What’s True? Liz Frame Knows.

I hear that life is short. But compared to what? Everything that comes before and after? Some truisms aren’t true at all. Life isn’t short, not by any measurable standard. That’s just how it feels when you figure out you’re going to die, and you’re going to die without doing a lot of things you thought you might like to do, and if there’s something juicy on your list you’d best jump on it nowish.

Last week I was talking with Liz Frame, a singer-songwriter who stopped singing and songwriting. She spent a bunch of years devoting herself to family. She taught grade school. She was happy and then she wasn’t. The marriage ended. Her mother died. Frame had the epiphany.

“I realized life is way too short to not be doing what it is you love to do,” she said. So in 2007 Frame started going to open mikes. She formed a band. Made an EP. Started playing the club circuit. Made an album. Started playing better rooms. Here‘s a calendar. Frame is 51 now, at once exuberant and clear-eyed.

“I really believe in the record,” she says, “but it can be discouraging. I sent some stuff to somebody at ASCAP in Nashville and he basically said they just don’t hear anything here. And I’m thinking, ‘You don’t?’ So what’s the truth? For anybody pursuing an art endeavor, the truth is your truth. And whoever likes it, it becomes their truth. And that’s what allows artists to keep moving forward, even if it’s on a very small scale. If you’re OK with that then things have a tendency to fall into place on their own. The right people come into your life. Things happen and you’re ready for those things. You pay attention, and before you know it you wake up and you are exactly where you hoped you’d be.”

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