Here, Bly talks about the wounds that a father (or father figure) give to their sons:
Let’s list some inward injuries, as we listed some outward injuries above. Not receiving any blessing from your father is an injury. Robert Moore said, “If you’re a young man and you’re not being admired by an older man, you’re being hurt.” How many men have said to me, “I waited for two days with my father when he was dying, and wanted him to tell me that he loved me.” What happened? “He never did.”
Not seeing your father when you are small, never being with him, having a remote father, an absent father, a workaholic father, is an injury. Having a critical, judgmental father amounts to being one of Cronos’ sons, whom Cronos ate. Some blow usually comes from the father, one way or another.
-Robert Bly, Iron John, p.31
Good stuff to remember with my own son. Maybe sons some day. Who knows. The one that sticks out the most to me is the idea of “being admired by an older man”. That is incredibly valuable I think, and something that even a kind, present, loving father might miss. “Being admired”, having someone think you are really cool, is not the same thing as love.