Meeting Olga Bogdashina for this week’s podcast, The Autism Bridge. Confirmation of a calling. Experiences from my childhood, sensory distortions and overloads, and body pains of my adulthood, all found a new, deep context and meaning while talking to Olga. This week’s podcast is another exemplary of why I do the podcast. Discoveries can be made through dialogues that don’t and maybe can’t happen any other way: not by thinking, writing, dreaming; only through interface with the other.
Olga, as the mother of an autistic person, is a powerful spokesperson for the autistic perceptual mode, and offers an interesting contrast to Temple Grandin, the spokesperson which Neurotypica has chosen to represent the autistic experience.
One of the notions that came up and became clearer during this conversation (the first of two parts, next part is up this Wednesday) was that language is not restricted to words. Everything is language insofar as everything in our environment, internal and external, carries information that can be interpreted. Energy itself moves as a form of language, atoms have spin and it’s the spin that makes the atom, not the atom that makes the spin.
Talking to Olga was another big step (after my talk with Lethem) towards a kind of working secular spirituality. Based on perceptions, observations, energetic facts, and direct experience and knowledge, rather than systems of belief passed down through priestcraft and millennia of “psyops.” It is refreshing, a breath of fresh air for the psyche. The first stirrings of autonomy—of perceiving free from the shackles of inculcated ideology. It begins with the agreement of two, an agreement not to agree, but to question, explore, and discover, based on the agreement that we haven’t a clue. Or rather, that we have countless clues, but that we have only just begun to recognize them, and that so far none of them amount to a verdict.
I especially liked Olga’s accent and her Zizekian matter-of-factness, intellectual ferocity, and aplomb, and the way she said “Sorry!” a lot—also a Zizek “tic.”
On a perhaps irrelevant side note: this is the 30th podcast, meaning I have now completed the Stormy Weather season cycle. A few weeks ago it seemed like the male-female ratio was going to be horribly imbalanced (3 women to 25 men, meaning less than 1 in 8); but in the subsequent weeks I have been connecting to women in unprecedented numbers (next week also, my conversation is with Ann Diamond, five hours of it!), so the balance has shifted, pleasingly, to a ratio of closer to 1:4. Who knows how it happened, but I suspect it had something to do with a very successful run of connecting to/receiving validation from my male peers, men whom I deeply respect such as Kunstler, Greer, Watts, and Lethem.
So my thanks & blessings go out, from heart and bone and soul, to the guys and the gals of liminality.
The artwork in this post is from a lovely short film called A LIFE WITH ASPERGER’S, by Jamie Ekkens and Emmett Goodman which can be seen here.