“I am not in any way visibly Muslim. I am white-skinned and white-haired without hijab. When I am volunteering with an organization called, 'Voices of Muslim Women' I'm pretty sure most people that see me think I'm just a super friendly ally!”
Allison is a 49-year-old family and portrait photographer and mother of three. Her camera and motherhood are integral to her identity, how she perceives herself, and how she believes others perceive her. Allison told me, “I think I'm perceived as the kind Mom always with her camera that dabbles in activism and social justice, that has multiple things going on at once, that wears her heart on her sleeve, that sometimes gets flustered...but is mostly holding it together.” She really does wear her heart on her sleeve and feels for others greatly. Her own favourite quality is how empathetic and kind she is. She told me, “I always imagine walking in a person's shoes before judging and I know that the smallest, kindest act can create shifts and ripple effects on a Universal scale that we cannot possibly comprehend. I am also resilient and self sufficient with a broad sense of humour.” Speaking of sense of humour, when I asked her what some fun facts about her is she told me “I go into the mosh pit at Mother Mother concerts, I’ve been in two bands, I've co-written a feature film, I sing in the grocery store, and the full moon has a tendency to influence my dancing ability.”
Where is your favourite place to find yourself?
"Around the mountains and lakes of my home in British Columbia and driving in my car, singing my head off...but, the moments I feel most in touch with my being is in the dark, quiet of night when everyone in the house is sleeping and I feel my heart beat. It's in that stillness I realize the fragility of life and the grace of every breath."
What is most important to you?
"Gratitude. When felt fully in every part of life we can then truly love and appreciate everything that we hold dear to us. Our partners, children, home, passions, Earth, God, Universe. When we walk each step with gratitude we realize the limitless blessings in each and every thing, each and every moment."