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In My Eyes.....

on May 9, 2007 - 7:45pm

Dear Josh - I wonder if you are ever the recipient of difficult feedback. I am. I have had to face difficult feedback in my actual life, and I have received difficult feedback in my virtual life here in Grobania.

During this time of profound darkness and disillusionment concerning you and your music, the most difficult feedback that I have received from a couple of different Grobanites is that I do not accept you as you really are. With my diverse educational background, you would think that I would be able to laugh at this statement. But I can not. It cuts me to the core.

When I receive this feedback, I go into a self-defensive, philosophical mode. After all, to accept someone as they really are implies a relationship with another that is quite profound. As much as I would love to have a relationship with you, I don't and I never will. Even these "letters" to you are really "letters" to the air. No one reads them, not even you. If someone does read them, no one takes them seriously, not even you. So I am basically just talking to myself. It is a testament of how lonely I really am.

This is very hard to face. The only consolation that I seem to have is to wonder if I do accept you as you really are, but in a different way. Forgive me for making this assumption, but sometimes I think that many Grobies look at you from the outside in. You are young. You are handsome. You have a beautiful singing voice, lots of money, and a successful career. You are every girls fantasy.

But Josh, I do not see you that way. I never have and I never will. If I did, I tell you, I would not be here writing this silly imaginary letter to you. You would not have even two minutes of my attention.

But I am here, giving you this attention this late at night because of who I see from the inside out. You have a HEART OF PURE GOLD JOSH GROBAN, and a soul so beautiful that words can not describe. Many times I see the light of your soul in your eyes when you smile. Your music is rich with profound meaning romantically, spiritually, and theologically. What God has done with you is simply amazing, and that is why I love you. I love you because God loved you first, and He is doing an amazing work in your life. That is what I see in you and that is why I am a big fan.

But to try to tell you this in Grobania is practically a mortal sin. Everyone looks upon it as an attempt to try to control your life. This should be laughable to me. You do not know who I am and you have lived the last 26 years of your life without me at all. Nothing I say to you in this website is going to change that reality one iota. Then why is it so threatening to hear and why can not I just laugh it off.

I can not laugh it off because deep down inside, I would love to be liked by you. I would love to get to know you better and be a real friend to you rather than an imaginary or illusionary one. Maybe you are not the one that I need to accept better, but maybe I need to accept better the steel/concrete boundaries needed here to keep both of us very, very safe. As far as why Grobania finds my vision of you so threatening - that answer I will never know.

I pray for you every day Josh Groban. You are one of my intentions on a very special Rosary novena to Mary the Undoer of Knots. I pray that someday soon, you will open your eyes and see the blessings that God has bestowed on you. I know you face trials and temptations different from mine, so I pray that God will give a special grace to turn away from what is evil in your world, and turn only towards what is good. I pray that as God is forming you, He will make you into a man after His own heart.

When I hear the first part of the song "In Her Eyes..." I like to pretend that you are singing part of that song to my as a "Thank You" for being able to see you from the inside out rather than the outside in. Yes, Josh I do try to look through your shadows. I do see something more. I believe that there is a light in you. God's light - this I am sure. And I want this truth to make you stronger, and I do realize that you awake every morning with God's peace, love, and strength at your very side.

May God continue to bless you abundantly, Josh Groban, wherever you are.

Sincerely,

Ampatamia, the least of the Grobanites.

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Can Josh Groban's music be catholic after all!?!

on May 7, 2007 - 7:03pm

Dear Josh - Four years ago, when I began to subscribe to FOJG.com, I wrote a few entries where I was angry with you about how you were marketing your music. I discovered that your music was being sold by Ignatius Press - a publishing and sales company that caters to orthodox Catholics. I was angry because they put your albums in the category of Catholic music. How can your music be called Catholic if you are not a Catholic, you are not living as a Catholic, and only you know if you have a vibrant and personal relationship with Jesus Christ? But everyone who sees you in the Ignatius Press catalogues will think that your are Catholic when you are not. I felt like you were preying on Catholic psyche just to make a God-Almighty dollar. That was unethical to me.

But about a year later. I heard the president of Ignatius Press speak on my favorite Catholic talk show called Catholic Answers. He spoke primarily about the antics of Charlotte Church. He spoke about how Ingatius Press chooses to support musical artist whose music is GOOD, BEAUTIFUL AND TRUE. Well, that definitely described you and your music. So your won the fight, hands down. Now Ignatius Press advertises ALL THREE ALBUMS in a section along with Andrea Bocelli titled TOWERING TENORS. By the way, what's up with this tenor thing - I thought that you were a baritone? Well I guess only you would know. LOL.

The reason that I chose to revisit this topic is because of the Grobie friend that I wrote about in my last entry. She did write me back and she said that she wanted to continue the correspondence. I replied once again, but I have not heard from her since then. This is a bit unusual because even if she is busy, she does email me a short paragraph letting me know when she will write back. Not a word from her for at least a week. I wonder what is up.

Maybe she decided to slip away so that she would not have to deal with my endless jibber-jabber about the theology and spirituality of your music. She would not be the first Grobie to run away from such a topic. I seem to have that effect on people around here. And who knows? If by some profound miracle of fate, YOU TOO are reading my journal, you are probably screaming and running as far away from your computer as fast as you can until I disappear. I do not think that you want to know about the theology and spirituality that I hear every day in your music. I think that you just want to make romantic music that sells.

Well, if I am wrong and she decides to return, I am going to have to be more precise in how I explain what I am hearing in your music, and that is why I am returning to this old topic of Catholic music.

Josh, the word Catholic comes from the Greek word catholicos meaning "universal" Please forgive my incorrect spelling of the abovementioned word - my Greek is pretty lousy these days. When this word is written with a capital C, it refers to the Roman Catholic Church. When it is written with a lower case c it is a word that means universal.

Josh, your music is catholic - with a lowercase c. When you sing a love song with that beautiful voice, you touch an experience that is universal for the thousands of people in your audience. We all hunger to be loved by another. Ultimately, that hunger can only be satisfied in the presence of God. In the timeless words of St. Augustine: "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You O Lord."

The romantic union of the Lover and the Beloved has traditionally been the backdrop for the spiritual journey. The God who is Love pusues us tirelessly and we are always searching to find him. If you do not believe me, go to the Bible and read the Song of Songs which is in the Old Testament. You will then know what I am talking about.

The great Catholic mystics like St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Siena also speak about their spiritual journey in this manner as well. The relationship between God and His people is like a relationship between a Lover and His Beloved. Traditional Christian music does not touch on this relationship. It focuses mostly on salvation and Scripture. I like Christian music, but I would rather hear music that resonates with my spiritual journey because this journey is so difficult, and I need any consolation that I can find in this side of the veil. Your music has given me that consolation Josh, and you have given me a priceless gift. Thank you so much. Please,please never change.

It is getting late and I must end my ramblings for the night. You can return to your computer once again, Josh Groban. I will not bother you any more. All that I ask is that God may continue to bless you abundantly wherever you are.

Sincerely,

Ampatamia, the least of the Grobanites.

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That Green-Eyed Monster Strikes Again. (Now I know why I am the least of the Grobanites!)

on April 30, 2007 - 7:23pm

My dearest Josh - Now I know why I am the Least of all the Grobanites. I see you and I hear your music in a way that is so very different from everyone else here in Grobania that I stick out like a sore thumb or like a rotting apple in a sea of oranges.

Over the course of the four years that I have been a member of FOJG.com, I always wanted to have a Grobie friend - someone on this website who saw you and heard your music like I did. Someone that I could talk to exclusively about YOU and all the wonderful reasons that I am so passionate about your music and about you personally. Well, in the last couple of months someone decided to fill that role. Unfortunately, this person arrived at a very bad time-a time when I am suffering from profound disillusionment of you and your music. I am struggling to hang on by a thread, but soon I feel like I am going to fall into an abyss of nothingness while everyone in Grobania rejoices in my peril.

She wanted to talk about your curls, your new "scruffiness" and anything else that made you "sexy" in her eyes. After eight and one-half years in seminary and four years of silence, all I wanted to talk about was the theology and spirituality behind your music. I wanted to discover what makes you sing about LOVE who is GOD in a such a theologically mystical and poetic way. As you can tell we are speaking two totally different languages, and the relationship was headed for disaster because of it.

You are going to be performing in her hometown soon, and she asked me to pray that she gets front-row tickets. Well, I told her that I was the wrong person for the job because even though I would be happy for her if she did, I would also struggle with profound envy. She said that she wanted my prayers anyway. So in humility, I sought the intercession of one of my favorite saints, St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of miracles. Through my intercession, the intercession of her other Christian friends, and the intercession of St. Anthony of Padua - a miracle did happen. She got those front row seats and all the priviledges that go with them. She will get to shake your hand. She will be able to get your autograph, and she will be able to connect with you in ways that I could only dream of.

Well my emotional reaction to this news went beyond the envy that I feared. My reaction was now outright jealousy. I did not want her to see that.

I don't regret seeking the intercession of St. Anthony for her tickets, but I should not have ever told her. I should have just kept my mouth shut. But I told her to create a conflict between us so that she would not see or experience the jealousy that raged within me. The Holy Spirit showed me immediately that this was not a wise thing to do. So I sent her an e-card of a smilely face crying copious tears in a feeble attempt to bring some honesty into our relationship. If she could only have seen the copious tears that I was actually crying as I struggled once again with the reality of my own sinfulness. She does not realize how much I am suffering.

In the days and weeks before your concert, she is going to be VERY PREGNANT with excitement. I know that I was when you came to Rochester. This pregnancy will be hightened by the reality of actually looking into your eyes during every moment of your performance.

She deserves a Grobie friend who will be truly excited for her and with her - not someone who will be extremely jealous of her. She deserves a Grobie friend who wants to talk for hours and hours about your curls, your scruffiness, and anything else that makes your the sexiest man alive. I am not about that. My journey here as the LEAST OF ALL THE GROBANITES, is all about THE TRUTH. The truth about who I am in Christ. The truth about who she is in Christ, and most importantly, the truth about who YOU REALLY ARE IN CHRIST because after all, this is your website.

Maybe I should tell her all these things in a private letter, but I am too ashamed. This journal that no one in Grobania reads seems a lot safer for me than another email roller coaster with my Grobie friend. But I know that she is going to want answers in order to bring closure to this painful situation. I hope and pray that she will come here and find the answers that she is looking for so that she could move on and get ready for your arrival in her hometown soon.

In my last few letters, I have closed with a song and the song that I chose tonight is the English translation of your new song "Verita" which when translated means "Truth" by Grobie Rebecca Klein.

Why do we avoid that truth that nothing lasts forever. We hide ourselves, and then we deny one another. Therefore, we are not together.

I love the truth that heals me that cleanses my soul like the rain washes away. I love the truth, yet if it hurts to let go. To go, I just want a little of the truth.

What will be in this love that makes us afraid of its being lost. What is love if then we are trapped. I don't want this any more.

I love the truth that heals me that cleanses my soul like the rain washes away. I love the truth. Yet, if it hurts to let go. To go, I want truth.

Not to say goodbye.
Not to say goodbye
Your heart will guide you.

I love the truth that heals me that cleanses my soul like the rain washes away. I love the truth. Yet if it hurts to let go. To go, I want just a little of the truth.

Josh,I know that this song sounds more poetic in Italian than in English, but the words speak so clearly of the theology and spirituality that lies within your music. May God bless you abundantly, my dearest Josh, wherever you are.

Sincerely,

Ampatamia(Anne-Marie)

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DWTS Performance

on April 10, 2007 - 12:07pm

Dear Josh - I am going to try to do this a second time since I had to abort the first try. I know that by now your Dancing With The Stars performance is long gone, but I just wanted to let you know that I did watch it on April 3rd (and I NEVER WATCH that show) It was a good performance, but you seemed to appear heavy hearted. The free, light-hearted Josh that I saw on March 10 in Rochester, New York, was replaced by a young man who looked like he wanted to cry by the end of the performance. You did attempt to smile at the end your song "So She Dances" but it did appear forced. I felt bad for you and I wished that someone could alleviate your sorrow. I did say a Rosary for you an hour before the performance, and I am confident that God was with you because God never abandons those that He loves. But it is so hard to believe that when your heart is that heavy.

Josh, I am TOTALLY UNAWARE of the challenges that you face. From my end of this computer screen, you appear to have everything: FAME, FORTUNE, GOOD LOOKS,AND LOVING FAMILY AND FRIENDS. But if your life is anything like Donny Osmond's was at the height of his career, you probably suffer from profound emptiness and loneliness. Everyone loves the "image" that they know of you, but VERY VERY FEW people know and love the REAL YOU. I know that you would not reveal that to any of your fans, but that does not mean that those feelings exist within you. Maybe that song and that performance reminded you of January and that caused your sadness and sorrow. It is so hard to let go of someone you love. I have done that with REAL PEOPLE and IMAGINARY PEOPLE like you. Either way, it is never easy to say "Good Bye" to someone you love.

On that note, I have a song to share with you. It is from your competitors, IL DIVO. The song is called "La Vida Sin Amor." (A Life Without Love) I wish that you could hear this song. It has a sad title, but the song is performed in a Salsa style. It is a lot of fun. So here it is in Spanish:

Cuando el so cae un dia mas.
Se que no quieres dormir.
La pasion nos vuelve a desnudar porque sin ti yo no se vivir.

Y la Oscuridad ye enloquecer
A un hombre y una mujer.

La vida sin amor es un fuego sin passion. La vida sin amor no sirve ya mi corazon pues olvido amar.

Lagrimas que nunca llore
Suplicas que no te di.
Y un mundo igual que solo sabe huir dejando atras todo mi sufrir.

Y en las oscuridad, piel sobre piel. El alma calma su sed.

La vida sin amor es un fuego sin pasion. La vida sin amor so sirve ya mi corazon pues olvido amar.

Y el oscuridad, piel sobre piel. El alma calma su sed.

La vida sin amor es un fuego sin pasion. La vida sin amor no sirve ya mi corazon. Pues olvido amar.

I hope that someday that you will find a love that is worthy of you. Until then, may God continue to hold you close and may God bless you wherever you are.

Sincerely,

Ampatamia (Anne-Marie)

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Now or Never

on March 26, 2007 - 5:18pm

Dear Josh - A couple of years ago, when I was a theological graduate student, I took a course called the Theology of Spiritual Direction. This course encapsulated the theology and psychology of s therapeutic relationship known as spiritual direction. One of the lectures in this course was about the stages one goes through when relating to another human being. If the relationship is healthy, my professor said, it will endure a period of disillusionment. This period of disillusionment can be something very healthy because it forces the parties in the relationship to see each other more truthfully and honestly. Therefore, they develop a greater capacity to love each other for who they really are rather then loving someone for who the other thinks that you are.

My professor's words were 100% correct. But what she failed to add, however, was that dillusionment also exists in disordered relationships as well. When it happens in a disordered relationship, the relationship usually ends because both parties are unable to do the work needed to learn to relate to each other based on truth rather than perception.

That year I was caught in a disordered relationship with this professor. She was such a spiritual person and so close to God, I thought. Therefore, I put her on a pedestal so high that all she could do was fall, and she fell HARD. God showed me, through that course, what her clay feet looked like, and because the relationship was disordered, it ended at the end of that semester. I never saw that professor again.

Why am I telling you this long and uninteresting story from my past? Well, since my angry outburst about the song "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode, I have entered a season of disillusionment concerning you. Now this should be a blessing in disguise because it will push me to let go of my perceptions and to love and accept you for who you really are. But the problem is that our "relationship" is so disordered, I do not know who you really are and I never will.

I know Josh that you really want us to get to know you through your music, and I think that this is probably the best and most realistic way to get to know a celebrity like you. But getting to know someone through their music is a very subjective process because the listener may/may not hear what the artist is trying to say. For example, because of my theological background (I have a Master of Divinity Degree)I hear A LOT of theological and spiritual themes in your music. You do not understand, in my opinion, how much theology is present in your music even though you hardly ever mention the name of God in any of your songs. When you set out to write and record these songs, you are not thinking theology. All you want to do is to create a beautiful love song or a beautiful inspirational song. So here we are engaging in a conversation through your music and WE ARE NOT EVEN SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE!!!(emphasis mine) How crazy and disordered is that!?! The only way to really get to know you through your music is for you to explain why you chose EACH AND EVERY SONG you record in your albums. And you are not going to do that. So I am not able to get to know you as you really are through our music.

What am I to do? I could walk away and stop being a Grobanite, but I do not want to do that. I do not want to do this not because I will miss your beautiful music. I do not want to do this because I really believe in the depths of my soul, that the hand of God is guiding your career, and I want to see what God will create through you.

I know, from your concert in Rochester, New York, that you think that Mr. Nelson Mandella is a saint. I don't and I never will, but I do know that if you turn toward God and you let Him form you and shape you, YOU WILL BECOME A SAINT!(emphasis mine once again) The Holy Spirit lives within you Josh. I see Him in your eyes when you smile Don't squelch it out for a moment of Hollywood fame. It is not worth it, and evenutally, you will regret it.

Of all the songs on the album AWAKE, I HATED NOW OR NEVER. I did not like the relativistic message it proclaimed concernng a couple having an illicit affair. But since I have become disillusioned concerning you, this song has taken on new meaning for me. The truth of who you are is always present, and in the "non-existent relationship" that I am participating in, it is no one's fault. There is no black and white. It is only YOU AND ME on this ENDLESS AND FINAL NIGHT. I do not know what will happen Josh. All I know that it is NOW OR NEVER.

I watched the morning dawn upon your skin. A splinter in the light. It caught and frayed the very heart of us. It's been hiding there for all this time. How a sure thing winds up just like this. Clockwork silence only knows.

And its no one's fault. There is no black and white. Only you and me on this endless night. And as the hours run away with ANOTHER LIFE. Oh darling can you see it's now or never, it's now or never.

Sweeping eggshells still at 3 am. We are trying far too hard. The tattered thought balloons above our heads sinking in the weight of all we need to say. Whys and what ifs have since long played out left us short on happy endings.

And its no one's fault. There is no black and white. Only you and me on this endless night. And as the hours run away with ANOTHER LIFE. Oh darling, can't you see it's now or never, it's now or never.

Now or never, now or never.
YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE.

And its no one's fault. There is no black and white. Only you and me on this FINAL NIGHT.
And as the hours run away with another life. Oh darling can't you see its now or never. ITS NOW OR NEVER.

May God continue to bless you abundantly wherever you are.

Sincerely.

Ampatamia (Anne-Marie)

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