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Story - Intrepid Psychonautsby Louise Drieman

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Intrepid Psychonauts
By Louise Drieman

 I am one of the intrepid psychonauts.


30 years ago, after one year of being at Twin Valleys School, where two of my sons were, and Ross, I decided to be part of the crew at the Mill.


 I could write a 1,000 page book, or a 3,000 page trilogy titled “The waters that flowed over the dam….”, but the blank page just stares at me and inspiration is late in coming. Usually my inspiration comes at the very last moment of some happening, so, maybe…..just before my mortal remains flow over the dam…..just maybe. Look out for the trilogy……maybe I’ll call it:  Just before I go and flow… this is what I want you to know…….


What do I want you to know NOW, in this moment?


How I met a hippie Ross at Twin Valleys?

How he sort of bulldozed me out of depression, craziness, despair and confusion, while I was going through a split up of a 20 year marriage, five kids between 18 and 7…..,  aftermaths of useless hospital stays, tranquillizers etc. etc.?

I had to do the work, but it was with the help of the “bulldozer” that I got back to my normal self and was beginning to see life as worth living again.


I joined the Mill venture from the start.   We worked and cleaned and lugged and logged,

We dug and swept, and planted and sowed. Certainly not only in the physical realm.

We talked and laughed, we sang and we cried. We screamed…. 

Three of my kids joined me in the venture. They were John 16, Chris, 14, and Monique, 8.  We had ups and downs, we were angry and wanted to leave, we were happy and wanted to stay forever.  My now grown-up kids talk about “the good old days”.


Our inner work never stopped, we got challenged, we protested, and in the end always saw the light.


Things changed and switched, people came and went.  The trees grew, the veggies grew, the erections appeared, we grew….


Ross met Andrea, and he slowly became “unhippied” and civil again.  

No matter how rude he could be though, how much he could stink, how sloppy he looked, his vision never changed….

People started to come in droves, looking for healing, a different way of living, and they would leave happy, seeing the world and their lives with different eyes.  Some healed instantly, others would take a little longer, some did not want to heal and left.


Eventually I stopped living there, moved to Owen Sound, and spent the summers at the Mill.   My life was getting better all the time.   I found a great job at the local Arts Council.  Ross would bring his wife and his cronies to my house for showers and baths.

John went back to Twin Valleys, Chris went to his father, and Monique stayed with me.


Then, one day, I got an inspiration and decided to become a massage therapist.  I knew I was good with my hands.  I knew I had healing hands.

After almost three years of deliberation and hesitation, I made it known to my friends that I wanted to do that and immediately got all the support I needed.  I left for Florida, where I took a one year course.  Monique went with me and we lived right across the street from Ross and Andrea.   Monique did the housecleaning there, so she had some pocket money, and I attended all the classes and groups in exchange for my secretarial skills.


That was also the year that the A frame got built (1982), just before I left, (yes, I even risked my life to put up a tree when we reached the top!) we got running water and showers.  Ross did not stink anymore.  Andrea wouldn’t take it!


To make a long story short, I became a very successful massage therapist, in a time when massage was hardly known, my plan was to be the first one in Owen Sound, but someone beat me to it.  He came to Owen Sound just before I left for the course in Florida. 

So, I was the second therapist in Owen Sound!  I started to work from his place.


Moved to Hamilton, massaged usually about 8 people a day for 15 years - until

my 70th birthday. That was the official retirement day.

I only recently put my hands down.  They were screaming for a rest!


Now I am revelling in my retirement, and I still go to the Mill every so often.

That’s where I got healed, that’s where my heart is.