This is what I’ll tell my children
I will say that it is okay to cry
about death, about love
about the simple way a smile
can change you
I will not shame them
erase their tears
use the old way of stoicism
they will not
I will whisper the tales of
a crying woman
how she cries for eternity
they will not
but they could cry forever
if they wish to
I will tell my weeping children
Their tears are so powerful
We’ve made monsters out of them
-Originally published in Berry Mag
Traveling is hard. Traveling solo is hard. Traveling solo as a person of color is hard. Traveling solo as a woman of color seems almost impossible.
Yet, somehow it’s done. Despite being told no by overprotective parents, by a community that has largely never even left the state, let alone the country. Being told no by a world that is used to us staying at home.
Not only do we survive in a world that does not always love us, we thrive. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I am part of Brown Girl Travels. This is part memoir, part travel guide, part diary for many women of color solo travelers. It a community that has filled a void that I didn’t even know existed until I saw the call for submissions.
I was invited to read some of my work at the zine release party which was at the beginning of this month. I hadn’t preformed any of my work since Oakland, so I was slightly nervous. This is why having a community that loves and supports you is so necessary as an artist. You feel like you can take on the world. I read a couple pieces on my experiences as a traveler, mainly back to my parent’s home country of Guatemala. There’s just something about revealing a piece of work to someone and having them enjoy it that can’t be described. It’s an amazing feeling.
Community is so essential as an artist. Forming a community with other artists simultaneously gives you a platform of support and feedback. I feel like I got that from Brown Girl Travels. Ashley, you’ve created a great platform and I can’t wait to see what you do next with it.