Mama Boldt doesn't listen to music much in the car but since the folks got a new prius, her friend thought she should have at least one CD in the car and gave her a copy of ABBA Gold. She and I took a drive into town and on the way she was sort of debating about when the appropriate time would be to listen to ABBA. I didn't give it much thought at the time. After puttering around downtown Olympia and disagreeing about the aesthetic of the Capital Theater's new facade, we decided to make a trip to the cemetery. We discussed what kind of plant to bring and the ethics and ritual of bringing plants to cemeteries ie: Is it for us or for Dad? How might that affect one's choice in plant? Does it matter if the plant survives the weather if no one will really be there to look at it? How soon will they throw the plant away or run it over with a lawn mower? What kind of plant would dad like anyway? What is the definition of a "masculine" plant? We decided on a nice potted jade. We deposited the plant, said, "hello", pushed the grass away from the headstone with our toes, talked some talk and got back in the car. We sat there a little solemnly, probably uttering identical mother-daughter "hmmms". Then I said, "So, shall we listen to some ABBA?" Mom agreed and we drove off to the tune of "Dancing Queen". Perfect.
The Swedes have a way with words, especially when they sing in English. Sometimes, as is true of many pop songs, they manage to distill one's seemingly complex and overwhelming emotions into a few simple phrases. Such is the case with ABBA and such is the case with this song. May it affect you as it has affected me. Ha!
More on Olympia and the nexus of poet power that was Ben Moore's cafe and bar on Friday night later.