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Lost In The Wild

by Diane Barbarash

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We can all be angels here on earth.

Many years ago, my father and his wife came to Vancouver for a visit. As good grandparents, a shopping trip was planned to get my daughter some new clothes and school items. I’ll preface this right now by saying that anyone who knows me, knows that a shopping mall is the last place I ever want to go to, however “the benefit of all” won out this time.

As this was a rather large mall with many levels, we parked in the underground and headed up to the world of endless things. I did my best to breathe through the drone of crowded voices from passers-by and radio music that shot out at us from stores like desperate tentacles. But eventually and to my absolute relief we found ourselves in a department store area where I could feel my body relax. The floor was enormous but amazingly quiet, and there were surprisingly few people among the spacious racks of clothing and mannequins. It was almost, dare I say, enjoyable. Our mission: new socks for Nira, and we easily found an array of them with little effort.

I can’t explain how, but my attention was pulled several meters away, where a young girl about 5 or 6yrs old stood in place motioning desperately with her hands. No one seemed to be aware of her but me. But time was moving fast and soon enough her mother did appear in a panic pleading with her daughter to no avail. My body kicked in, legs moving towards the two of them in what felt like slow motion arriving and then arms enveloping with fists locked to push in and up, and again when the first attempt failed. The girl’s mother had turned away from us now in desperation to call out for help, but my second Heimlich maneuver worked and resulted in many large colored gumballs flying out of the child’s mouth, magically caught in midair by the mother’s tissue as apparently she had spun back around in perfect timing with arms outstretched like we were all in some weird synchronic dance.

By then a small crowd had gathered and began to push its way towards mom and daughter with such force that I found myself on the outside completely unnoticed. The young girl was crying, the mom was thanking everyone, and so I turned around to walk back to my family who had been watching from afar, by the socks. It was all so strange, nothing was said, and everyone turned to move on. I felt as if I had gone to another world and back, leaving parts of me in both, and now I existed in neither.

But my father turned around and saw me frozen in place. He came over to me with such focus
and placed both his hands on the sides of my face. He had never done that before, ever. “You have done a mitzva (good deed)”, he said, “and even though they didn’t see you, I did.”

I learned that day to never take for granted my part in this world.


lost in the wild
alone and breaking up
lost in the wild
so dark and slow and rough
you know I’m changing
I know you’re never giving up
I know you’re begging
but I don’t feel it anymore

lost in the fall
oh but the ground will break it up
I was there when you called
you said what you could you said enough
I know you’re sorry
I know your road was long and tough
but I’m here lonely
I don’t feel it anymore
no I don’t feel it anymore

I’m the one who sees you when you’re down
I left my heart wide open it’s still out it’s still out
I tell myself you’re worth
it feel the way it burns
is that love
was that love
oh that love


released October 24, 2022
written and produced by Diane Barbarash
synth by Quentin


all rights reserved



Diane Barbarash Vancouver, British Columbia

Thank you to the ones who inspire me daily to be true to myself when I write... Steve Earle, Sigur Ros, Kathleen Edwards, Julie Miller, Neil Young, Rhianna, Future, David Usher, Bon Iver, Joni Mitchell, Yellawolf, Lights...

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