Alexia Musselman

For myself writing without inspiration is like hiking the Appalachian without boots: it is a painful process that one would prefer not to begin in the first place. When I am exploring a subject that I wish to reflect upon, whether it is a written piece or an image I am analyzing, I search for subjects within the work that appeal to me. Connecting certain aspects to my own life experiences or highlighting meanings that contain significance to me is the preferred route. Throughout the past several years of my life, I have participated in mission trips in third world countries. On these trips, I religiously wrote in leather-bound journals reflecting upon each day spent in the famine-stricken country that our mission group had been stationed. When I go back and read the journals I carried with me, I notice that the writing is scribbled with lots of emotion and dramatic punctuation, insinuating that I was very excited and passionate about what I was witnessing. After being on the scene of a gruesome traffic accident in Honduras I wrote:

"There were bodies on the road with what seemed to be no effort to be covered. There are a few Honduran men standing around with no sense of urgency. I tried to look away, but I could not keep my eyes off of one man's swollen head and his bulging eyes. Probably some sort of head trauma. Another man lay on his side facing away from me. The other two were still caught on the front of the bus. One was mangled in the grill of the vehicle. His body looks broken and not fixable. I don't see his chest rising or any movement at all. I cannot see the other man's face. I can only see the bottom half of his body that didn't go through the windshield. Everyone on our team broke down and I immediately started praying and crying. Miss Sherri and our translator, Alex, wrapped their arms around me. What if that happened to my parents? I was worried about being somber and depressed for the children when our bus pulled up to the AIDS orphanage our team had set up a Vacation Bible School program for, but as soon as I walked in and those kids bombarded me with smiles and laughter, those feelings were almost immediately replaced. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me, then and there. Time to be strong for Honduras." Experiencing such a horrific event allowed me to emphasize strong emotion in my leisure journals, but also having those same emotions replaced by love and a sense of res