Polarity

by Terry Stokes

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about

Diversity + Unity + Equality = Beautiful Polarity = Perfect Fellowship

All songs except "Community" written by TJ Stokes
"Community" written by TJ Stokes and Aaron McGinnis

Vocals, guitars, bass, keys, & drums by TJ Stokes
Mixed by TJ Stokes
Strings on "Women & Men" arranged by TJ Stokes
Recorded at Trinity Pres., Charlottesville, VA

credits

released May 13, 2017

Much thanks to:

Hunter Sheldon Photography

Aaron McGinnis: vocals on "Falling Out of Love", "Community", & "Empty"
Cecilia Glenn: vocals on "Fear", "The Siege", "Empty", "Insecurities", and "Women & Men"
Julia Hiser: vocals on "Polarity" and "Favor"
Micah Iverson: vocals on "The Siege" and "Women & Men"
Valencia Harvey: vocals on "Sanctuary"
Sarah Lapp: violin & viola on "Women & Men"
Nick Rupert: cello on "Women & Men"

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Terry Stokes Charlottesville, Virginia

Songwriter & Producer

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Track Name: Falling Out Of Love
I've known only your hegemony, my dear
Preferred your face, been in your spaces
it's clear- I can only choose within what I can see
You convinced me your bias was neutrality

I'm falling out of love with you

Now I've looked at the world with a different lens
New systems, narratives, new means, and new ends
Self-love says I don't have to keep switching code
My loves reordered, now I walk a new road

New space, new culture, new capital
My love is now inhabitable
New space, new cultural capital
My love is now inhabitable
Track Name: Afrocentric
You talk white, you act white
Caught in the middle; no way to get my act right

The formula wasn't good, true, or beautiful
I tried but it wore off like a pharmaceutical

I threw the bathwater out and the baby too
Locked my blackness away until I found you

Created, fallen, and redeemed in the same shade
You helped me find the glory in the way that I was made

Polyrhythms inside of me
Choreograph my jubilee
In afrocentric unity

I'm freely finding my own hue
Inward and outward taking cues
I know it's what I'm here to do

Divided into parts and I lost the whole
Had to switch my code and it took a toll
Now I calibrate to my true north
Formed by other voices but my own still rings forth

Afrocentric is compassion for the outsider
Afrocentric is a reconciler and a fighter
As a king I bring my people's glory through the gates
Into the city where love has triumphed over hate

My blackness is what you redeemed for me
No longer performing prescriptively
Track Name: Where I Need To Be
Grew up between two worlds
No permanent residence
Doing everything but me
Always moving with hesitance

I was hedging my bets
Wasn't chasing my dreams
From those lesser loves
I have been redeemed

For the first time
I feel like I'm making sense of everything that's gone before
I finally found the right open door

I'm right where I need to be
I'm doing what I need to do

Now I feel grounded
I'm blossoming
Stretched out to the sun
The light's not lost on me

I feel empowered
You threw my life in gear
This is my hour
Your love has cast out fear
Track Name: Polarity (feat. Julia Hiser)
Oh with bated breath creation groans
Lead us to our destined throne
The Eschaton is ours to own

Free now from shadows and from broken things
The true image is dazzling
I am your queen, you are my king

I am rhythm, you are melody
I am evening, you are morning
You are dream and I am memory
We are beautiful polarity

Oh corruption is now far behind
Glorious bodies, perfect minds
The dawn of our awaited time

Oh through many hands the gift has come
You make me wise where I am young
You saved me from being undone

Now morning is at hand
The Great Game, the Great Dance
Track Name: Community (feat. Aaron McGinnis)
We elect to intersect- walk with me
The word becomes flesh in us; embodied
Forging reality's mystery
The dance of law and love: community

Waking up in His arms, growing older by His side
Exploring the way of things, co-creator of new life

I am not if not for You
Without the Other I have no Self
Revealed to me relationally
Wedded to me in sickness and in health

In Your love You gave me choice
It was my choice to respond in love
In that love I enter eternity

The forbidden fruit put forth a seed
To reap a harvest of love in me
Now the nations eat New Life from the tree
Track Name: The Siege
The siege of our world is almost over
The devil's hold is slipping fast
The battle cries now break the silence
Our taste of victory becomes a feast at last

The heavens open, they invite us back in
Our atmosphere clears to unveil the light
Our cosmic narrative has reached its climax
The end inaugurated but not yet arrived

We welcome death, 'cause in our dying
We're giving way to vitality
Eternal noon, unyielding springtime
We ride this tributary into the ocean of reality

The angels long to look into that which is our dominion
Continuing creation, entering the Father's rest
The earth was formless and empty, our work is order and beauty
Under the siege it was futile, but now our labor is blessed
Track Name: Fear (feat. Cecilia Glenn)
Let me say I'm afraid
And I will love anyway
Pushed down, fear turns into hate
Through hate the world is unmade

I see an image in you
A glimpse of all that is true
So let our voices collide
Welcome each other inside

Let me tell you I'm scared
Surprised at what we can bear
Mourning for those who have died
Terror is meant to divide

Trauma is meant to undo
The beauty I see in you
They see love as immaterial
But it destroys the imperial

Bravado's only skin deep
I won't put my fear to sleep
Preemptive love is the key
It's how we claim victory
Track Name: Favor (feat. Julia Hiser)
How long will you turn away from me?
Feels like forever that you've been angry

If only I could present my case
If only we could speak face to face
I beckon You to come; make haste O Lord

Will you return to me?
Will you revive me again?
That I may rejoice in You

Show us Your faithful love
And give us Your salvation
Let favor rest upon our land

Surely Lord, You will speak peace over us
Truth springs up from the earth
The harvest you increase for us

Extend your scepter so I may speak
Listen though my words are weak
The earth will be the prize of the meek O Lord
Track Name: Empty (feat. Aaron McGinnis)
I can’t make much of my situation, but I make much of You
I look back on who You’ve been for me
and what You’ve brought me through
Reach down deep, give me a heart of flesh
I might not have answers, but in You I have rest

I’m empty now
Won’t You show me how
To give You my heart
Take me to where You are

I’m sure about You but with everything else I’m on the fence
I know who You are but nothing else makes sense
So I’m gonna wrestle with You until I get a word
In You I've got a voice, and in You I’m heard

Strengthen my tired hands, be foundation to stand
Heal up my broken knees, make straight paths for my feet
I’m lame, I’m dislocated, my plans are all frustrated
You and I need to meet

My heart was not perfect, but I was far from heartless,
I come to You with a broken spirit regardless.
You won’t despise that- no, You're always beckoning
I come just as I am, it’s time for reckoning
Track Name: More Beautiful, More Terrible
I didn't get to say goodbye when your work was done
Give you deepest gratitude from your daughter's son
I'm standing on your shoulders, 'cause you paved the way
I don't life without you; it's a heavy day

The world is more beautiful than I'll ever know
And more terrible than I'll ever know
Pulled in both directions, it won't let me go
This is where we live, in the to & fro

The grief will never fully leave; it's a part of me
Joy and pain filter the light, it's how I see
Lifted by life's beauty, crushed by futility
True and false reflections of humanity

The horror of death is real
The hope of life greater still
Our resurrection revealed

The ash will give way to oil
Powers of darkness are foiled
We're taking root in new soil
Track Name: Insecurities
I am not strong enough
Not fit to win your love
You can't see me that way
I'm a friend for a rainy day

These are my insecurities
I need a place to put my needs-
A room with walled transparency
You came and gave this guarantee:

I am a safe space
For the fears you can't abide
I am the light
In the darkness where you try to hide

You feel like damaged goods
My love sees purity
I'm a secure place
For your insecurities

It's not what I would choose
I've got so much to lose
If I ask you to bear
Burdens I'm scared to share
Track Name: Sanctuary (feat. Valencia Harvey)
From the ends of the earth we call, we shout, we faint
Under the shelter of Your wings hide Your saints
For You, O God, have seen us live our vows
So let us join the throng around You now

The Lord is a strong tower
And a fortress for the weak and weary
As we run into Your gates You welcome us into Your sanctuary

I have no right to eat even the crumbs under Your table
But still I will come
Because Your grace has opened up a way
Into Your fortress where I know I'm safe

In the New Jerusalem fear has left the hearts of men
His Kingdom will know no end
The Son of Man is enthroned
Where the daughters of men find a home
We're fully loved, fully known
Track Name: Women & Men (feat. Micah Iverson)
Being beside ourselves
Moving beyond ourselves
You lifted me so high
I can't believe we fell

Still flesh of my flesh
You lead me to my dream
Already underway
I see redemption's gleam

No veil exists between us
Exposed and unashamed
You trust I won't abuse you
We write each other's names

You're dignified and wild
I'm glorified within unbroken understanding
Between women and men

I was supposed to speak
To make a world with words
Silent, my will was weak
And emptiness incurred

Now fear and shame emerge
I've not felt these before
Still in me is the urge
To claim that I am yours

I isolate myself
Give up on being known
Covered in leaves and hides
To hide my dying bones

I know you won't mistreat me
When I am unconcealed
In trust we come together
This bond, this love is real