In Paul Yoon’s collection, “The Mountain,” we are reminded of silence. We are reminded of time and place and the distances (forced or natural) between the people we love, as well as passing strangers. But relationships are always at the forefront, they shake us, especially in the story, “Milner Field.” “There was something else I wanted to say to her but it slipped away from me.” Our distillation finds two hands reaching for or separating from each other. They are of man and woman, mother and daughter, father and son. They are human and ghostly, tethered to the natural world, or spirits that once were.
In the background, mountains rise. Or perhaps they are the silouhettes of giants. Things greater than us. Reminders that we are temporary. Here, but for the briefest of time.
In between the two hands, that unmistakable distance, the words left unspoken. Our memories and thoughts. That space is electrified but eerily silent. What was left unsaid? What were the last words and moments? Or was touch enough. Were the fingers and the hands creating some kind of sorcery, a magic that unites us always in the ether?
But here, the sun isn’t setting.
Instead, our sky is pale blue.
There is still hope.
A chance to fill the void.
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