From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

June 29

It was November in Beijing, and I was a student once again—joining 25 Chinese students in the study of the ancient healing art of Qigong. That was our only link as we didn’t share a common culture, a common generation or even a common language.

With one student I felt an instant affinity. Our communication, though, took place without words.

Through our study of Qigong we were somewhat accustomed to exploring the realms beyond the intellect, but that drive to communicate with words held us in its clutches.

I went to my dorm and began teaching myself Chinese characters. If I could at least copy the ones I needed, I would be able to write my friend a note.

I set about to draw four characters that translated to “I happy you friend.”

That evening I revealed the note, and she took it and put it in her pocket. Within two steps, she turned back toward me and offered me a piece of paper. It was folded origami-style into a swan and I made out four words: “I happy you friend.”

Garri Garripoli

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