also comes before all other k.indJ of listening that we I know, in a most inconspicuous manner. We do not merely speak the language—we speak by way of it. We can do so solely because we always have already listened to the language. What do we hear there? We hear language speaking.
But—does language itself speak? How is it supposed to perform such a feat when obviously it is not equipped with organs of speech? Yet language speaks. Language first of all and inherently obeys the essential nature of speaking: it says. Language speaks by saying, this is, by showing. What it says wells up from the formerly spoken and so far still unspoken Saying which pervades the design of language. Language speaks in that it, as showing, reaching into all regions of presences, summons from them whatever is present to appear and to fade. We, accordingly, listen to language in this way, that we let it say its Saying to w. No matter in what way we may listen besides, whenever we are listening to something we are letting something be said to us, and all perception and conception is already contained in that act. In our speaking, as a listening to language, we say again the Saying we have heard. We let its soundless voice come to us, and then demand, reach out and call for the sound that is already kept in store for us. By now, perhaps, at least one trait in the design of language may manifest itself more clearly, allowing us to see how language as speaking comes into its own and thus speaks qua language.
If speaking, as the listening to language, lets Saying be said to it, this letting can obtain only in so far—and so near—as our own nature has been admitted and entered into Saying. We hear Saying only because we belong within it. Saying grants the hearing, and thus the speaking, of language solely to those who belong within it. Such is the granting that abides in Saying. It allows us to attain the ability to speak. The essence of language is present in Saying as the source of such grant.
And Saying itself? Is it separated from our speaking, something to which we first must build a bridge? Or is Saying the stream of stillness which in forming them joins its own two