Pronouns and Invitations

Dear X

Your analogy of the exchanged glasses offering a different view has inspired me to elaborate.

I begin with the observation that the embodied I is reflected in the imagined you. We come to speech via a model of who we wish to address.

I note that in your analogy of the glasses that the “you” gains perspective and moves from a position of not knowing to one of knowing. This could easily be construed as a conversion narrative (“I was blind and now I see”) but I think you are striving for a conversation narrative. I think in your practice, the “you” is formulated as an interlocutor willing to listen, to entertain a perspective (whether new to them or not). In a sense you are inviting the interlocutor to come along on a trip to visit some terrain and see what might be discovered — even if it is a well-traveled trail there is always serendipitous events along the way. In your ideal interlocutor, there is a willingness to be surprised. That is at the core of the conversation (which you model in yourself).


I speak because I trust the other is willing to listen. This amounts to a trusting of silence at the core of my own speech.

The pronouns don’t always matter. You could conduct a whole conversation with the first person plural and still structure it as a conversation, a set of invitations to ponder something from a particular angle … “if we consider …” “let us pause and reflect …” These are the phrases that entice the listener to try on the glasses being offered. To embrace an apparatus that will allow them to perceive differently.

I guess there is a koan at play: speaking to listen.

You are running with a pack. I, you, we. They are yours to occupy and spring from.


Your devoted auditor,


And so for day 2804

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