A native of southern Africa (despite the name, ‘Lily of the Nile’), Agapanthus is one of many plants introduced to New Zealand that grows so well here that it has been declared an invasive weed by the Department of Conservation.
It is particularly widespread around Auckland, frequently planted along fence-lines, and growing prolifically by the roadside.
Lately Agapanthus has also invaded my dreams — or at least one recurring dream in which I am walking along a country road. It is morning and the sun is shining. I don’t recognise my surroundings and there are no sign-posts or landmarks, just the familiar jumble of flax, gorse, manuka and agapanthus growing beside the gravel berm. I am anywhere and nowhere.
There are no cars on the road; the only sound is my slightly ragged breathing. I keep looking behind me, waiting for an unseen threat to become visible. I have been walking for a long time.
Every now and then, the narrative focus changes; I experience the dream not through the eyes of my walking self, but in the third-person — a long dolly shot with the camera some distance in front of me.
Eventually I wake; agitated and uneasy.
I really don’t understand this dream, which has so invaded my sleep lately. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, particularly the ever-present Agapanthus.
Photo-editing can be a form of doodling — an activity that keeps my hands busy while my brain is free-falling. I’ve edited and re-edited this particular shot, and somehow these two images come the closest to, if not making sense of my dream, at least reminding me that it is a dream.
Dreams are answers to questions we haven’t yet figured out how to ask. ~X-Files