Sent to you by Allen.Tsau via Google Reader:
"Marshall your thoughts in contemplation, with a pen. Master the power of the pen. Read, read, read every day, with pen in hand."
Added to innate stoicism he also made writing his other self. This he articulated to his children, at the same time imparting his wisdom to them.
It is now more than 8 years since I last saw you, and just over 12 months since Mummy was suddenly taken away from you. Last year I wrote two letters. I know now that you never received them
As both of you are still under 18, and as you are not allowed to visit me until that age, writing letters is the only means I have of keeping in touch with you and of hearing about the state of your health, your schoolwork and your school progress generally. Although these precious letters do not reach, I shall nevertheless keep on trying by writing whenever that is possible. I am particularly worried about the fact that for more than a year I received no letter of first-hand information as to who looks after you during school holidays and where you spend such holidays, who feeds you and buys you clothing, who pays your school fees, board and lodging, and on the progress that you are making at school. To continue writing holds out the possibility that one day luck may be on our side in that you may receive the letters. In the meantime the mere fact of writing down my thoughts and expressing my feelings gives me a measure of pleasure and satisfaction. It is some means of passing on to you my warmest love and good wishes, and tends to calm down the shooting pains that hit me whenever I think of you.
既然你们两个还不够18岁，没到可以探视我的年龄，那么写信就是我与你们保持联系的唯一办法 — 我想知道你们的健康状况、功课和学业的总体情况。尽管这些珍贵的信件不会送达，一有可能，我还会继续写的。我尤其担心的是，我已经有一年没有收到任何可以告诉我关于你们的第一手信息的信了，比如：学校放假期间谁照看你们的，假期在哪儿过的，谁给你们管吃的买穿的，谁负担你们的学费和食宿费，还有你们的学业如何了，等等。只有继续写信运气才可能在某一天眷顾咱们，让你们收到我的信件。与此同时，记录我的想法，抒发我的感受，本身就给我带来相当程度的快乐和满足。这是一种向你们表达我的挚爱和祝福的方式，同时也能纾解我思念你们的时候伴随而来的刺痛。
After eight years of concern over his mother, worrying about his children's welfare and education and keeping his marriage together with only one letter and one hour-long visit per month (early on they were six-monthly) his anger rose when he realised most of his letters were not allowed through, both outgoing and incoming. In June 1970 he calculated that of 39 letters he had sent in lieu of visits and 'specials' only two seemed to have reached their destination.
But there was something worse. A love triangle of the most grotesque kind. In June 1970 he learned Winnie had been confined to bed for two months. By 1 August he still had not had any news of her and on that day, no doubt sick with worry, and trying to control things with the only resource he had – the force of his mind – he wrote to her one of his most personal and passionate of letters. It is almost too painful to read now, even with the mellowing opiate of time passed.
然而还有比这更糟的事情。最荒诞不经的一种三角恋。1970年6月他得知温妮已经卧病在床两个月了。到8月1日，他还没有收到任何关于她的消息。因担心而无疑变得心烦意乱的曼德拉在当天给她写了一封信，试图用他仅有的资源 — 意志的力量来控制事情。这是他写过的最私密、最热烈的信件之一。尽管时间可以麻痹和冲淡一切，但现在读起信来仍然让人痛心不已，不忍卒读。
The crop of miseries we have harvested from the heartbreaking frustrations of the last 15 months are not likely to fade away easily from the mind. I feel as if I have been soaked in gall, every part of me, my flesh, bloodstream, bone and soul, so bitter am I to be completely powerless to help you in the rough and fierce ordeals you are going through. What a world of difference to your failing health and to your spirit, darling, to my own anxiety and the strain that I cannot shake off, if only we could meet; if I could be on your side and squeeze you, or if I could but catch a glimpse of your outline through the thick wire netting that would inevitably separate us.
过去15个月令人心碎的挫折与失意所播下的痛苦不会轻易地从脑海抹去。我感觉我整个泡在胆汁般的苦涩之中，我的每一部分、我的肉体、血流、骨头和灵魂 — 如此地苦涩乃至我完全无力对正在经受残酷煎熬的你施以援手。要是你我能够见面，要是我能在你身旁抱一抱你，或是透过那将你我无奈分隔的粗铁丝网而瞥见你的身影， 这对你那衰弱的身体、你的精神 — 还有亲爱的 — 我那挥之不去的焦虑和紧张，该是多么不同的一个世界啊！
Physical suffering is nothing compared to the trampling down of those tender bonds that form the basis of the institution of marriage and the family that unite man and wife. This is a frightful moment in our life. It is a moment of challenge to cherished beliefs, putting resolutions to a severe test. But as long as I still enjoy the privilege of communicating with you, even though it may only exist in form for me, and until it is expressly taken away, the record will bear witness to the fact that I tried hard and earnestly to reach you by writing every month. I owe you this duty and nothing will distract me from it. Maybe this line will one day pay handsome dividends. There will always be good men on earth, in all countries, and even here at home. One day we may have on our side the genuine and firm support of an upright and straightforward man, holding high office, who will consider it improper to shirk his duty of protecting the rights and privileges of even his bitter opponents in the battle of ideas that is being fought in our country today; an official who will have sufficient sense of justice and fairness to make available to us not only the rights and privileges that the law allows us today, but who will also compensate us for those that were surreptitiously taken away.
In spite of all that has happened I have, throughout the ebb and flow of the tides of fortune in the last 15 months, lived in hope and expectation. Sometimes I even have belief that this feeling is part and parcel of my self. It seems to be woven into my being. I feel my heart pumping hope steadily to every part of my body, warming my blood and pepping up my spirits. I am convinced that floods of personal disaster can never drown a determined revolutionary nor can the cumulus of misery that accompanies tragedy suffocate him. To a freedom fighter hope is what a life-belt is to a swimmer – guarantee that one will keep afloat and free from danger. I know darling that if riches were to be counted in terms of tons of hope and sheer courage that nestle in your breast (this idea I got from you) you will certainly be a millionaire. Remember this always.
By the way, the other day I dreamt of you convulsing your entire body with a graceful Hawaiian dance at the Bantu Men's Social Centre. I stood at one end of the famous hall with arms outstretched ready to embrace you as you whirled towards me with the enchanting smile that I miss so desperately. I cannot explain why the scene should have been located at the B.M.S.C. To my recollection we have been there for a dance only once – on the night of Lindi's wedding reception. The other occasion was the concert we organized in 1957 when I was courting you, or you me. I am never certain whether I am free to remind you that you took the initiative in this regard. Anyway the dream was for me a glorious moment. If I must dream in my sleep, please Hawaii for me. I like to see you merry and full of life.
顺便说一下，前几天我梦见你在班图男士交谊中心扭动着全身跳起了优雅的夏威夷舞蹈。我站在那个著名大厅的一端，伸出双臂，准备将转着身子朝我而来的你拥入怀中，你的脸上带着让我日夜想念的迷人笑容。我不知道为什么梦中的情景会是在班图中心。我只记得我曾在那儿跳过一次舞 — 在林蒂的婚礼招待会上。另一次是在1957年我们组织的音乐会上，那时我正在追求你，或者你在追求我吧。我一直不确定该不该提醒你在这方面是你采取的主动。无论如何，这场梦对我来说是极为幸福和快乐的时刻。如果我睡觉一定要做梦的话，请再为我跳夏威夷舞吧。我喜欢见到充满快乐和活力的你。
The damning phrase here is, 'the records will bear witness to …'. Because he is aware, as in all his letters, that there is someone listening in to this private and intimate conversation between husband and wife. Polonius behind the arras. He was tented to the quick by what he called 'the remorseless fates', the censors.
At times he even taunts them. On hearing of Nobel Prize winner Chief Luthuli's death he said in his letter to the chief's widow that, 'we cannot believe that anybody would interfere with condolence letters and prevent them from reaching the bereaved.' And, in another letter to a friend in Swaziland concerning his children, he slyly suggested that these state voyeurs 'will be induced by consideration of honour and honesty to allow this one through.'
He was eventually shown Winnie's letter over forty days after she sent it but again the joy was tainted by the crassness of his custodians.
It was the sweetest of all your letters your letter. If there was ever a letter which I desperately wished to keep, read quietly over and over again in the privacy of my cell it was that one. It was compensation for the precious things your arrest deprived me of – the Xmas, wedding anniversary and birthday cards – the little things about which you never fail to think. But I was told to read it on the spot and it was grabbed away as soon as I had reached the last line… How can any honest and intelligent person justify the barbarism?
这是你所有的信里面最动听的一封。这是一封我最想好好保存、一个人躲在小囚房里静静地反复咀嚼的信。这是对因你的被捕而令我被剥夺的那些珍贵的东西的补偿 — 圣诞节、结婚纪念日和生日卡 — 这些你从来不会忘记的。但他们要我当场读完。当我刚读到最后一行的时候，信就被抢走了……没有一个诚实和有智力的人会为如此野蛮的行为而辩护的！