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Issue: December Newsletter
Torch Songs for these Turning Times ....

Susannah’s new album of medicine songs. (There is a link at the end of this article to a video of Susannah talking about Torch Songs)
By Susannah
The image of the torch of life has been an important image or symbol for me for a long time. In MM, each time we turn to connect with, and to honour the ancestors, I find myself with this picture, of receiving the torch of life from all those who came before, all my ancestors in an unbroken continuity all the way back to the first cells in the primal soup. In the light if this family tree, I am related to all life, the plants, the trees, the bugs, the fish, as well as the mammals and of course all the humans, are all, literally, my relations.

Consciously receiving the Torch of Life makes me aware of the privelige and preciousness of the spark of life that has been passed to me, and which I hold now, doing my best to help it burn as brightly as possible, before handing it on to the coming generations.

My grandmother, my mother’s mother, Maud Ivy Bruce, had been a Quaker elder, a historian and a wise teacher of teachers. In her last years she had severe alzheimers disease and gave no sign of recognising us, but she loved cuddles and food and was looked after at an amazing home for people with dementia in Sheffield.

During one visit, when I went to see her with my mother Elizabeth, her daughter, she had been very disturbed crying out as if from a nightmare. As far as we could understand she was upset because she felt she had not done anything in this life. We reminded her of all the good things she had done and been in her life, and that now she could rest. Eventually she calmed down. After some peaceful minutes,  she sat up vigorously, her frail body suddenly poised and focused. She turned to me, and, as if she was holding a torch or a baton in her hand said, “I’m giving it to you”. I met her hand with mine and energetically took what she was giving me, feeling as if she was passing me her “Olympic torch” of love and care for the world.

As I received my grandmother’s torch I was sobbing deeply, and my mother’s arms like an angel, around both of us.

Since then the torch symbol has been very personally meaningful for me, indeed, as Dorrie reminded me, I asked her to emblazon it discreetly on my first medicine drum.

So here I am, holding my new album “Torch Songs” in my hand. Its called “Torch Songs” as this is one way I give back to life, shine my love into the world. They are songs, to listen to, to sing and to dance with and I hope they will help light your way and support you in your playing your role in these challenging times.

This album is called “Torch Songs” in honour of my mother, Elizabeth Darlington, who died a little over 2 years ago soon after I started recording this album, so it’s been made in the wake of her death. She lived with fierce integrity and deep intelligence, in service in so many ways, and died, as she had lived, with grace, peace and consciousness. One of the songs on this album is for her, it’s called ‘Let Her Go’ and is the first song I ever wrote when I was 23. I didn’t know what or who this song was about until, 30 years later, by my mother’s side in the hospice I understood; it was for her and for us in letting her go. So this album “Torch Songs” is dedicated to you, Mum. The last words I spoke to her before she died  were about how proud I am to be her daughter, and how I stand tall in her lineage. Thank you for how you lived and how you died, and for giving me life. I take my hat off to you Mum… Thank you for giving me life.

10% of all proceeds from this album will be given to the Pachamama Alliance to support the indigenous people of the Amazon as they protect the forest on behalf of all life.

Torch Songs is available from the

There is also a Torch Song video made by Susannah available here

Thank you and enjoy!

Susannah Darling Khan

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.