Today I’m in Madison, WI for another great time with friends, remembering and honoring Spencer Bell and his art at the Spencer Bell Legacy, or SBL.
Spencer Bell was a poet, a musician, an artist. In November 2006, suffering from stomach and back pains that almost incapacitated him, 20 year-old Spencer was convinced by his younger brother, Brady, (16yo at the time, who had just arrived to spend Thanksgiving with his brother) to go to the hospital. He was then diagnosed with Adrenal Cancer and passed away only 11 days later, in December 3rd, 2006. The SBL project has been happening every year ever since to keep his artistic legacy alive as well as to help raise money and awareness to Adrenal Cancer.
When I heard Tourist I just fell in love with his music. There was something about that guy, the guy in the song, that I had to know more about. I recommend to anyone to listen to this song.
Then I heard Beautiful More So and just couldn’t stop listening to him. His voice and lyrics were captivating.
Spencer kept many journals. In one of them, in September 2003, he wrote:
I’m honestly not sure where this life is going
And I just as honestly do not care
So long as I can love
And be loved
So long as I can inspire
And be inspired
So long as the sun keeps sliding through the sky,
And the rain still falls on occasion,
I’m sure that whatever supremely awaits me
And when finality brings itself to me
I will not run and vainly avoid the inevitable
I will cast my arms out and blindly
Embrace my end
Just as I have always embraced whatever
Has come with the wind
And this is what his family wrote about him:
Every one of these words is true. Spencer did not worry about the future. He was a big fan of right now, this moment. He was inspired and is inspirational. He did love and is indeed, loved beyond measure.
And when the end came, he absolutely did not run. On the contrary, Spencer was our hero and our strength as he faced his own dire circumstances with uncommon courage and grace.
– Spencer’s Family
Today I thank Spencer, for being such an inspiration to many. For teaching us to live in the moment. For teaching us to embrace life and make every moment count, because there’s no plan B.
And I also thank Spencer’s family, for keeping his memory alive. For sharing him with us. For your kindness in sharing his legacy with strangers like me.
P.S.: You can watch the livestream of today’s SBL and be part of this great project that has inspired and continues to inspire many people. It starts at 1:45pm EST.