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Sometimes an unexpected void forms that we cannot fill

During the recent holiday season, I received a puzzle as a gift. It is not one of my favorite activities because putting together a puzzle requires patience, which, in turn, is not one of the highest points of my character. But the festive occasion and the collaboration of the family led me to participate in the attempt to solve the 1000-piece puzzle in just two days.

And, responding to the challenge, two days later 999 of those pieces were in their right place. What happened to the missing piece, the easiest to find because of its multiple colors? It just wasn't there. And it's not that we lost it carelessly. My impression is that it was never part of the original package.

Therefore, my exercise of patience and deduction, and the family exercise of working together to complete the puzzle, only had partial effectiveness. We lacked 0.001 percent to reach the total goal. But we didn’t reach it. And the empty place in the puzzle was more prominent than all the other 999 pieces together.

Despite our high level of completion of the task and our dedication to that task, a feeling of frustration gripped us because we could not put the last piece in its place and thus complete the whole picture of the puzzle.

Obviously, the good moment of the holidays and the good company made the frustration disappear immediately and the missing piece became a funny and ephemeral anecdote. But I couldn't get that experience out of my mind. In fact, I wonder if life itself is like an eternally incomplete puzzle.

Let's think about this in this way: day after day, with all our actions and thoughts, we add new pieces to the puzzle of our life. As we do not have a finished model guiding us, we trust that the “pieces” (family, children, work, studies, occupations) are accommodated in their corresponding place. And we live our lives based on that belief.

But what would happen if, at the end of our life, when we know that we have few pieces left to complete the puzzle, we find out that we are missing an important piece, the last one? In other words, what would happen to us if we discover that our life will be eternally incomplete?

When I was trying to complete the puzzle and I was not able to do it, I wondered why I didn't detect the problem earlier. I could have counted the pieces beforehand and, if one were missing, the game would change from solving the puzzle to finding which piece was missing. 

But in life we cannot count our pieces beforehand and, therefore, we do not know if we are missing any. Maybe it's an advantage not to know. Perhaps, if we knew, we would decide not to try to solve the puzzle of life.

Be that as it may, an unexpected void where obviously there should be something is frustrating. But the future likes to hide behind our frustrations.

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