Soonim and I met back in 2006 in an artist residency in Vermont. I was one of the dozen writers in residency. She was the visual artist from Incheon, South Korea. Small, serene and always with a smile on her face, she got my attention at first glance so we began talking. At the time Soonim’s English was pretty basic, thus our conversations were filled with short (or longer) pauses. From the start those pauses were warm and welcoming, and had nothing to do with the awkward silences people often experience.