One afternoon in the spring of 1972, a Mack truck sped through a residential intersection and collided with a station wagon carrying a young girl and her friend on a ride home from school. The accident shattered the girls’ realities. A blanket of silence fell over them until they reconnected at their twentieth high school reunion. That conversation set me on a twenty-year journey, reflected in seven springs, that reunited me with my past, my self and what I now understand as faith.
“I was very touched by the story itself, the beautiful writing and the spiritual resonance that was present.” — Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, author of God Loves the Stranger
“In an era of growing appreciation for the long-term ramifications of trauma, Ellen Blum Barish’s memoir offers a tender exploration of the shock and loss around a childhood car accident. Barish traces the ripples of this seemingly simple trauma into relationships, physical health, emotional wellbeing, and her Jewish faith, making of them a heartfelt, engaging story. I recommend it.” —Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art & Practice of Spiritual Memoir
“A thoughtful meditation on the nature of trauma, memory, and Judaism. In Seven Springs, Ellen Blum Barish illustrates how shared experiences stamp each life in a unique way. This inspiring work calls upon readers to be introspective and assemble the puzzle pieces of their own lives.”—Fern Schumer Chapman, author of Brothers, Sisters, Strangers, Motherland and Is It Night or Day?
“Excavating memory, Ellen Blum Barish circles back through personal history to make sense of silence—that is imposed upon us, and how we can finally trust ourselves to speak. An intricate investigation of the past, exploring how we might reach back in time to change our present”—Allison K. Williams, author of Seven Drafts: Self- Edit Like a Pro From Blank Page to Book
“Ellen’s writing holds the power to open hearts and minds, and leave us all with deeper understandings of ourselves and our place in this world.” —Barbara Mahany, author of The Stillness of Winter, Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door, The Blessings of Motherprayer: Sacred Whispers of Mothering, and Motherprayer: Lessons in Loving
“This is a beautiful book, both familiar and surprising, and Ellen Blum Barish is a beautiful writer. Seven Springs is a gift that will invite any reader to see his or her own past with a fresh perspective.” —Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers
“Ellen Blum Barish brings real life to life with a strong sense of narrative, the unswerving observation of a reporter, and an abiding commitment to meanings that run deep. She hones in on day-to-day experiences and won’t let us go until we see the connectedness she’s found, the underlying causes we might have missed, the richness that is in us and in our relationships.”—Lee Reilly, author of Teaching Maggie and Women Living Single
My memoir, Seven Springs (Shanti Arts) is available through Shanti Arts Publishing. Order it here!
Watch the animated conversation between me and my longtime friend, Miriam Bauer, on the subject of my memoir, sponsored by the North Castle Public Library in June 2021. Starts at the 5-minute mark.
Read an interview with the author in Boulder Jewish News.
Read a review of Seven Springs by Rick Bailey here.