Listen, I am from the past and I am here in the present thinking about the future.
Some people say “the future is now,” but it’s not - this is now. Future is then, and when we get to “then” that will be the future. It may be disappointing or not, it is up to our children and how we bring them up. And they have great energy and attitude towards life that impresses me constantly.
I was just thinking about it still lying in bed.
Let me explain my mornings to you.
I wake up and look at the tremendous cedar out there; it’s straight outside my bedroom window. It is quite possibly the main feat of nature that keeps me in Switzerland for so long, with all due respect to this great country.
With age I learned to appreciate the details of life, except this one is anything but a detail. The tree looks something like this:
I don’t eat until the afternoon and I spend my days writing my new book, the Villa Rose. Yes, the famous one on Lake Lucerne and the story is about Marc Rich, the (in)famous financier. Rich was born to a Jewish family in Antwerp, Belgium, and moved to America as a kid. He is mostly known as the founder of the commodities company Glencore, but there was way more to him than that.
He was also an art collector and lived surrounded by Renoirs, Monets and Picassos, a dimension which I admire in a person.
At some point, before he died, he wanted to sell the villa for 100M – it is really that spectacular. His daughters accepted less after he was gone.
In 1983 Rich was indicted on 65 criminal counts, the biggest tax evasion case in US history. He fled to Switzerland and never returned, even to visit his dying daughter in California and that was tough on him.
Later, president Clinton granted him a presidential pardon on his last day in the office. It was controversial, but then the Clintons were always open for business.
Rich was married for 30 years to Denise Eisenberg, a songwriter from New England. I guess she was really something, keeping him on an even keel with all the shady businesses he was involved in over the years.
Funny thing is, marriage is a learning experience for men, for women is more of a teaching experience. The difference exists because women know what they want to do in life. They typically get married, have kids and bring them up, go to work if they feel like having a career.
Or not if they don’t.
It’s a pre-defined path.
Men don’t have any of this – we need to figure life out.
So, the book is coming along, writing it feels to me like a therapy in a way.
The night comes quickly and I like working during the night, except that I don’t see the big tree.
At night I get the feeling of time shattered in gray dust and sometimes someone in the building plays violin.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler