The missing

Completeness isn't complete without some longing

Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon.
Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon. Credit: Francisco Nogueira

When they mention the missing piece of the puzzle you know they think they have dreamt up the last piece; ‘Thanks to me the puzzle is complete’. But emphasise the ‘missing’ and you can feel the pull of that longing, the desire for the embrace of fulfilment, the view that you want to draw to yourself but can never be yours. If longing has a sound in Portuguese in the songs of fado pulling at your heart strings, then it has its embodiment too in great architecture. The ethereal vaulted roof, distant and godly, the shaft of light illuminating the stone floor, humble, transient, unstoppable. Always missing, no matter how complete.