Here is something I wrote about the essay Joyas Voladoras, written by Brian Doyle. I recommend everyone to read this essay, for it is beautiful and thought-provoking, and emotionally relatable.
It begins with a hummingbird. Them it shifts to whales. And it finally ends with humans. At first glance, we might not see the connection, but once we have finished Doyle’s Joyas Voladoras, everything makes sense.
There is a beautiful message written in this essay, one that I believe we can all relate to. The heart is a mysterious, immeasurable thing. We can never understand how the heart works, and Doyle shows us just how beautifully complex it is.
First, Doyle began with a comparison. There are many kinds of hearts, each one unique, with their own characteristics. Some hearts are like the hummingbird’s: passionate, easy to love, and ambitious, while others are more like the tortoise’s, which burn slowly and comfortably. It shows just how diverse the heart is. Some are small, others are as big as a house. Some are open, while others close their doors in fear of being hurt.
And this brings us to another important point. The heart is a fragile thing, which can easily be broken, and even if we manage to put it back together again, the scars still remain. Doyle wrote: “All hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched with force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore.”
Maybe this is what scares us. Maybe this is why we build walls around ourselves, around the rooms of our hearts where we are the most vulnerable. Maybe this is why we are, to a certain extent, afraid of loving others. Because what if the person we love does not love us back? Or what if they have to go their own separate ways? What if we lose them? Can we cope with the pain, or will our hearts break and crumble?
Some of us are so scared of having our hearts broken that we close the doors to our hearts and refuse to let anyone in, hoping that this will protect us from the uncertainties of life. However, there are things we can never control, and maybe at one moment we are perfectly safe behind our brick walls, but then comes someone who breaks it down in an instant, leaving us naked, exposed, and very, very afraid.
This is not always a bad thing. True, having an open heart that loves passionately means that we are vulnerable to a lot of dangers. We can easily be hurt. We might lose hope. But between these disadvantages, we gain a beautiful, wonderful ability to love, to experience just how far our hearts can go, and to transcend ourselves and become a better person, a person we never imagined we could ever be.
All this is out of reach for someone who hides behind the confines of their own fears. Although they might be safe from the storm outside, they can never see the sun either. And I believe that even when the storm destroys everything in its path, the sun would come out again, because our hearts can always be healed by the touch of love. The scars will remain, that is certain, but when faced with all the happiness life can bring if we only let it, those scars would be nothing more than a nightmare we have conquered, one that cannot touch us anymore, for we are stronger now than we have ever been.