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When I was a senior in college I took a creative writing class as part of my English major. In this class we read a number of essays and short-stories in a collection that promotes up and coming writers. In any case, as I was flipping through this book, I ran across a very short essay called “Joyas Voladoras” by Brian Doyle. While only slightly over two pages, this essay perfectly captures the reality of the human heart and the pain of love. The last paragraph is one of the most beautiful–and heart-wrenching–paragraphs that I’ve read in all of literature. It literally knocks the breath out of you.

As part of the class, we read the story out loud together by taking turns reading paragraphs. As I had already read it, I knew that when we reached the last paragraph, we would want to be prepared. I don’t mean the kind of prepared where we brace ourselves for an impact that we don’t want to feel, but the kind of preparation where we need to pause to give our hearts the time and space to really feel what is about to happen. Far too often we ignore the deepest emotions of our heart, and I didn’t want this to be one of those times. So as we neared the final paragraph, I raised my hand and suggested that our professor should read the last paragraph so we could all listen and let the experience of this reading fully hit us. She quietly smiled and said that I should read it.

I began reading out loud slowly and deliberately not wanting to rush over the lines for fear of having this moment end too quickly. When someone captures the human experience in the way this writer did, you can actually enter into it yourself as you read. And as I read, our creative writing class entered into this moment. At the end, I looked up, and our teacher (and a number of others if I’m not mistaken) were wiping tears away from their eyes. It is one of my favorite moments of

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