Elvis's gospel catalog popped up on Alexa the other day. It's hard to resolve the two personas of Elvis: gospel-singing Elvis and drug-addled Elvis. I've decided he was all-in on the gospel and only half-hearted about the drugs.
I was only half-listening, and a song came up on the rotation with the words "and the flurry of God's trumpets," and suddenly every word of "The King is Coming" came back to me from my five years of Southern Baptism.
I know that during that five year period the radio played "Annie's Song" by John Denver twenty times a day, and I probably heard "The King is Coming" three times in that same five years. It's remarkable to me that I remember one song in detail and the other I falter after "You fill up my senses like a light in a forest?" (And now that I check, it's "a night in a forest.")
I decided to research if music, memory, and religion all take up space in the hippocampus, and that led me to a study that reads "The findings of this study indicate that certain religious factors may influence longitudinal change in hippocampal volume during late life." Religion shrinks your brain, essentially.
But I say, correlation or cause? Also, did the subjects find religion late in life because of their atrophy, or can my early religion come back and bite me in my eighty-year-old ass?
Scary thoughts, and this study suggests the resulting cortisol stress is going to shrink my brain too.