedrooms.No one could beat us at that.None of this led anywhere. Well, we probably weren’t very good at doing things that led somewhere. We didn’t have particularly good conversations, no one could say we did, the few topics we had developed so slowly we ourselves assumed they had nowhere to go; not one of us was a brilliant guitarist, although that is what we would have loved to be, more than anything else and as far as girls were concerned, it was rare we came across one who wouldn’t object if we pulled up her jumper so that we could lower our heads and kiss her nipples. These were great moments. They were luminous shafts of grace in our world of yellowing grass, grey muddy ditches and dusty country roads. Yes, that was how it was for me. I assumed it was the same for him.What was this all about? Why did we live like this? Were we waiting for something? In which case, how did we manage to be so patient? For nothing ever happened! Nothing happened! It was always the same. Day in, day out! Wind and rain, sleet and snow, sun and storm, we did the same. We heard something on the grapevine, went there, came back, sat in his bedroom, heard something else, went by bus, bike, on foot, sat in someone’s bedroom. In the summer we went swimming. That was it.What was it all about?We were friends, there was no more than that.And the waiting, that was life.
Karl Ove Knausgård