Jai Jambo!

My last post touched on magic, and a moment when events cohered into a beautiful sort of Celtic knot of synchronicity.

Only a couple of days later, I look back upon another day’s events, which flaunt mystery but so far flout the same crystalline clarity of message. Still, they present a poignant aura of magic amid the mystery.

On Friday, a friend reported to me that she had been lunching Thursday at a beloved Santa Fe eatery, Jambo, only minutes before a confused little old lady had driven into the storefront of the restaurant, demolishing the table where they had been seated and injuring a number of people. They were just driving off when a friend of her husband, who had been seated at the next table, texted to tell them what had happened.

We read similar news accounts often enough, normally with an accustomed (or protective) remove. Knowing that my friend had been right there made for a more chilling read, and yet, also uplifting, given the manager’s words:

No one was sitting at the tables by the window when the crash occurred, Swaleh Obo said. “It’s crazy. God is great. … It could have been a couple dead.” (Santa Fe New Mexican)

I later remembered that I, myself, had driven through that parking lot that day– not once, but twice. Historically, I go for weeks or months without doing so at all. It was just before 4pm when I recall passing the restaurant and noting that a well-coiffed fellow in a silk blue suit was standing facing an unmanned camera on a tripod in the parking lot outside the place. I wondered in passing what special event was getting attention there. My eyes were not attracted by any conspicuous wreckage, which may have been obscured by cars. No emergency vehicles lingered to raise alarm.

And then my attention was drawn to a rather eccentrically dressed woman (in a mink coat and warm-ups) walking along the sidewalk toward other shops, and my previous wonderings were abandoned. My interest in her is curious in itself, as I rarely linger on such human oddities as I drive. I now remember her holding my attention inordinately long.

I learned this morning that another, unrelated friend had actually been inside Jambo during the incident. He escaped with only a scrape or two. Others, I gather, had broken bones. He is still processing the experience.   And, in a far subtler way, I am too.

It was eerie the I had been drawn to that location twice that day, ostensibly on other business, and that two of my friends had been on site.   No other “logical connection” can be drawn, however.

By the following day, Telocote Café, another long-lived Santa Fe eatery, had put the word out that they were donating 15% of this weekend’s proceeds toward the swift reconstruction of Jambo! My sense of Santa Fe as a community of heartful souls was heightened by these reports. As if an invisible player was more palpably strumming living threads that weave through Santa Fe, and among its diverse populace, linking us all below our normal radar.

If there were anything I could eat at Telocote, I’d have driven into town today and patronized the place — for the first time. I later heard that Jambo Café’s food truck was parked outside their wounded store front and serving today. If I’d known, I might have scraped together my pennies for a mid-day Afro-Cuban indulgence: a spot of fish or goat stew.

I presume opportunity is still there. If you are in the neighborhood, do stop by. Everything on the menu is always delectable. But something tells me that right now the extra helping of good will—the fresh seasonings of poignancy and pathos –will add special savor.

 Forget counting calories. Count your blessings!