Sir George Trevelyan: memories and observations

Dear George, beloved Friend!

Geseke Clark

Geseke accompanied Sir George on many of his travels from 1988 to 1995.
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I am writing this in gratitude for what you meant to me as your friend and travel companion, and sometimes, as you put it, your colleague.

To work and travel with you was stimulating and exciting, though later not always easy. You encouraged me to give a short talk myself before your talk to fill out the event, and I had to be fresh for that often after a long drive and sorting everything out for you. But we always had fun and you were so easy to be with. You regarded each trip as yet another 'adventure'. When I interpreted for you in Germany the last thing you would say to me before we got to the platform was: 'Let's have some fun, Geseke', and so we did. Your enthusiasm to communicate the new ideas and your love of people were infectious.

On our long car journeys you delighted in the beauty of nature, the 'Grandeur of God' in the landscape, in the mountains, in rocks and caves, in the trees and in the little wild strawberry which you shared with me. 'My Life is a Tree' was one of your favourite poems.

Sir George in the AlpsOn the day following an evening lecture there was often time to explore the surrounding country to find a church and sacred places. We would look and pause and honour them. We loved the walks in the rocky Alps and singing together along the way. Once I remember we came to the end of a mountain path and our view was blocked by a high rock. Before I knew what you intended you had dropped rucksack and stick and with your arthritic hands and knees you were climbing up this steep rock. You didn't hear my protests, and the best I could do was to forget my fears and get up there too. We sat on a narrow ledge with a steep precipice in front of us, looking over the snow-covered Höllental to the Zugspitze. It was awe inspiring! Luckily two young people passed by to help us get down safely. On the long walk downhill to the funicular you had to walk backward for most of the two hours, because that way it was less painful for your feet. Pain for you was irrelevant, when your soul could be nourished by the glory of the landscape.

I remember when you took me to see the Wookey Hole cave. You were 87 and you had very painful legs. You asked for two tickets and the man at the ticket office enquired: 'One old-age pensioner, Sir?' But you couldn't hear, and the man repeated his question to which the answer was so obvious. In the end, having got the two tickets, the man expressed doubts about your ability to negotiate the 200 steps down and up the cave - but you brushed his warning aside replying: 'I know what I am doing. I explored these caves long before you were even born.' I had no time to ponder on my responsibility for your safety as you, intrepid man, swept me to the top of the steps. You did not like being fussed over. Sure of our unseen helpers we carefully managed each difficult step, as I watched that you put your stick on the joints and not into the holes of the metal steps.

For me personally our friendship meant joy in doing the work and being with you, but also, I feel privileged to have experienced in many ways more about loving with the heart, and the truth of the saying that love drives out fear. You loved life and, keenly interested in many things on many different levels, you tackled it with zest as one big exploration. Your infinite curiosity to discover what was round the corner made you often choose the unknown and sometimes mysterious path, and with your intuition and your lack of fear it was always worthwhile. As a teacher you set a fine example by the way you did things and the fun you spread. Above all, as we know, it is the way you talked and lectured about the ideas of things to come, about the new humanity, about the freedom in spirituality, about the rising tide of love, which made you unique, which made the New Age Movement respectable and for everyone understandable. That was your gift and your triumph!

Your eternal Friend,

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