I've recently resolved to finish the many projects around my house that have remained unfinished (or, let's be honest, un-begun) since we moved in sixish years ago. This means many things: Craigslist scouring, eBay madness, early morning monthly pilgrimages to the Rose Bowl Flea Market (not awesome on daylight savings, still tired from yesterday's shenanigans), tile sampling for a bathroom redo, upholstery swatches for a pair of old club chairs and many overwrought thoughts about how my home could be used and all the sorts of fun that could be had if things were just a bit more sorted in this shaggy old loft. All of which is too much thinking about things that are not nearly as important as, say, all the novels I'd like to read in March, clean drinking water for all and world peace. Still. This needs to get done.
All this over-thinking and design-dreaming led me to a place I often go when I'm in need of inspiration: back issues. These past few weeks, I've been somewhat madly flipping through all my old Dwell, Domino, Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home issues for ideas that could solve for some of the unique problems we have in our space. It has been an interesting journey, re-reading these back issues. When I come across a home or a feature or an idea that I first read about in 2006, I am reminded "Ah, yes! I remember this wonderful thing..." as if I'm visiting a familiar home, a treasured memory. Strange, how these strangers' homes are somehow buried in my subconscious and upon seeing a certain piece of art hung just so or a painted black floor change a room entirely, I'm reminded of the first time I loved the idea years ago.
Funny how these ideas and images are floating about within us and a single flip of the page can bring it all freshly back, when pre-flip there was no awareness of holding these images within and no sadness at not being able to recall them.
I'm not even really a back-issue-saving kind of person. I routinely recycle nearly every magazine or periodical that enters my home to avoid clutter. But for whatever reason, I thought these would be great reference material. As if my past self was saving these for my future self so I could have the pleasure I've had these past three weeks. "Ah, yes. I remember this wonderful thing..."
I also have several Believer, Tin House, Granta, Paris Review and Zyzzyva back issues (perhaps I'm a back-issue-saving-kind of person after all) and I'm hoping they'll have the same effect. I look forward to revisiting these stories and essays I loved when I first read them but that I have no recollection of at the moment.