How mighty, how terrible, and how kind is the power of habit! People can get used to anything – the seas, the southern stars, love, a bunk in a prison, the barbed wire of the camps.
What an abyss lies between the first night of passion and a long, grinding argument about how best to bring up the children! How little there is in common between a first wonderful encounter with the sea and trudging along the shore in the stifling midday heat to buy something from the souvenir kiosk! How terrible the despair of a man who has just lost his freedom! And then there he is, lying on his bunk and yawning as he wonders what will be in today’s prison gruel: pearl barley or pickled cabbage? What creates this abyss is the power of habit. Dull as it seems, it is as powerful as dynamite it can destroy anything. Passion, hatred, grief, pain – habit can destroy them all.
Nothing can withstand it.
– from An Armenian Sketchbook