Environmental engineer Tettemer chronicles his work, family life and spiritual questing.
Born in California to Ruth and John, Sr., Tettemer grew up loving the outdoors and spending time with family friends, including John Burton, an honorary uncle–though he has a curiously distant relationship with his father, a former Catholic priest: when dad dies, Tettemer’s mom tells him he needn’t come home from boarding school, even for the funeral. In high school, he fell in love with Susan Cronyn, the daughter of Hugh Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. In college, the lovebirds married and began a family of their own. They were strict but devoted parents to their four children, and spent plenty of quality time with the kids. Susan stayed home with the kids while John began a successful career as an environmental engineer. Then he learned two startling secrets: his real father was actually his honorary uncle John, not the distant ex-priest, and one of his two sisters was fathered by a different family friend. Ultimately, Tettemer begins a search for meaning that leads him to breathing classes, the study of energy fields and color auras, and the I Ching. He also travels to Germany to attend workshops led by Mother Meera (a â€œforty-year old East Indian who carries the energy of the Divineâ€¦[and] works to remove obstacles to each [of her students’] evolutionary journey and bestows Love, Light, and Grace”). He even develops an openness to communicating with trees, and becomes something of a mentor, encouraging other middle-aged men to undertake similar â€œinternal work.” Perhaps 100 pages too long, the story occasionally loses focus and narrative shape–specifically the overly mannered account of the emotional upheaval following the revelation about his paternity.
Nonetheless, a pleasant account of an interesting life.