Impressionist Nudes

Joel Michael Herbert
2 min readJan 22, 2024
Natalia Korneeva

all around us, if we have eyes to see
Nature Herself is ever painting us a picture
a vivid expression of surprising joy, intimacy, and vulnerability

in the clouds, upon the sea
amidst the countryside, from a mountaintop vista
the meandering curves
jagged angles
and gentle brushstrokes of the earth and sky
draw our eyes ever upward and ever inward

not quite sentient, but more than inanimate
She constantly bares herself
inviting us into the generous, all-encompassing Mystery
that is Creation itself, the Universe as Thou
in all Her visible and invisible Storytelling power

somewhere between Literalism and Metaphor
but paradoxically neither including nor excluding either
we find Mystery.
Mystery is Impressionism.
Mystery is the Expression of what is Unsayable.
perhaps this is what the Mystic means when She says
“faith is the substance of all that is Hoped for
the Evidence of the Intangible.”

the very nature of Nature teaches us this deep truth
the built in physical capacity to see, to hear, to touch and smell
bears witness to this Mystery at the most fundamental level of Reality

the nature of sight to the human mind
to use by way of example the most primitive and delightful of the senses
decrees that we recognize all around us not mere substance
but profound beauty as well
that that simple recognizance of glory might separate us from the brutes

all around us as we behold
from glory to glory
and in the very act of beholding
it is as if Nature herself is ever painting us
as it were
an endless



Joel Michael Herbert

Husband. Father. Artist. Storyteller. Armchair Theologian. Advocate, activist and politician. Gryffindor. [neuro]Divergent.