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So said the Walrus – and speak of many things he did, in his own style. The ‘cabbages and kings’ bit wasn’t as nonsensical as it sounded – more a metaphysical meandering to get to the point, which no doubt was missed by many. But then that was the point of the whole exercise, as only the initiated were meant to understand the deeper meaning of it all.

And speaking of the ‘initiated’, Java, who has been away for a bit attending to the more mundane aspects of his life, comes in – with Alice, who has been doing her social service thing up north. The way she tells it, there is indescribable suffering going on – not just in terms of the sick, wounded and dying, but also in the misery born of deprivation and despair with no hope of any respite in the near future. Alice’s specialty had to do with children – specifically the trauma-related cases that the authorities found difficult to deal with in the confines of the camp she visited. However, as there was no existing infrastructure within the camp to facilitate the desired environment in which to accommodate the children needing help, and as the children would not be permitted to leave, there was no way she could help at this time in that existing environment.

The way Alice sees it is that the authorities are doing all they can to ensure that any LTTE cadres are not allowed to escape detection by merging with the civilians who had little to do with the Tigers, other than pay obeisance to them for lack of any other option. But the process is so slow and damaging to the innocents that she figured this would only alienate the innocent folk even more. Her take on it is that unless the authorities come up with a speedy solution to return the people to their homes and properties, the spectre of the LTTE will be resurrected in time.

Fortunately for Alice and her work, we are in contact with an organization whose record of child-care in the country over the past twenty-five years has been exemplary, and who have been granted land by the authorities to set up temporary child-care homes where children will be provided with as much care, security and treatment as possible under the permitted conditions. So now that she has made contact with them, she should be able to put her expertise to the best use possible as soon as the infrastructure is set up. However, as Alice sees it, time is of the essence, as each day that passes for the children who need help makes the task of helping them return to a stable state of mind more difficult.

So Alice split to make her moves. And Java’s busy with finding appropriate music to accompany the trip he’s focusing on at present and the aroma of the buds he’s processing promises to be effective. As I get back to the Walrus and his words of wisdom, I hear the opening bars of The Jefferson Airplane and Grace Slick’s mellow tones opening ‘White Rabbit’. I get back to the Walrus and his closing lines:

‘I weep for you,’the Walrus said:
‘I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

‘O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
‘You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

June 2009
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Ephemeral Ruminations by Java Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

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