Learning to Fall
Fletch grew up near downtown Oakland in the sixties, his family one of many jammed into an old Victorian. Unpredictable violence and the impossibility of meeting his father’s narrow expectations taught him to be self-reliant and to trust no one. He learned to vault out the second-floor window and climb up four stories to the rooftop where no one could touch him.
He became a stone that does not bleed. But like so many of us, he bled every day. On the inside.
By 2006, he still climbed as a way of steadying himself and became an extreme alpinist with first ascents on remote peaks. And as a psychiatrist, husband, and father, he lived by a vow made during the turbulence of his youth—to support others living life on their own terms, though he rarely asked for what he himself needed.
Then his wife of many years confessed to falling in love with a woman. As his marriage started to crumble, it became clear that his mistrustfulness had stunted his relationships and constricted his spirit.
An unlikely friendship and the bodacious climb of a lifetime, up Yosemite’s Northwest Face of Half Dome, offered a path towards owning both his strengths and his vulnerabilities. Every relationship in his life would change, including the relationship with himself.
LEARNING TO FALL
is Fletcher’s upcoming story of self-discovery in which
Into Thin Air
. It challenges the preconceptions of what it means to be a man, to be human, and invites us to take a more compassionate view of our imperfect selves and of each other.
THOUGHTS FROM FLETCHER —
“I hope that Learning to Fall props open a door for people to take another look at how they meet themselves and the world. How do we reconcile what we have been told: To trust no one, not even our own feelings? What is the cost?”
“Because when we hold the world at arm’s length and hide our scars, we become scared, mistrustful, and defensive. Harm is done.”
“In Learning to Fall, I hope to convey how facing vulnerability is a courageous act allowing for far greater intimacy and expression of friendship and love. The juice worth the squeeze.”