Old Turtle, MLK and Peace



[One of 3 turtle journey shawls I’m working on
for the women closest to my uncle]

My uncle Kord was a social worker who collected on vinyl every speech ever made by MLK Jr.  Kord passed on 10/16/16, and a beautiful service was held to honor him intentionally intersecting MLK weekend, since this celebration was something very close to his heart.  He helped found the Open Door Clinic and Youth Advocates in Seattle.  He formed connections with a wide range of people during his life, from spiritual leaders to military veterans (he was one himself).  After 9/11, my uncle formed a special connection with one of the Three Interfaith Amigos, and he made time in his schedule to speak at his memorial.  I am inspired by his example, so signed up for their e-course that begins today on Compassion.

My uncle surrounded himself with animals of many kinds, but identified most with the turtle.  The turtle became synonymous with him.  He saved turtles off roadways on road trips.  He was quoted in my grandfather’s diary as having answered at age 3 when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  “I want to grow down and be a turtle.”  He gifted my family live box turtles which remained in our backyard through my childhood.

Days after my uncle died, this book I’d forgotten I owned fell off my bookshelf.  It is a significant story for our time.


I want to include rare MLK footage I had not seen here, especially as it relates to young people in my own life, including my daughter and her friends.  I cannot listen to a single speech of his without tears due to the emotion his voice conveys.  Each year on this day, I marvel how young in biologic age he was to have such timeless energy and voice that continues to carry through time and touch hearts around the world directly.  We as a society are dealing with so many of the same problems in a different flavor that he addressed 50 years ago.

“Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low as to make you hate them.”


About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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