Sit down inside W.S. Merwin’s hand-built garden dojo. Immerse yourself in the sounds of his palm forest, deep in the Pe‘ahi Stream valley, on Maui’s rugged and rural north coast.
NOTE: Please make sure your sound is turned on. Click the bottom right corner of the video to enlarge.
Sayler / Morris
Threshold (Meditation Edit for The Merwin Conservancy), 2020
This new edit of Threshold is a meditative video created by artist duo Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris (Sayler / Morris and The Canary Project), in collaboration with The Merwin Conservancy, as an offering of sanctuary in a time of crisis. The filmmakers wish to thank W.S. Merwin and Paula Merwin for generously welcoming them to film at their home in 2016.
Threshold was originally part of a site-specific installation in collaboration with Ian Boyden titled Palm: All Awake in the Darkness that was commissioned by American Writers Museum in Chicago with support from the Poetry Foundation. The video was shot entirely in and around a small room that the poet W.S. Merwin built for meditation. This room sits in the middle of a palm garden that Merwin and his wife Paula grew on a wasteland left by colonial plantations on Maui. Tree-by-tree, they transformed the land into what Merwin called a “garden that aspires to be a forest.” The title of the video is taken from one of Merwin’s poems in which he writes, “what did I have to do with anything I could remember / all I did not know went on beginning around me…”
Concept, direction and editing: Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris (Sayler / Morris)
Sound design: Matthew Patterson Curry and Sayler / Morris
Videography: Sayler / Morris
Additional videography: Lauren Harper
Color correction and additional editing: Andrew Rice
Produced by Sara Tekula for the Merwin Conservancy
Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0