The question came from an elderly woman with a kindly but careworn face. She approached me during the break in an evening dream workshop that I had agreed to conduct for an Episcopalian congregation in New York.
“Absolutely,” I responded. I don’t beat around the bush.
A cloud passed over her face. “I have a problem,” she explained. “You see, I’ve been asking to meet my guardian angel in my dreams since I read about you and learned about dream incubation. I asked three times to meet my guardian angels. And each time I asked, I got the same thing. I dreamed of Garfield the Cat.”
I looked at her more closely. She was dressed plainly, in a severe gray dress. She wore neither makeup nor jewelry. I had the strong sense that this was a person who had dedicated many years to the service of others. It was easy for me to picture her helping out at innumerable church dinners, without ever getting a taste of something sweet for herself.
“Garfield the Cat isn’t the most likely candidate for the role of guardian angel,” I improvised. “But angelos means messenger. So if it were my dream, I would think about how Garfield could be bringing a message to me.
“i want you to pretend I just landed here from outer space,” I went one. “So I have never heard of Garfield the Cat. Can you explain to me who he is?”
“That’s easy. Garfield is greedy and selfish and he’s always looking out for Number One. Mostly, he thinks about stuffing his face.”
“So what message might he be bringing you?”
Her face was illuminated by a mischievous smile. “You mean it’s okay to jump the line and grab a piece of chocolate cake from the buffet while there’s still some left?”
I told he, “Garfield says, Absolutely.”
Our guides appear to us, in dreams and in other ways, in the forms we are ready to receive,; dream messengers are often clothed by the message they are carrying.