Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50)

Must we therefore, in deference to this preponderant and customary meaning of λέγειν, which assumes multiple forms, simply toss the genuine meaning of the word, λέγειν as laying, to the winds? Dare we ever do such a thing? Or is it not finally time to engage ourselves with a question which probably decides many things? The question asks: How does the proper sense of λέγειν, to lay, come to mean saying and talking?

In order to find the foothold for an answer, we need to reflect on what actually lies in λέγειν as laying. To lay means to bring to lie. Thus, to lay is at the same time to place one thing beside another, to lay them together. To lay is to gather [lesen]. The lesen better known to us, namely, the reading of something written, remains but one sort of gathering, in the sense of bringing-together-into-lying-before, although it is indeed the predominant sort. The gleaning at harvest time gathers fruit from the soil. The gathering of the vintage involves picking grapes from the vine. Picking and gleaning are followed by the bringing together of the fruit. So long as we persist in the usual appearances we are inclined to take this bringing together as the gathering itself or even its termination. But gathering is more than mere amassing. To gathering belongs a collecting which brings under shelter. Accommodation governs the sheltering; accommodation is in turn governed by safekeeping. That "something extra" which makes gathering more than a jumbling together that snatches things up is not something only added afterward. Even less is it the conclusion of the gathering, coming last. The safekeeping that brings something in has already determined the first steps of the gathering and arranged everything that follows. If we are blind to everything but the sequence of steps, then the collecting follows the picking and gleaning, the bringing under shelter follows the collecting, until finally everything is accommodated in bins and storage rooms. This gives rise to the illusion that preservation and safekeeping have nothing to do with gathering. Yet what would become of a vintage [eine Lese] which has not been gathered with an eye to the fundamental matter of its being sheltered? The sheltering [Bergen] comes first in the essential formation of the vintage.

However, the sheltering does not secure just any thing that happens along: the gathering which properly begins with the sheltering, i.e. the vintage, is itself from the start a selection [Auslese] which requires sheltering.