Chris Berens


mixed media on panel
19 x 13 cm 2022

GURUGuru is an Indian white wolf. Her parents named him Guru as it means "Dispeller of darkness" or "One who points the way”, not because he is a Guru of any kind. He just radiant. Luminous. Literally. Guru’s mother was something of a living legend when she was pregnant with Guru. Her belly lit up in the dark. And when Guru was born, it became clear that she was not the luminary one, Guru was. Great things were expected of him.

He must be so special, they said. He must be very talented, they whispered. He is destined to lead the way, they cheered. But Guru went nowhere. He did nothing. Had no specific talent whatsoever. He just sat. Silently. Al day, every day. Smiling. It drove the creatures around him crazy. Who does he think he is, the creatures around him growled. He does nothing. How come he gets to do nothing all day, when everyone else in our community works from daybreak to nightfall, we get payed so poorly, and we don’t even have time to spend the money we make.

Sure, Guru sets the table and has a meal prepared for when we get home, but that is not an art or special gift. There’s food aplenty where we live. He doesn’t even have to leave the area to get it.

“Exactly”, Guru finally said. We are all together. We are safe. We have plenty of food. We raise our children together. We have no enemies, only friends. All of you work so hard. For next to no reward. And I just smile. Could it be, you aren’t upset with me, but with yourselves? Can it be, that every time you come home from work and there’s food on the table, but you’re too tired to talk to each other, tell stories, or read, or play, you see me and can’t seem to remember how to is you’re not doing the exact same thing? Come, sit around me, there’s plenty of light in me for all of us. And they did.

GURU is a guru. Through no intension or fault of his own, he teaches us you don’t have to accomplish anything in life in order to shine. You are perfect, just the way you are. Right now. Believe it to be true. It’s true.

Download factsheet

Would you like more information about this artwork?