The Holy Spirit Snatch

My friend Amanda has a favorite line she says often, and with gusto: “The universe conspires!” I do believe it does, if you look closely enough, you will see it. Don’t make any rash pronouncements about how and why things happen. If you are open-minded enough to let one step lead to the next: to simply let things and events and twisting turns in the path ‘happen’ as they will, you will notice the universe conspiring!

Something occurred last week that came as a total surprise to me. Was it my subconscious working behind the curtain, unbeknownst to me? Maybe. Or, quite possibly, it was what Anne Lamott calls “The Holy Spirit Snatch.” Lamott, one of my favorite writers, is a person I would probably label as “religious.” She refers not only to her spirituality on a regular basis, but also to events that occurred while teaching Sunday school, or something her minister said, or words pronounced by Jesus. I am in no way religious, but I would certainly call myself spiritual. So I know what she is talking about when she says an event occurred by way of the Holy Spirit Snatch: something grabs you and sends you hurtling down a new path that you didn’t even know existed a minute ago.

I was supposed to go to the Dominican Republic in April to begin dive master training. I received my certification as a rescue diver from this particular dive shop/instruction center in January. I had made arrangements to continue for a week in April and then again for four more weeks over the summe,r to achieve the next certification.  When I got there in January, I found I didn’t like the safety protocol of the program. I didn’t like the town where it was located. Republica Dominicana was beautiful, but I didn’t want to go back. It took me a few weeks to come to the decision, but one night I sat down and cancelled my flight, which had already been booked a few weeks earlier.

Then, I set it all aside. I would think about where to go on another day.

Over the next couple weeks, I sort of thought about it, in a very abstract way. I thought about diving in Mexico, but I had already made a plan to complete the dive master certification in July with a shop I was familiar with and respected there. I thought about all the beautiful places to dive that I hadn’t been to yet: Seychelles, Fuji, Australia…..

Then, along came the Holy Spirit Snatch. I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, and looked that way quickly, but there was nothing there. When I turned back, I had clicked the button on the computer that read: “purchase” and I realized I had a plane ticket in April for Bali. I really don’t know how else to explain it.

And it felt right. It didn’t feel risky. It didn’t feel irresponsible. It didn’t feel ill considered. Even though you could say it was all of those things! Pondering risk at that moment, I reminded myself that taking a risk actually opens you up to a world of possibilities you have yet to consider. Something new.  Something fomenting. And, as Neil Gaiman says, “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

So off I go.


  4 comments for “The Holy Spirit Snatch

  1. Elizabeth Earnest
    March 17, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Oh, Ker, I admire you so much!. You are absolutely right. Go where you strong intuitions urge you, even though it means changing plans. Would love to hear more of your plans. Love> Lizzie

    • March 17, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      You will hear, Elizabeth!!

  2. marmeladegypsy
    March 19, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Kerry, I know you heard the right thing. Just be careful about flying Air Malaysia these days! I don’t want you lost in whatever and wherever planes get lost over there! Seriously (yes, that’s serious, too), I agree with you on going for the holy spirit snatch. (Isn’t Lamott the best — I’m with you; not religious so much as spiritual). It’s a spot you love and have experienced and I think the perfect spot to finish off the diving requirements! Bravo for you and Bon Voyage!

    • March 20, 2014 at 2:11 am

      Hi Jeanie – So great to hear from you…. thanks!! I was just looking at the photos from our Chicago meeting – bittersweet. We had a great time.
      Yes, I LOVE Lamott. I have read Bird by Bird a few times. Always learn something new with each round!
      Don’t worry, there are a couple airlines I won’t fly, and Air Malaysia has long been on that list. Very excited for the upcoming adventure, and to the month in Mexico this summer. Love both places!
      Happy trails to you, dear friend. Hope all is well. Kerry

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