This morning on Antiques Road Show, a mature adult son confidently sat with his mother’s vase and letter from his aunt regarding its importance and Tiffany nature. As things unfolded, the appraiser identified the vase–which the son couldn’t find with other Tiffany vases online–as a Loetz from the tail-end of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. His information was wrong; the aunt’s and mother’s information and understandings were also wrong and had perpetuated this error in perception, understanding, and appreciation. All these years had gone by and the piece was finally known by someone in the family for what it really was. And all that time had gone by with people dwelling in illusion, misinformation, and blind joy as to the real identity of the piece.
There have been many of these kind of errors on Roadshow before. And we know only too well that instructive game exercise of passing a message down a line of persons only to arrive at a humorous distortion of truth. Truth is an elusive quality, albeit very desired and desirable. So, too, is correct and accurate information about many aspects of ourselves, others, life, the human condition, relationships, and the world. As so many of us live in dream–our often separate, individual dreams–we seek information, affirmation, and validation in this all-too imperfect world of experience. Only to be often surprised by what the true state of any act, thing, or process really is. Only to realize how little we really did know about something or someone. In the dark more then than in the light–our (entrusted) information and (assumed) knowledge.