“Life begins on the other side of despair.” Sartre speaks of despair from a more hopeful place.

What facial and physical expressions show despair. A hollowness beyond anger, an unseeing look in the eyes , slumped shoulders, a lack of speech, plodding aimlessly without knowing to where. When all personal control for a positive outcome is lost, despair is the outcome.

Lack of control creates despair. Illness, home loss, death or belief that you will die sooner than hoped, election results, loss of a child or close family member, manifest a disrupted life. When one has no idea of what is next, what keeps someone going? It might bean inner strength and a clear objective. Move on as best as one can.

Will they see each other?  Will each die or only one survive? Will either of them give up and die or be physically weak as to be caught by at the Russians, or, for Ferenc and the Lippizan horses, anyone hungry?

My characters run the gamut of stages: anger, denial, bargaining and, finally, acceptance. The war is quickly approaching and the decision to leave Budapest comes with huge consequences. The other side of despair? What keeps anyone going when his/her body is weak with starvation and lack of water? Their struggle is a true story. My story of them is a narrative nonfiction.

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