“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone.”
I spent a cold, blustery afternoon exploring the Ohio State Reformatory, the abandoned prison in Mansfield otherwise known as Shawshank in the acclaimed film. We went early enough on a self-guided tour so that everything felt isolated without a crowd. The resulting experience was haunting and lovely. Dark, dank, decayed—all the things I look for in a destination.