Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Dr. E’s Forthcoming “A Book For/To Men”: Except from Intro

In Forthcoming Books, Men & Soul, The Good Souls on July 10, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Excerpt from The Introduction of the book I’m writing for/to men. This intro tells of the conflictual thoughts I had about my adequacy to, as a woman, write a book for men… and how with the help of angels, I came to resolve this by harvesting and cooking from memory, what I hope will be a feast to the best of my ablities within this book for/to men.

I put The Introduction here pre-publication for two reasons. 1) to allow others here a transparency so they can see into how one writer thinks/ weighs matters in creating, and why it often takes some cojones o ovarios and long considerations to coalesce a work, and to determine if we are not only called, but carry the required ‘keys’ to walk through the door and into the land of a new book….  and two, to place here the tone of my work on men for your knowings.


This is a draft, not a first draft, but a tenth (like sausaage making, one really might not want to see the actual outcome of wildly messy first-drafts… although someday too, I’ll probably put up a few of those just so other new/young weriters can see they are not alone) I’ve several titles for the book … For now, it is called “A Book For/To Men,” as opposed to ‘book about men…’ I explain more below…

INTRO to Dr. E’s Book For/To Men:

“Men began asking to have ‘a book of their own written by me, Dr.E.,’ almost the minute Women Who Run With the Wolves was published. The requests continued all these years, and I understood them deeply : a book of one’s own, written directly to a particular group was desired…  rather than having to reverse, as women have for years, as racial and cultural groups have had to do for years…  assuming that in the written word ‘men,’ women were implied too; that though a writer used the word ‘European,’ this also implicitly included Latinos, Asians, Blacks,  working class, et al, even though none were named explicitly, nor their differences noted closely.

“So, I took the requests from men to heart these many years now, literally 18 years, but I trembled and hesitated with my foot just before the threshold of the doorway in… to writing such a work. But then, I found the way in…

“I felt I knew women in depth, in large part because I have listened to so many women in my work, and also because I am a woman, one who has walked way down into my own dregs and zigzagged, breathless and half dead, but exhilarated to the place where one could say one saw what can be seen from Everest: Two worlds not divided, but held together by the mountain.

“Now nearly twenty years have passed since the first soul asked for a book regarding men, and though my eyesight has lessened in one way, another kind of sight has sharpened greatly… and through that second sight, I now see the key to the doorway clearly, a way to write a work for/to men. Here is the pathway…

“I see the way in that I did not see before. It happened this way: I’d been writing tales about men all my writing life, poems and essays and short stories and vignettes, but they have not been ‘about’ men in the usually ‘approved’ way of hard science.

“Please allow me to open a little window for you to see my past thinking through: In one of the beautiful educated worlds I walk in, the idea is often touted, sometimes forced, that we ought write ‘about’ matters and peoples. Study them or it, compile, test, judge, summarize.

“But my taproot for writing and seeing was born and driven into a different world altogether. I have no formal schooling in writing. Am self-taught. Am not a testing psychologist. And my favored research methodology is listening to the tiny as well as to the loud. To listen to the overculture, but to listen underground as well.

“Thus, feeling not educated well enough for this precious task of writing solidly regarding men, I thought/prayed over these years whilst hearing the voices of men asking me for a book: ‘Please, I cannot write ‘about’ men for I am not a man. Nor do I want to put forth men on glass slides for microscopic view. Please, help me to find another way if this book is meant to be.’

“–Now all this time later, having opened failry full the squinty eye of the crone, and now caarrying a heart as full of love as I can fill it most days, my angels suddenly offered me prime surveyor’s instruments to measure capability for writing this work.

“The measurements were to be taken by counting the pages, counting the stories and scrying them all to see what the central motifs really were underlying from the writer herself.

“Thus, in surveying the pages I’ve written about men over these many years now, most of which have not been seen nor published …. I see the measure of my writing/seeings/listenings, at last… and it is this: Whereas I feared I would be offering dust where nourishment and replenishment was most needed, by reading those pages for subtext (meaning the feeling/thought tones that lie under the actual words)…

“I could see foremost how much I have striven to describe the peculiarities, strengths, madnesses, colorations, wingspans, hearts and souls of men, how I have loved men, pitied them, been pleased by them, bowled over by some, heartened by most, learned to be properly wary of some, and also seen closely into their interactions, lacks of action and brave actions inter-generationally and otherwise with other men, with women, with children, with culture, with soul …

“And… in that measurement of subtext, I could suddenly see too the radical that allows me to find my way through to complete this book I’ve been adding and adding to for so many years… for as I peruse this pile of pages now, I see how often I write with love and tears and laughter– with and over the refugee men of my own family, how even as a young girl-child I moved to shelter them, interpret the bewildering world for them, protect them from villany and screed… and leaned close in to understand them, for they were all so deeply wounded and scarred from the mayhem, murder, rape and mutilations of WWII– yet gifted still in ways that were radiant. Even though their demons often enough pursued rolling hot, their generosities were enormous.

“I realized only recently, that these living experiences of walking with men of such heart-broken and yet strong psyches,  including my work with veterans recovering from post-trauma, the men who have been in my memoir gatherings, any man I have had contact with who has told me or tried to tell me about his life and soul… including those with happy-calm life experiences and accomplishments with only a few nicks and dents… that this is why/ how I can write a book for/to men.

“As I’ve thought about men, what they have taught me which is so much, what I have contributed to their lives, how deeply I’ve listened to them, I realized then, I’ve have witnessed more than most …the peaks and the hells that men can walk over and through. And these first witness experiences I’ve been granted, some so painful as to want to walk screaming and skinless after, and some so genuflective of a man’s great heart… that these and more, are the keys to the doorway to write this book.

“In measuring the landscape from the aerial view, I think I may have keys enough to pass through and to bring something useful and nourishing to men, and to those who love them in all the perfectly-imperfect ways most all of us attempt to live with one another.

“Thus, here, you’ll find writings of the most basic kind, stories clear and down to earth about the perils, griefs, mis-steps, unconsciousnesses, courages, insights, intuitions, treasures, descents, ascents and battle-passages a man may face… and sometimes more than once in a lifetime…

“here you’ll find as well tales and myths on sons and mothers, sons and fathers and siblings, the lone child, the fatuous marriage, true love, how to understand the non-understandable (women, soul and Creator), how and why men can be so maddening and angelic…

“Most all the stories here carry too, the presences of angelic beings in one way or another… which often both describe the genius of a man’s life… as well as, on some or on many days, the man himself.

“Thank you dear reader for waiting for me to understand how to seed and water, harvest and cook this work up. I hope you might find in this work a feast for you and for those who love you.”

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
From The Rocky Mountains, in the year 2010

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  1. Very needed. I put together resource packages for Women in 1996 and the health dept then asked me to do this for men but I felt inadequate to do this but the need left me aching to help. I published a little volume 10 stories last Xmas and can forward it if you would lilke to read it. It is mostly about men and the gifts they have left to us when they die. I am so inspired to read about your work.

  2. Men & male, quite a tale. Are we each that & also that? Far there or fat her? More there or mote her? Yin & Yang, quite a thang !! ~~~ Fem i nine mas cu line intertwine

    • There is no male or female for all are one
      in perfect position to reflect the Sun
      on the same Mountain!
      `€=-)

  3. I have longed for such a book. I have felt very blessed to have had for the last 11 years, “Women Who Run with the Wolves” and when I talk with my male friends about what Ive learnt or read or seen grow in my inner woman with La Lorona, Baba Yaga, Skeleton Woman, Seal Woman, Wildish Mother etc.. a couple have asked me when im a lone in the kitchen or outside, is their a book for men by this author? I have looked and looked and had to reply no sorry but it will come soon =D and NOW I HAVE FOUND THIS BLOG!!!! omg!!! what a blessing my heart is over joyed… thank you Dr. Estes for grappling with this path you have been placed upon. I long to read, share and give to the men in my life =D xox

  4. Thank you, Dr Estes, for the challenges you’ve taken, and for the beautiful real life you show us.

  5. Thank you for your willingness to dive deeply, plumb the depths exhaustively, and search for the stories men need to fill their souls. While we all start out as “woman” embryonically, men have had their journey, their old wise-man, neglected. You alone can write the kind of book that can be healing to all, specifically tailored for each indiviual and at the same time, mystically embracing the “All,” the unity we share as well as the difference. May blessings rain upon you, as the tears of gratitude from each of us you have saved. Thank you, Dr. Estes, for your courage, your insight, and your willingness to explore the psyche of all of us.
    May your seeds continue to fall upon fertile ground….Namaste’ and Peace,
    Janet Landis

  6. Hello Clarissa
    I am a psychologist here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I want to purchase the book on male individuation. You already translated the book or only exists in the English language?

  7. This specific article, “Dr. Es Forthcoming A
    Book For/To Men: Except from Intro AfterMidnight WriterUnderground Writings
    of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés” was in fact terrific.
    I’m generating out a clone to clearly show my close
    friends. Thanks for your time-Alina

  8. I enjoy your books and look forward to reading how you tell the story of men as a daughter, sister, wife and mother of two men..

  9. Oh..ho..ho,
    Now we are talking some good stuff here! WWRWTW is my favorite book. Over the years, I have bought used copies, and gifted them to both men and women, of all ages. Truth be told, I’m a father of 4 boys, and have shared many of your stories with them via c.d. They love the stories and paint their own pictures with their minds. I am so happy awaiting your book on men (which is incidental, as I never discriminated between woman/man with Women).
    Much love and excavation!
    Mario

  10. thank you very much for your amazing work,just yesterday I was thinking about a book for men with your wisdom,and today I have this great notice!You show me the way to my soul…you are an angel,lot of love for you,Dr. Estés!!!

  11. I shall look forward to this book. When I was younger I only sought to understand men enough to manipulate them for my own ends. Now I long to know them more deeply as travelers on the same road. I have been privileged to see the compassion and wisdom of the men in my “family of choice.” And that experience has made me humble and richer.

  12. Dear Dr E,

    At last! and thank you, and with a squinty crone wink I see
    your man book entitled: The Wolves.
    With every hair illuminated as only you can illuminate our
    beloved wolves, who hunger for woman’s understanding.

  13. Your words convey heartfelt images of men. They are fortunate to have your understanding. I am looking forward to reading about men from your viewpoint.

  14. Clarissa, you are going to write from the soul, from your entrails and guided by this light that makes you so special inside the human being, already be woman or man. And you have much that to say from this perspective.
    Forward, you will make it spectacular.

  15. Greatly looking forward to reading this book – very brave of you to tackle!

    All the best to you Dr Estes and I hope at least as many men read it as women have and still will read “Women who run with the Wolves”

  16. Grazie per darmi l’oppurtuninatà di partecipare alla lettura di tutto ciò.Certo nn parlando e nn leggendo inglese trovo la traduzione un pò forzata ma comprendo il senso di quello che si vuol trasmettere o lo trovo meravigliso con che grazie, poesia e amore viene trattato l’argomento,ma tutto ciò nn mi meraviglia avendo letto moltissimi anni fa “DONNE CHE CORRONO CON I LUPI” lettura che ancora oggi a me molto cara di un libbro da me pian piano consumato,e usurato dalle dita per quante volte ho letto e riletto molti dei modi differeti di guardarsi.Credevo che leggendo un libbro simile,l’argomento donna dovesse nn solo interessare noi ma anche il mondo maschile quindi attendo con ansia e grande interesse la pubblicazione e poi la traduzione in italiano perche sono sicura che in tutto cio che lei scrivera sarà per me ancora una volta grande bagaglio di conoscienza e nutrimento per la mia crescita interiore.LINDA 🙂

  17. YES !!!! Dr Estes, Thank You for giving us a peek.All I want to do now is turn the page and dive in ! Wow, it’s interesting to know of all of your concerns/pressures about writing this book over the past 18 years.Thank you for your generosity..i can’t wait to read this.

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