The Possibility of Finding Home

From The Outpost's seventh and final issue, words by Ibrahim Nehme.

Shams El Balad Journal the Outpost The Possibility of Finding Home Ibrahim Nehme Oak Tree

They say that the greatest oak was once a little nut that stood its ground. A little nut can only expand into that great oak by the power of its roots. It expands from the inside out, not from the outside in. With every extension of its roots downwards into the core of the earth, there’s an expansion of its branches upwards towards the sky.

They also say that we are born out of the earth; in other words, we don’t parachute into it. It’s a saying which we might take to mean that the earth from which we emerge is home. We can also concede that the laws of nature that allow the little nut to crack open and expand out of the earth are those same laws that allow human beings to open up and expand into the greatest version of themselves: the stronger our roots, the greater our expansion.

Before you get me wrong, let me clarify that I’m not really talking about the roots that connect us to the family, the community, the sub-sect, and the homeland. Because these roots, though significant in their own way, are not as strong as our real roots—the roots of the seed that has borne us, the roots that connect us to our core being. The roots of our core do not get muddled by identity, molded by family, re-routed by arbitrary borders, or cropped by society. They stand their ground because they know what they’re made of.

The idea of finding home is similar to the journey of the greatest oak from a little nut to a perfect creation. Firstly, because it’s a journey, not a destination. And, secondly, because very much like the evolution of the oak tree, finding home happens in a space of wonder and surrender. Wonder is a state that emanates from having hope, and it can expand into bliss. Surrender is a condition of letting go and it emanates from our faith in the possibility of bliss. In the space of wonder and surrender there is resonance and harmony. There is no fear, no judgment, no past, no worries. There is creativity. A tree is a creation. We are a creation. And creation is love. In the space where wonder and surrender meet to birth love lies home.

After many months of planting the seeds of this issue and after so much was said and written in the process of making it, it turns out that all it takes to find home is an opening in the heart. Naturally, the heart also goes by the Law of Oak: the stronger the roots, the bigger the heart.

So we thought that the best way to present this issue to you is to make you fall in love with it. We removed all the images from inside the magazine and replaced them with empty frames. Each frame is an invitation to imagine home. We made a sticker booklet so that it’s more fun (the booklet is inserted inside the magazine). The stickers are inspired by the homes we visited, the people we met, and the stories we found in the course of making this issue.

This issue is a playground; it is not a game, because there is no space for right or wrong here. In this playground, there is creativity. In this playground, we do not let politics and pop culture confuse our understanding of who we really are. Because we are free beings. And just like the greatest oak, free beings are connected to the depth of the core from which they emerge. In this playground, there is also the wisdom that makes us aware of the space we’re in—the space of wonder and surrender that allows for both the oak and us to expand into the greatest creations we can be. In this space, all is well. Because we are home.


Ibrahim Nehme is the founding editor of The Outpost.