It is a word which one does not come across very often; and yet, the greater question is: How many words are “out there” which we do not know, have never heard of and will hardly use? Do words limit the universe of our thought-processes?
If paragraphs are composed of sentences, and sentences formulated from single units called “words”, do our thoughts retain paragraphs, sentences, or the singularity of words? In our insulated monologues and soliloquies, do we hesitate because we fail to consult a dictionary, stop because we cannot come up with a synonym, or retreat because of a lack of an antonym?
In modernity, we have dispensed with the idea of memorization, precisely because — with a Smartphone constantly at our sides — there is (A) Either no more need for it, (B) It is cruel to force kids to undergo such mentally strenuous exercises or (C) There is simply too much information “out there” for memorization to be practical any longer.
I once knew a person who didn’t count sheep in order to try and fall asleep, but would recite the sonnets of Shakespeare — and would never be able to recite them all before slumber would overtake him. Of course, “context” is important, and if there are no conditions within which a word should materialize, be utilized or otherwise applied, the need to retain such a word within the memory banks of one’s brain would never come about. Yet, how many useless bits of information do we look up on a Smartphone on a daily basis, and “retain” much of it?
The word “cicatrize” means to heal by way of scar formation; by extension, one can become creative and apply the word in non-medical contexts, as in: “The constant taunting by his classmates resulted in a cicatrized numbness of his sense of self-worth; but in the end, Johnny could never have the thickness of skin needed to survive, and cried himself each night for the cruelty of the world that haunted him”.
That is the fun of words, isn’t it? To take it and play with it; to retain it and fool with it, like a pebble in one’s pocket where you can feel the texture of a small remnant of the greater universe between thumb and forefinger, and fiddle without end in an insular universe that is limitless and infinite? For, it is always the infinite that we seek; of paragraphs abounding and pages beyond the next one to turn.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, always remember that the application itself is a “paper presentation” to OPM — one which must be comprised of words, sentences, paragraphs, and even entire pages.
It must tell a “story” about your condition, your capacities and your frailties in the most personal of ways. And while the world of such a bureaucracy may be cicatrized against an empathetic tendency of the truth of your condition, it is best to seek counsel and advice from an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law so that the cicatrization does not impede a persuasive argument compiled precisely in order to cut through the cicatrized minds at OPM.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire