I saw her first at the underground railway station. She was about 30. Her face was red. It must have been a cold. She had a book with her. It was written in Turkish. I also had a book, by VS Naipaul. After arranging her clothes she settled into her seat to read. The train approached. She quickly got up, anticipating the train's arrival. We both needed a seat. We each found one. We smiled at each other. It is much easier to read while sitting. She opened her book and resumed her reading. I resumed mine. But she was too intriguing, so I ignored my book and watched her as she traced her finger over the words she was reading. Soon she was speaking the words to herself, immersed in the world the pages conveyed. The author's mind and her mind were meeting as the stations came and went. The author did not know. But I did, watching this woman on the train.
Damon loves photography, peacebuilding, and writing free software. He is doing a PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of Minnesota.
He plans to research how Tajiks perceive time when they reflect on the
1992-97 Tajik civil war, including how they appropriate Islam to help shape their sense of time. He has an MA in Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame. He is the developer of Rapid Photo Downloader for Linux.
He has lived and worked in South East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East,
and the U.S. He is from Aotearoa New Zealand. He has worked primarily
with non-government organizations.
The biggest inspiration in his life is Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
(1890-1988). Khan was a nonviolent soldier who fought for freedom and
justice for more than 70 years. Incredibly, Khan raised a large
nonviolent Muslim army to fight British colonial rule from the midst of a
proud and largely tribal people, the Pukhtuns. Damon is inspired by
Khan's selfless service, dedication to truth, and his passionate peace
In addition to Google+, Damon's photographs are found on PBase and Flickr.