Never Seen, Forever Felt

My Symphony: One Sweet Love by Sara Bareilles 

Never Seen, Forever Felt

By: Kenn Edward B. Tenorio

Maybe it’s true that sometimes, what we badly want and what we are desperately trying to escape are exactly the same thing. Maybe the happiness we’ve been longing to feel has been right under our roof for a long time already, serenely waiting to be touched. Maybe the love we’ve been ceaselessly chasing is also the very thing that has been in our hearts all along.

I used to believe that love is a myth. I never really looked at love in a way all the happy couples in the world do. Growing up, I constantly find myself falling in and out of love in a span of days or even hours. This is why as a teenager, I tend to wonder if love really does exist. If it does, where can I be able to find it? I kept on wondering until my mother came back home from abroad a week ago.

Mom is an overseas Filipino worker battling life with her profession as a nurse. She left for abroad when I was seven. Since then, everything I knew about my life gradually changed and transformed into something that is vague and blurry. It’s different when Mom is away. It’s like no matter where we go or what we do, there’s still a missing piece that is keeping us from feeling complete; and now that she is back, things are starting to appear clearer and more vibrant again.

After almost eleven years, Mom has come home on the fortunate month of February—the month people dub as the “Season of Love”. It’s been a decade since we were all together as a family in this so-called season, so everything we do together in this month is a big deal for me. I’ve never felt so contented and happy with my life as I do right now. I have two outgoing brothers and cool parents by my side on a lovely month, and wherever I look for words to describe the joy I feel lately, all I see is a blank page because somehow my feelings overtake me and lead me to a place I’ve never been before. The only thing that stops me from being in a cloud nine is the fact that Mom will leave us again soon. Until then, I am surrounded with the most amazing feeling I’ve ever come to know so far. It’s the feeling of unbeatable happiness upon realizing that you are blessed with loving people who have been there for you for the longest time that you can possibly remember.

After all of these deliberate observations and intense thinking, I finally came to realize that I don’t have to look elsewhere for love and never should I doubt its existence. Genuine love is always there… in our homes and not in the convoluted society, with our family and not with strangers, in our hearts and not in our minds. That’s what real love is for me—never seen but forever felt.

Today I look around and when I see my family, I execute a puzzled yet knowing smile that says “I can’t believe I’ve searched so far for love when it’s been here in my heart the whole time”.

One thought on “Never Seen, Forever Felt

  1. Kenn – I’ve mentioned elsewhere that 3 LPN’s I somewhat got to know when my mother was on her death-bed also came from the Philippines. Visiting the married one a few times I quickly realized how significantly important family connections are for your culture. I mean, it was strange for me as a typical Canadian to see these Flilippino friends quickly gather in each others homes for meals and friendship and vibrant sing-alongs, Karaoke-style. Their fervent invitations to sit and join them in the song-fest were difficult for me to handle – yet they slipped into social activities like that without hesitation or worry.

    You have talked elsewhere about your disappointment with our Western Culture – and when I read those words, that blog entry, a few days ago – I thought immediately of what your native culture gives you that we Canadians are so obviously unable to do.

    However, we have our own significant challenges. In a metaphysical vein, I have always thought that new adventures, or new discoveries, new answers, are uncovered or experienced when we travel west. Think of covered wagons heading across the Western American plains in search of a brighter and better tomorrow – a land of opportunity the old place called home no longer provided.

    In a somewhat similar manner, I figure you always just head back into ‘established’ thoughts or beliefs or social systems if you head East. Like Eastern religions. However, new thoughts, concepts and understandings typically are found by heading west into new territory. The undiscovered lands where new answers to our old and perrenial questions likely lay buried. After all, no known answers seem to have worked – that humanity is in the same rut it’s always been in.

    So we on the West Coast of North America are perhaps legitimate voyageurs into the unknown. We’re possibly on the cutting edge of the discoveries we all need to move this whole contraption called humanity forward. If we headed too far west too quickly, though – we’d just be re-encountering Eastern thought and belief systems – so we sort of have to get stalled out here, get so frustrated with the situation that the built-up tension ultimately snaps or breaks and results in a breakthrough.

    However, it obvously feels barren and unrewarding for visitors from elsewhere who are imbibed with a whole different thought and belief structure. That only makes sense.

    Your own personal experience on our West Coast might somehow be linked into that important discovery we’re all looking for, Kenn. You’ve got a bigger battle than we natives, though – as you have such obvious and powerful connections to a loving family and a society that apparently gives you such a slew of valuable experiences – that ours here in the west must pale in comparison. In some ways.

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