Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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Thanksgiving Grace for 2015

Shaken and stirred by recent news of refugees, and visiting family in England for a USA holiday of public gratitude, I did some historical research and wrote up this year's Thanksgiving grace to say before a meal:

we are by birth
and timing
fortunate to be here

around this table
with food and family
not hiding
generally unafraid

we give thanks.

we celebrate this holiday together
two handfuls of Americans abroad

we bring with us
a 394 year old story
of pilgrims and natives
partying in peace!

foreigners and locals
reportedly celebrated
the harvest of 1621 together
with meat, sport
and few shared words

perhaps the pilgrims were toasting
the short lines at Wampanoag passport control
where fugitives could disembark,
meet a friendly Samoset and Squanto,
be fed by strangers and be left in peace.

Thanksgiving is then a story of refugees well met -
Perhaps a useful modern parable
Whilst we manage the borders around our current prosperity
As others flee brutal darkness towards our glittering light

Today we dine where the pilgrim's exodus began:
They craved religion free from state control
So they fled the Church of England
They took a 66 day boat voyage
And they landed amidst the Wampanoag:
A tribe already decimated by diseases
newly imported by
Explorers, fugitives and refugees.
War and encroachment followed
with these visitors
until the original nations dissolved.

We here are children
more of the pilgrims than the natives.
we flew back to these shores,
maybe 7 to 10 hours.
we eat of the earth, sky and sea
our people have plenty to share
in our storehouses
and plenty to protect

So what loving Truth lies for us
In the "story of Thanksgiving"?

Perhaps that
It is good and rare
to be alive
With healthy family
And a laden table
And a pause long enough to recognize
what sobering riches
we have here today in our lives.


Thanks Steve Rhodes - from @tigerbeat on Instagram
June 2012 dancing in the streets of San Francisco with Ilyse Magy, photo thanks Steve Rhodes on instagram!

Hi, I'm Justin Hall and this here is a personal web site I've used to chronicle my time on earth since 1994. The content on the front page is relatively recent; if you search through the archives, you'll find old pieces of Justin. Some folks have indexed my doings on Wikipedia.

Twitter: jah
Facebook: Justinreach

eBooks by Justin Hall

I've published books for sale, somewhere else online! Behold:

Now available for the Kindle: A Story of GameLayers. My experience being CEO of a tech company, 2007-2009:

"A tell-all story of a startup from the very beginning, with lots of info about real-world fundraising. A more intimate look than you'll find in other business reads." says Irene Polnyi in a 5-star review on

A Story of GameLayers, for the Amazon Kindle.