“Our language, the way we speak, shows up in three different ways.

The first is “talking about.” In “talking about,” our commitment is to describe, report, or explain situations or events. Such talk, however, seems to have no impact on the thing it represents. For instance, talking about tennis in the clubhouse after the game doesn’t seem to affect anyone’s performance on the court.

Another kind of talking is that which evokes. Its commitment is distinct from using words to represent. Poetry, for example, never simply talks about something. Rather, it brings something present. Poetry can bring sadness into our immediate experience, or joy, or wonder; in the presence of such experience, we are moved.

While speaking that evokes seems to have more impact than speaking that represents, the “you” that it addresses is the same “you” that was present before. Neither evocative speaking nor representative speaking has the power to reach down into being and alter the possibilities that you have, or more importantly, to alter the possibility that you are.

There is, however, a kind of speaking that does alter being. It profoundly expresses what it is to be human. It speaks possibility itself, neither merely representing it nor even evoking it. Rather, it brings forth the possibility that it speaks, in the very act of speaking it. Such speaking has a direct and lasting impact; in the very act of speaking, it alters the course of events.”