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Mei Long's Lair

“There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.” (Anthony Rapp)

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Hi! My name is Karen, but I have been known by many names in my lifetime. My birth name was Theresa, but my foster family called me Tee Cee. My high school nickname was Mouse, and my husband has called me both Blue Eyes and Dirty Drawers (please don't ask why). My former writing group buddies called me Ice D. My LJ name should have been Mei Long (can't change it now), which is Chinese for "soundly sleeping dragon." My spiritual name is Caitenda, which I created by combining the Gaelic words for "cat" (cait) and "bird-like" (enda). I am obsessed with winged cats, so this name seemed appropriate. I also created it myself and love the way it sounds, which makes it even more special. My gothic name is Vorona Silverweed. Vorona (sounds like "Corona" with emphasis on the second "O") is the Russian word for crow, my favorite bird. Silverweed is the name of the dark rabbit poet of the Warren of the Shining Wire in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down, one of my favorite childhood books.

I'm like one of those wandering cats who has 10 different homes and 10 different names. It astonishes me how everyone has so many aspects to their personality, myself included. This is why I believe that life is an ongoing journey to discover our true selves. Sometimes we think we have ourselves nailed down, then another awareness or experience creeps in like fog and blurs our vision. When the smoke clears, we see ourselves in a different way. I'm not a social butterfly but love to learn more about people and wonder what makes them tick. I can usually tell what a person is like but recognize that sometimes I only scratch the surface. People, like cats, are unpredictable, so you always have to be on your guard. This is what makes people so interesting (and cats so fun!): their capacity for change and ability to transform themselves as they search for their souls. That's why I'm so forgiving. I try to see the good in people but understand that darkness exists in everyone. Miguel de Cervantes said, "In the night all cats are grey." I think people are too and don't mean that they are boring. Grey is the perfect blending of black and white, yin and yang, night and day, light and dark...perfect balance.

I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Stormie, since 1989. Our daughter, Tree, is 12 years old and two inches taller than me! We share our home with our cats Tiger, Cassie and Nomad, dog Rascal, and some fish. I work as a legal secretary but am also a writer and part-time English major/psychology minor. I can only manage one class at a time, and sometimes take semesters off, so I have no idea when I'll graduate. When that magical day comes, I might look into getting an MFA in poetry but keep changing my mind about what to do for money. Maybe I will figure that out someday. All I know right now is that I want to continue writing, regardless of whether or not it earns me a living. I've suffered from anxiety/panic disorder and major depression and feel like I need to give something back to the world. I'm so grateful for my life and honestly believe that writing saved me.

I write mostly poetry and have had a few poems published. I've also written a few stories and have others I need to finish. Most of them are for children or young adults, but I secretly want to write gothic and horror stories, as well as memoir. Many of my poems, and most of my stories, feature cats and fantasy themes. One of my friends once called me a cat poet, which delights me, but I try to write about other stuff too.

I am a spiritual seeker who is delighted to finally realize that I don't have to know everything and that my true path cannot be paved for me by another. I must find it on my own and understand that this will be a lifelong process. I love to learn, so I know my journey will be an exciting one. I'm also learning to let go of my need to control events outside of my own hands. I know that if I strive to change myself first, the world around me will follow suit. If I must label myself, then I'd say that I'm a pantheist pagan who is studying Wicca and other belief systems. I feel the divine move through me when I walk in the woods, stroke my cats or write a poem. When I disconnect myself from nature or creativity, I feel dizzy from the imbalance I've allowed into my life.

I'm interested in meeting new LJ friends who share any of my interests. I promise not to bring any drama into your life; there's enough of that to go around. If you've been lurking for a while, why not leave me a comment? We may both find a friend for life.

We are the cats inside. We are the cats who cannot walk alone, and for us there is only one place.
(William Burroughs)

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If you love poetry, art and cats, be sure to visit 3-Legged Cat Press.

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Poets generally love cats--because poets have no delusions about their own superiority. (Marion Garretty)Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Art by Ingrid "Gray Wolf" Houwers from the cover of "Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers" by Marc Gunn

A few years before I lived in the woods there was what was called a 'winged cat' in one of the farm-houses in Lincoln nearest the pond, Mr. Gillian Baker's.... They gave me a pair of her 'wings,' which I keep still....This would have been the right kind of cat for me to keep, if I had kept any; for why should not a poet's cat be winged as well as his horse? (Henry David Thoreau, Walden)
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"Cloud Nine" by Carrie Hawks - Visit Tigerpixie Art Studio to see more of her wonderful artwork!

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