Telsa Gwynne (1969 – 2015)

Telsa Gwynne (1969 – 2015)

I gystudd fe ddaeth gosteg – rhoi heddwch
A rhyddid i geindeg;
I ni, er melltith annheg
Ei hud ddeil i ehedeg.

Wedi salwch hir bu ergyd drom o golli Telsa ddoe. Ni fu’n fwriad gen i erioed i sgwennu teyrngedau ar y blog hwn a gobeithio na fydd raid gwneud hynny eto am amser hir, ond weithiau does dim dewis.

Dywedodd cyfaill wrthyf am Gwglo ei henw bore yma i gael gweld yr holl deyrngedau Saesneg a gyfansoddwyd a gwneuthum hynny. Mae’r Trydarfyd, Gweplyfr a’r blogiau yn llawn negeseuon a chofiannau, i’r fath raddau fel ei fod yn syndod o’r mwyaf i mi. Achos, i mi gael esbonio, er fy mod yn ei hadnabod yn weddol dda, ni sylweddolais erioed ei bod mor adnabyddus ar draws sawl maes o amgylch y byd. Yn wir, o ddarllen y blogs:

Gwglais! Chwiliais! Darllenais dri,
Nid hon a ddisgrifir yw fy Nhelsa i.

Felly rheidrwydd yw colbio’r allweddell hwn i goffau a dathlu cyfraniad Telsa Gwynne i Gymru a’r Gymraeg.

Roedd Telsa yn ymfalchïo yn ei gwreiddiau. Rhannwyd y gwreiddiau hynny yn ganghennau o’r Hen Ogledd ac o Gymru. Byddai’n ymweld â’i theulu yn ardal Newcastle ambell dro ac yn dychwelyd i Dŷ Tawe gyda photeli medd o Lindisfarne er mwyn i gerddorion y sesiwn werin gael blasu beth oedd yr hen Frythoniaid yn ei yfed! Ond o ddewis, daeth Telsa i fyw i Abertawe i hyfforddi a gweithio fel nyrs ac ymsefydlu yma yn ei Chymru hi. Dysgodd Alan (ei gŵr) a hithau Gymraeg ac aeth Telsa ymlaen i wneud gradd Gymraeg ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe. Roedd hi newydd gychwyn ar ddoethuriaeth yn Academi Hywel Teifi pan gyrhaeddodd yr aflwydd a’i gorfodi i roi’r gorau iddi.

Gwirionodd Telsa ar y Gymraeg a’r pethau Cymreig. Telsa oedd un o brif weinyddion y bar yn sesiynau gwerin Tŷ Tawe am flynyddoedd maith, hi oedd un o brif wirfoddolwyr Caffi Clonc fore Sadwrn Tŷ Tawe, a bu’n aelod o bwyllgor rheoli Menter Iaith Abertawe am flynyddoedd. Bu ei chyfraniad yn enfawr ac mae’r golled yn enbyd. Wrth gyrraedd y caffi yn Nhŷ Tawe ar fore Sadwrn, neu wrth gyrraedd gig neu sesiwn werin roedd gwên, sgwrs rwydd a diwylliedig yn disgwyl unrhyw un. Cofiaf yn iawn am ei gofid wrth roi cymorth cyntaf i Mirain (4 oed) wedi iddi wasgu ei bys yng nghornel drws yn Nhŷ Tawe.

Awgrymais rhyw dro y dylai gael ei thalu am redeg y bar mor ddiffwdan o fis i fis, ond ei hymateb oedd ei bod wedi derbyn gymaint o fudd oddi wrth Tŷ Tawe wrth ddysgu’r Gymraeg ar hyd y blynyddoedd ac o gael cyfeillion Cymraeg yno, ei bod yn teimlo mai ad-dalu yn unig a wnâi. Gwrthododd unrhyw daliad yn bendant.

Roedd ei chwmni yn ddifyr bob amser. Gwirionai ar farddoniaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg. Ymhyfrydai ei bod wedi canfod hen gywyddau maswedd nad oedd rhyw ddarlithwyr ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe eisiau eu trafod a byddai yn ceisio eu trafod â hwy cyn amled a phosib! Mwynhâi wrando ar feirdd yn adrodd eu gwaith ac roedd yn hoff iawn o grwpiau gwerin-pync ymhob iaith. Byddai wedi bod wrth ei bodd gyda’r treigliad o’i henw a wneuthum uchod er efallai y byddai’n fy ngheryddu’n ysgafn am y peth.

Rhoddodd sawl un ohonom ar ben ffordd yn y byd cyfrifiadurol ac roedd ei blog Cymraeg gystal pob tamaid a’r memrwn Saesneg y bu’n ei gadw hefyd. Bu’n ein hannog i ystyried defnyddio systemau cyfrifiadurol tu hwnt i Microsoft ac Apple (rhywbeth nad yw’n anghyffredin erbyn hyn), ond mewn gwirionedd roedd ei chefndir yn y maes hwnnw yn guddiedig i’r rhan fwyaf ohonom. Gwyddom, wrth reswm, am ei gallu rhyfeddol gyda chyfrifiaduron a datblygu meddalwedd, ond nid oedd yn destun trafod rhyngom. Ac felly, rhyfeddach fyth im yw darllen negeseuon pobl ar y we heddiw yn talu teyrngedau o bob cornel o’r byd.

Bu’r cyfnod o waeledd yn hir, ond parhaodd ei gwenau. Bu’r profiad o ymweld â Telsa a hithau’n sâl yn un cymysg. Profiad o rwystredigaeth bod rhywun mor annwyl, egwyddorol a hwyliog yn gorfod dioddef, ond profiad hyfryd hefyd o gael trin a thrafod y byd a’i bethau. Celodd ei phoen rhagom gymaint ag oedd hynny’n bosibl. Dywedodd wrthyf bod y pethau dibwys wedi mynd yn angof iddi a’i bod am ganolbwyntio ar y pethau pwysig. Y pethau hynny pan yn sgwrsio gyda mi oedd byd natur, adar, blodau, barddoniaeth, canu (gyda gitâr), y ‘pethau’ Cymraeg, ac hanes ei theulu. Ar un achlysur roedd cyfaill arall iddi wedi galw heibio ac wedi rhoi cregyn o lan y môr Abertawe iddi’n anrheg gan nad oedd Telsa erbyn hynny’n gallu mynd at y traeth. Yno y buom am orig yn gwrando ar seiniau rhyfeddol llanw a thrai mewn cragen.

Estynnwn ein cydymdeimlad dwysaf at Alan a’r teulu agos i gyd.

Ymweld

Clyw’n llef yr hydref oer hyn – er yr haul
Teimlwn rew diderfyn
A gwae o golli Telsa Gwynne.

 gwendid fe es yn gyndyn – i’w gweld
Es ag ofn meidrolyn,
Gwiw awr fu â Telsa Gwynne.

Hoff orig i ganu offeryn – fu
Yn fwyn ar ddydd gwrthun,
Hael ei sgwrs oedd Telsa Gwynne.

Drwy awr dreng adroddodd englyn – a’i hwyl
Yn parhau i’m dilyn.
Loes gudd oedd loes Telsa Gwynne.

Er yn dawel yn ei gwely’n dioddef,
Hud ei hedd drwy ddeigryn
A gwefr ddaeth gan Telsa Gwynne.

Yn dirion gwelsom aderyn yr haf
A holl rin blodeuyn.
Ni welais gur Telsa Gwynne.

Gwylio heb weled gelyn – yn hwyliog
Heb wylo na dychryn,
Mwynhau gwenau Telsa Gwynne.

Yr eigion glywsom mewn cregyn – tonnau
Fel tannau hen delyn
Yn gain, alaw Telsa Gwynne.

Ond yn dyner dychwel deryn – a daw
I dir wefr blaguryn
Llon o gofio’n Telsa Gwynne.

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9 thoughts on “Telsa Gwynne (1969 – 2015)

    1. At Telsa’s family’s request here’s an attempted translation of today’s blog. I am not skilled at translating neither prose nor verse and, therefore, the poetry is very loosely translated with no attempt at rhythm, cadence, rhyme nor alliteration, let alone ‘cynghanedd’.

      Telsa Gwynne (1969 – 2015)

      To tribulation there came calmness – putting peace
      And freedom upon a fair one;
      To us, notwithstanding the unfair curse
      Her magic continues to fly.

      Following a long illness losing Telsa yesterday was a heavy blow. It was never my intention to use this blog to compose tributes and I hope that it won’t be necessary to do so again for a long time, but sometimes there is no choice.

      A friend of mine told me to Google her name this morning in order to see the many English tributes composed and I did so. The Tiwtterworld, Facebook and blogs are full of messages and documented memories, to such an extent that it was a real surprise to me. Because, so that I may explain, although I knew her quite well, I never previously realised how well known she was in a number of fields across the world. In fact, from reading the blogs:

      I Googled! I searched! I read three,
      The one they describe is not my Telsa. (mutated in the original Welsh to “fy Nhelsa”)

      Therefore, it is a necessity for me to beat this keyboard in order to compose a remembrance and to celebrate Telsa Gwynne’s contribution to Wales and the Welsh language.

      Telsa was proud of her roots. Those roots were shared between the Old North (Welsh term for the old Briton / Welsh speaking kingdom) and Wales. She would occasionally visit her family in Newcastle and would return to Tŷ Tawe with bottles of mead from Lindisfarne so that the musicians of the folk session could taste what the ancient Britons used to drink! But Telsa’s choice was to move to live in Swansea to train and work as a nurse and to settle here in her Wales. Alan (her husband) and Telsa learnt Welsh and Telsa went on complete a degree in Welsh at Swansea University. She had only just begun a doctorate at Academi Hywel Teifi when the horrible misfortune arrived and forced to give it up.

      Telsa doted upon the Welsh language and all things Welsh. Telsa was one of the main waiters at the bar at Tŷ Tawe’s folk sessions for many years, she was one of the main volunteers at Caffi Clonc (café for Welsh learners and first language Welsh speakers to mingle) on Saturday mornings at Tŷ Tawe, and she was a member of the Menter Iaith Abertawe management committee for many years. Her contribution was enormous and the loss is dire. On arriving at Tŷ Tawe on a Saturday morning, or when arriving at a gig or folk session a smile, and easy and cultured chat awaited anyone. I well remember her concern as she provided first aid to Mirain (4 years old) after she crushed her finger in a door hinge at Tŷ Tawe.

      I suggested once that she should be paid for administering the bar with so little fuss from month to month, but her response was that she had received so much benefit from Tŷ Tawe when she was learning Welsh over the years and from having Welsh speaking friends there, that she felt that she was doing no more than repaying a debt. She firmly refused any payment.

      Her company was always jolly and interesting. She was almost infatuated at times with Welsh and English poetry. She was delighted that she had found obscene old Welsh strict-metre odes which some lecturers at Swansea University did not want to discuss and she would do her best to raise them for discussion with these lecturers at every opportunity! She enjoyed listening to poets reciting their works and was a fan of punk-folk groups in every language. She would have delighted in my mutation of her name above and she would have gently scolded me about it.

      She advised a number of us in the computing world and Welsh language blog was easily as good as her English diary which she also kept. She encouraged us to consider using computer systems beyond Microsoft and Apple (something that is not so uncommon by now), but in reality her background in this field was hidden from view for most of us. We knew, of course, about her understanding of computers and her involvement in developing software, but this was not a discussion topic between us. And therefore, it was even more of a surprise for me to read people’s messages on the internet paying tribute from every corner of the earth.

      The period of illness was long, but her smiles remained. The experience of visiting Telsa while she was ill was mixed one. A frustrating experience that someone so dear, principled and fun had to suffer, but also a pleasant experience of having time to discuss the world and life. She hid her pain from us as much as that was possible. She told me that the unimportant things had become forgotten for her and that she was going to concentrate on the important things. Those important things when we chatted about were nature, birds, flowers, poetry, singing (with a guitar), Welsh culture, and her family and their history. On one occasion another friend of hers had visited and had given shells from Swansea’s beach as a gift because Telsa could no longer go to the seaside. There we sat for a moment listening to the incredible sounds of the tide and ebb in a shell.

      We extend our deepest sympathies to Alan and all the family.

      Please note again that this poetry translation does not attempt to provide and English version of the poem, it simply provides a rough explanation of the meaning.

      Visiting

        Hear our cry this cold autumn – regardless of the sun
        We feel unending ice
        And woe from losing Telsa Gwynne.

        With a weakness I went hesitant – to see her
        I went with a mortal’s fear,
        A worthy hour was had with Telsa Gwynne.

        A preferred moment to play an instrument – was
        Gentle on a repellent day,
        Generous of conversation was Telsa Gwynne.

        Through a sullen hour she recited a poem – and her fun
        Continued to follow me.
        A hidden pain was the pain of Telsa Gwynne.

        Although she was quiet in her bed suffering,
        The magic of her peace through a tear
        And a thrill came from Telsa Gwynne.

        Humanely we saw a bird of the summer
        And all the virtue of a flower.
        I didn’t see the ache of Telsa Gwynne.

        I watched without seeing the enemy – jolly
        Without weeping nor fear,
        Enjoying the smiles of Telsa Gwynne.

        The ocean we heard in shells – waves
        Like old harp strings
        Were delicate, the tune of Telsa Gwynne.

        But delicately a bird returns – and the thrill
        Of a flower bud comes to land
        Happily from remembering Telsa Gwynne.

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  1. Geiriau hyfryd i gofio cyfaill annwyl. Cyfraniad amrhisadwy i Dy Tawe ac i fywyd Cymreig a Chymraeg Abertawe. Yn meddwl am ei theulu ac Alan. Cym ofal Telsa x

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  2. Thank you for this. I met Telsa many years ago, as an exchange student in Swansea, and so I knew both her tech side and the one you have captured beautifully here: her wit and her love of Wales, its history, and the Welsh language, and above all her kindness and cleverness. She created communities wherever she went, and more than anyone I have known, she followed her own joy rather than the expectations set by others. She is missed.

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  3. Telsa was a friend back in her Newcastle days. Sadly we lost touch and I’ve only just learnt of her passing. My condolences to Alan, Deborah and her family. RIP dearest Telsa, you’ll always have a place in my heart. Cal Desmond-Pearson

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