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

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2010 Archives

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jah if I've set this up right, each time I post to twitter, it should also post onto my personal "home page" - 1994+2010 = happy old year! 6 minutes ago reply retweet fwd
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if I've set this up right, each time I post to twitter, it should also post onto my personal "home page" - 1994+2010 = happy old year!

6 minutes ago


Manage / remove alerts:

Red and White

Flowers and bunting in Red and White

I'm going to post to my blog from email

does this work?!?!?!?!? That would be awesome and useful.

And worth trying!

multitudes of mammal-lizards

I hope you don't mind if I continue ripping off my skin to tack between HTML tags up here on the web. Today I feel part of my spirit turned violent. In the rain walking I stared up into falling drops and felt angry for my current moment. And I suspect its not productive to share that anger except maybe in certain sausage-packed online games. "Let me get my cock out of your eye, so you can see the score" another young man said to me after earnestly killing me in Halo.

See I want to be beautiful. I want to be attractive. In little text windows I described myself earnestly to other online searchers. Women who must be surfing faces as I do - from cubicles and bathroom stalls, bed and bus: who looks like my desirable future? And what do I look like in the mirror of online mate shopping?

Maybe if I could nail down and succinctly articulate exactly who I am and what I want! Yes that's it - the impossible will make me happy. In the meantime I am going for herky jerky - I message women on impulse, write brave missives with creative vocabulary, and harvest mostly silence or inconvenience.

So being human and having choices is burdensome! "First World Problems". Maybe if I could sufficiently upload all my energy in "35 yrs single San Francisco male" that would show any lovely lonely all the wiggling wonderful I could warm them with. But hah all my energy seems like a lot of what causes my problems. Ready fire aim! Let's blogging:

I thought I had mastered the immense challenge of human cohabitation with a sense of humor and unshaking dedication to discussion. Now I have the nightly pleasure of my own company and I wish I had a pair of tits on my forehead instead.

These longer winter nights draw me into a cold bed early - sometimes I picture strangers in there with me. A woman speaking russian with breath pickled in booze grabbed my hands and thrust her plenty booty against my naked body in recent hot group baths. I knew my own interests enough to turn her away. That turned out to be good as her portly poolside man-panion castigated her for something shortly thereafter and I don't need to be involved in two lovers' quarrels.

I meditate, I read, I seldom drink, water my plants, in bed by ten - a subdued bachelor's life. Why do I feel surges of anger? A few nights back I went for a community dinner somewhere strange in San Francisco and heard a man speak of giving his wife HIV due to their shared passion for rape-play and aggressive anal intercourse. He was choked up and took a lot of energy from the assembled. He mentioned having a father who "blew his brains out" as a root cause for his strange path. I tried to channel compassion, to somehow see him as a brother. But yow - I have lived more gently than him and I wondered how I still harvested unhappiness from my "first" marriage. Hah!

Fortunately I am surrounded by polite caring functional society. Many wonderful smart people have my back and for that I am deeply grateful. I would wish my support structure on anyone challenged by interpersonal interpenetration.

Still there are places in me, intimate places, dark wet places teeming with multitudes of mammal-lizards, that need to breathe. Need to breathe and mate with someone else's mammal-lizards to make all sorts of stirring drama. Lets interrogate the moment! Lets stare wordless into our mutual openings, pupils wide! I need to touch your skin, to trace between your wrinkles with my finger to find where you smile.

Using Meditation to Manage a Divorcing Mind

In the worst moments of divorce, I rotate in bed afflicted by pre-morning doubts. 3:37am awake churning over failure, unhappiness, rupture, separation. Occasionally mortality provides a real ass-kicking - I count and recount the number of years I might have left to find sustained companionable love and wondering if I have time to become a biological grandparent. Hah!

Sometimes during the day my mind is similarly caught up. A sales clerk at a clothing store asked me yesterday "how are you?" and I was stunned, challenged to find a ready polite reply. I wanted to tell her "I feel like I have a fork stuck in my chest." This enormous life story plot change has thrown me too hard, and I can't participate in the present moment. I have huge questions I can't answer. Suddenly a number of big decisions have presented themselves and they seem both undesirable and pressing.

Months before our partnership formally unravelled I sought out some individual counseling. My health insurance, very thankfully, supported mental health care for an inexpensive co-pay. I searched their available provider directory. Then I googled to see what materials existed online for each of the listed practitioners. One woman was located in downtown SF and she was loosely associated with Spirit Rock, a Bay Area meditation center. I found she promotes sitting meditation in her therapy practice.

I didn't feel I need drugs to handle my mood, other than occasional weed, alcohol and Call of Duty. Instead meditation seemed like a fine practice in this tough time. Portable, personal, promoting calm and focus. Quiet, settling introspection seemed appropriate for a raging mind and a wounded heart.

Researching meditation online I found a book "Full Catastrophe Living" and audio recorded guided meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn. After 40 minutes of his soothing voice I feel like I have taken muscle relaxant drugs: limbs relaxed and happily heavy. I become more anchored in my blissladen body, less in my dancing mind.

I began sitting cross legged for up to 25 minutes at a spell. My eyes closed, legs folded, tongue on the top front of my mouth. I made an effort to observe and release my thoughts. Inevitably I would start working my mind hard on some looming task. Or some recent perceived personal tragedy. Auditing the past or pre-stressing the future. As I practiced sitting meditation I noticed myself breathing shallow during these mind-vexations.

I bring my attention to my breath and I use it to tune my mood - slowing myself down by slow intake slow exhale. Now and then I am able to sit quietly patiently with an occasionally calm mind for 15-25 minutes. Wow! How refreshing. How restorative!

These small meditation successes were so useful when I felt the pointed hooves of divorce devils riverdancing on my neck and shoulders. I became more able to notice when I was unproductively churning my mind on something I couldn't settle. I would observe my shallow breathing and I had a tool to stabilize my mood.

Sometimes I feel sad and I will cry. Smetimes I feel angry and I speak pain & fear out loud to myself. Often I just need a moment to remember that I can't think my way into happiness; I am not going to reason a solution to my personal life. Instead, I am better off conserving my energy to be ready for whatever other crazy business I have unknowingly planned for myself. Pay attention, communicate, read, socialize; eat to raise my blood sugar, exercise to further clear my head, or return to sleep.

Between 2-5am I am grateful for meditation techniques to tame the wild horses in my head. Those are times I prefer to be asleep, and not clenched up fretting and tossing. Sometimes I can lay still and smile at my lively brain; forgiving myself for stress while welcoming the warm confines of unconsciousness. Meditation into sleep.

For years I have been reading and rereading Ikkyū, a 14th century poet monk I encountered traveling in Japan. My favorite poem of his is probably still #291 in Ikkyū and The Crazy Cloud Anthology by Sonja Arntzen, "The Correct Skill for Great Peace":

Natural, reckless, correct skill;
Yesterday's clarity is today's stupidity
The universe has dark and light, entrust oneself to change
One time, shade the eyes and gaze afar at the road of heaven.

Shade the eyes, gaze afar at the road to heaven - if heaven is peace and respite from suffering then meditation has given me a glimpse of heaven in the midst of divorce. Entrust oneself to change, indeed!! :-D

why I want to live alone during my divorce

Thank you for asking to be my roommate. You seem like a smart, fun person with healthy hobbies and a taste for good beer. I've seen you in the company of attractive women. We share a workplace; it could be a convenient arrangement.

I want to live alone during my divorce. I feel my capacity for socializing profoundly reduced. I go out for one night, socializing, drinking, talking, flirting even. And the next day I feel like I've had my stomach repeatedly punched. Easily exhausted, I feel physical pain from extending myself socially.

Getting divorced! I'm getting divorced! A dream is dying! I'm one set of two pair hands on a long knife handle, pushing a dull blade into a writhing moaning mist child. I have tried some distraction and still my mind returns so regularly to the pain of separation -

Yes, it's mammalian; I feel some amputation to not share space with another human body. I had a human body, besides my own, that I knew so well. I knew how it smelled. I knew how it tasted. I knew where its joints popped. I knew where the knots in the muscles were, and how to stand over a dining room chair to maybe help work them out. I brought pleasure to another human in some daily ways. And that is now severed.

So wouldn't I want physical contact? I went on a date. I sat with a nice woman and chatted for a spell. We even kissed and hugged some afterwards. In the morning I felt like vomiting. My stomach was crushed. It's too much, to be with other people, to be at all intimate. I can't handle it. I feel physically challenged, exhausted, cramped, when I extend myself too far.

Still there's hunger, and I search; I'm looking for people who I can like. Even maybe someone I can love. I board the train and I look around, checking for someone who might smile at me in such a way to open the space between us. Fuck or cuddle, what do I crave? Hah - either truth, I'm not so ready to be with other people.

I fucked up! I chose the wrong partner and/or I drove them batshit crazy with my needs and/or I'm impossible to live with. People grow apart, you know, it's not my fault. I need to come home to an empty house, with books and a meditation cushion and quiet to sit through all this crazy turmoil.

Five years ago I thought I had met my future - a perfect-enough companion to sustain conversation for all of my life. Four months ago that conversation ended. It's my drama, it's the story of my 35th year. Soon I'll turn 36. Maybe I won't think about how soon my parents will die, and how old I would be when any children I have graduate from college. Maybe I won't think about my potential to fail at another partnership. Maybe I'll just be mostly happy, being Justin. What a nice guy! Entertaining enough vocabulary, breadwinner, takes decent care of me.

Here in an empty apartment, I can find time alone to face myself. I can exercise my range of activities that drive me deeper into divorce; understanding myself. Distracting myself. Studying myself. Life! Who am I? Woah - suddenly I need to be alone. Woah, suddenly I need to be with people. I take some deep satisfaction in walking through my front door, and knowing I'll only see someone I let in, someone I want dearly to see today, or every day.

You seem like a nice person. But I can't handle nice people every day; I need space hang out with this old friend while he's heartsick - me.

Thanksgiving Grace, spoken with family before a meal

Let us hold hands

Today we hold this house together
for a day for a meal
We are a family

We gather at a time of harvest in our hemisphere
Before us this bounty

Our lives change our definition of family
Around us are people we haven't met before this year
Years to come we will carry ourselves alone into new settings

Let us travel with some measure of strength from the smiles and support here
The generous spirit of gratitude that defines this day
Let's remember this steady feeling of family
Nourishment towards a common purpose
to give and receive graciously in the honest light of love

Thanks to our ancestors
Who gave us a chance to make ourselves

Thanks to the visitors who have traveled to the warmth of this home
Thanks to our hosts who have provided so many plates

And thanks for the crazy set of circumstances that has us upright mammals
Sitting politely around the riches of a living planet
Ready to eat as a family
And give thanks


alone, what do I lack?

What do I lack?
Touch my face it's warm
Grasp myself in pleasure
Or bite my cheek for pain

I am living with intention and action at once
I know my mind!
My life is just as I had planned it to be
Looking back

Pardon me as I write poems to a woman I haven't met

Some day after love we will be grumpy in a cafe
Together yes and tired from something

Knowing this
How could anyone be with anybody?
These individuals are so cross and specific


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.