11 11 2011

Hello and welcome to this month's edition of The Eleven, my monthly e-letter.  This month's update will be very short in order to bring you one link to my photos from this year's Burning Man.  I recommend pouring yourself a glass of water/wine/sangria/scotch, putting on some John Coltrane or Schpongle and enjoying this slide show.  Yes, it's not edited.  Yes, there are 700 pictures. And, it's the best I can do to capture what it's like to drive through the Oregon Outback, reach the playa, enjoy some of the sights of the Black Rock Desert (esp. the desert itself) and the drive home via the Summer Lake Hot Springs, Paulina Lake and Mt. Hood.  All in all, 11 amazing days.

temple 2011
Temple 2011
Burning Man for me has become much more about my relationships with people, new and old more than anything else. Yes, I speak or swim with the divine on the playa. Yes, there are big blobs of fire and sparkly things everywhere.  Yes, there are amazing art cars and things that go pop, bang and whiz. Yes, there is shitty non-stop techno music to bring you to the point of wanting to stab something.  But the real fireworks for me are my friends and the opportunity to spend precious time together in a magical environment.  Getting to know one another.  Getting to learn what makes the other tick and to have incredible adventures on bicycles on a hard, flat desert lakebed, year after year.  This year it was sunny, not too hot, and the playa surface was perfect for biking.  It also wasn't too windy and for the first couple nights one could walk around in a t-shirt and shorts until 2AM.

Ah, so many stories.  So much goodness.  Perhaps I'll see you on the playa in 2012. 

I hope the Summer is treating you well.  Happy 9/11/11 - it's the only one we've got.

Yours in dust,

Albert Kaufman

PS - my friend, Eric Rankin, who wrote a book about 11:11 (see top sculpture...) also has a nice photo set here.
PPS - Michael Holden's photos are often some of the best, too. 
PPPS - if you like video, this is a cute 8 minute ride by bike that gives a nice look at things.
PPPPS - life has been made immeasurably better and my playa time, as well, by the wonderful folks at the Black Rock City International Post Office.  Thanks to Bethany Epiphany and the rest of the TEAM.

home via the lava flows
The Paulina Lakes Obsidian Lava Flow