SHAE FIERCE

About



bay area. graphic designer. photographer. singer songwriter.
dog owner. food a·fi·ci·o·na·do. hunter and gatherer. builder of things.
bodhisattva. curious adventurer of all sorts.


*all images under the 'My Adventures' section are copyrighted and originally owned materials by myself, Erika Weeks. all other images are from other parties and are linked through to original sources. they are shared here as a collection of favorites.

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The other day my grandmother told me a story about her life that brought me to powerful tears in the middle of a Chipotle in Mansfield, Texas. At the age of 70, my grandparents are full of stories I’ve never heard before. They constantly surprise me with the things I do not know about them, what they’ve seen or been through. We were sitting in the window talking about the new mentorship I’ve taken on with a young girl who is 10 and living through some gritty conditions.

This led her to telling me about the time in my grandparents life when they used to foster teenagers. They would also foster babies and nurse and care for them before they were ready to turn over to their adoptive families. One of the teenagers they cared for was a seventeen year-old girl named LeNore. The young girl had stolen something, which caused her to be held in court in the presence of her family. She had other siblings, a mother, and a father who were well off and well-to-do. When the family was let out of court, the parents told their young daughter, “Do not speak to us. Do not call. Do not ever come home again. You are not welcome with us”. The girl, from a whole and well off family, was suddenly turned homeless and it was my grandmother who chose to take her in and foster her. She was red headed and would curl it with large curlers, my mother recalls of her living with my family. “She would also paint my nails for me,” my mother said. “She was very sweet”.

One day, the girl came to my grandmother and informed her that she was pregnant and that she wished to have an abortion. She asked for my grandmother’s help in going through with it. In the process, the girl eventually decided to have the baby and to release it for adoption. My grandmother helped her through this time.

Not long after that, a policeman knocked on my families door. “Do you know a woman by the name of LeNore?”, the policemen asked. “Yes, answered my grandparents — we are her guardians”. The police officers delivered to my grandparents the news that the young woman was dead. She was riding on the back of a motorcycle with a young man and in a collision incident with a van, was killed. The policemen informed my grandmother that it was my grandparents contact information they found kept away in her purse.

My grandmother contacted the young woman’s family who had turned their daughter away. The father answered the phone. My grandmother informed him that his daughter was dead - that my family would cover the entire funeral and the arrangements and need not worry about it, but only that she wished for him to know what had happened. A few days later he called her and insisted that he would take care of the funeral himself.

My entire family attended the funeral for LeNore, orchestrated by her own mother and father. During the funeral, her name was not once mentioned. She was not acknowledged. She was shunned. A sermon was given in the Lord’s name and the mother showcased her florist connection but there was no honor of LeNore.

At the end of the ceremony, my grandmother walked up to the father of the deceased girl, enraged and unsettled by what she had seen. She told the girls father “With all due respect, this is no funeral for a girl. This will not do. This is not good enough. So I’m sorry to tell you that we are going to have another funeral for LeNore. My family and I, we will have our own.”
After lunch, when everyone had left LeNore’s grave site, my family returned — my grandmother, my grandfather, my mother who was twelve at the time, my aunt and my uncle. They stood around her grave and held a ceremony of their own. They spoke her name. They honored her name. They blessed her name, in the name of the kind of Lord my family believes in. They spoke of what a blessing it had been that before she passed she was able to deliver a new life into the world. They spoke about how they had loved her. “I remember it just like it was yesterday. I cried and cried and cried,” said my mother when I asked her about the story.

"There was absolutely never a single reason for that child to need to suffer or to know that kind of suffering," my grandmother told me in the window, still upset about it to this day. It triggered so much inside of me. We cried so much that we laughed at how ridiculous we were carrying on crying in that window.

So there I was, you see, breaking down into tears in the middle of this Chipotle because as though the story were not enough to do it, it’s about so much more than that. The story is the church I live. It’s what my family has taught and raised me to do. They love me whole-heartedly as a gay woman, and they will love whole-heartedly which ever woman I bring into this family as their own without question. They will speak her name and honor her name. They will honor our love together whether or not others can. I have been taught, when I see something in my heart that I know is wrong to say “This is not good enough. This will not do. And with all due respect for the sake of my heart and what is true - I must go my own way”.

I tear up even now, recounting the story.

I could not be more grateful.

I spent the majority of my Saturday drinking whiskey at the Longhorn Saloon in the Ft. Worth Stockyards with some amazing friends from college and their dogs. Two of the loveliest, most genuine people I know. They recently moved from the Yosemite area of California to Dallas so I get to see them when I visit home now. Around the corner I passed the White Elephant Saloon where I have a fond memory of my grandparents taking me with them when I was a little girl. I watched them boot-scoot the night away.

"

You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever.

That’s why, when you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it.

"

~ How I Met Your Mother.

Really enjoying this EP.

(Source: Spotify)

My grandparents recently traveled to Maui to celebrate having been together for 50 years. On the flight, my grandmother met a newly-wed couple who proved eager for their wise advice. My grandmother told them the following:

1) You must compromise. In a relationship, there is no such thing as right. Neither one of you are ever right and if you think so, you’re wrong. You do the best you can to meet each other and move forward.

2). If you’re ever thinking of leaving her for another woman you should probably remind yourself that the woman you’re thinking of leaving her for also has problems - so chances are, you should stay and deal with the problem you already have instead of running from problems. Relationships aren’t made to be easy. We are here to be tested.

I found it interesting that she said this to me as I had just contemplated the other morning how ridiculous I think it is when people in our society think a relationship should be some sort of everlasting honeymoon or a majority of roses.

I deduced to myself the following: You will go with this person you have chosen through all that is life. Think of everything you’ve ever experienced. Triple it. The good and the bad. You will savor and endure that and more with this person at your side. The best and the worst of it. They will see you at your worst. They will hurt you as much as you’ve ever been hurt before. You will hurt them as much as you’ve ever harmed another. You will share the insurmountable highs and forgiveness that make the rest all worth it, too. In the end, much like life, you will both be worth it due to the sum of the whole and stronger together for it.

At the end of the day, I hope the question we are asking ourselves is not “Why is this not a honeymoon and why is this not easier?”. I hope the question we ask ourselves is, “When the dark times fall and it’s time to go crawling through the trenches, is this the person I can stand to be pressed up against? Is this the person that I can find the light with?” And if the answer is yes, then that’s when you really know you share a strong love. That is when you know you have found the person with whom there is nothing you will not conquer. 

Sitting in the yoga room at the SFO airport yesterday before heading to Texas. For someone who has to manage her anxiety, after enduring the rush it takes to prepare for a plane, having a calm and quiet room to shut it all out in and breathe is a dream come true. From a body health and mental health perspective I think all airports should have these.

Sitting in the yoga room at the SFO airport yesterday before heading to Texas. For someone who has to manage her anxiety, after enduring the rush it takes to prepare for a plane, having a calm and quiet room to shut it all out in and breathe is a dream come true. From a body health and mental health perspective I think all airports should have these.

invent yourself and then reinvent yourself,
don’t swim in the same slough.
invent yourself and then reinvent yourself and
stay out of the clutches of mediocrity.

invent yourself and then reinvent yourself,
change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you.

reinvigorate yourself and
accept what is
but only on the terms that you have invented
and reinvented.

be self-taught.

and reinvent your life because you must;
it is your life and
its history
and the present
belong only to
you.

- Charles Bukowski

(Source: lucyetetoiles)

Currently, Texas bound.

Currently, Texas bound.

On the day I left Iceland we walked through Reykjavik one last time and I grabbed a few keepsakes. A leather sleeve for my iPad. A sweater. Two postcards and a polaroid from a shop owned by a local Icelandic photographer depicting the following: A woman in a dress playing guitar in 1950. An Icelandic horse in the snow. And a mountain landscape taken in Arnarstapi. I keep the postcards and Polaroid inside of the case because I like to pull them out and look at them when I use my iPad.

On the day I left Iceland we walked through Reykjavik one last time and I grabbed a few keepsakes. A leather sleeve for my iPad. A sweater. Two postcards and a polaroid from a shop owned by a local Icelandic photographer depicting the following: A woman in a dress playing guitar in 1950. An Icelandic horse in the snow. And a mountain landscape taken in Arnarstapi. I keep the postcards and Polaroid inside of the case because I like to pull them out and look at them when I use my iPad.