Liza Mayer

Liza left us on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, in the evening. She passed away peacefully in her apartment in Malérargues to which she returned that same day from the Bonnefon Clinic in Alès. Aware that these were her last days, she had asked to return home. Tuesday midday she arrived to see the sun, the trees, her friends, her apartment. Later that afternoon she gradually fell asleep and left us.
Our loss and sorrow are simply infinite – for ever and un-finished. The way she presided over PANTHEATRE – she was our president – was simply a delight, a reassuring pleasure, deliciously chaotic sometimes, always inspiring and enthusiastic. She was our presiding muse, you could say. It was Liza also who first pointed out Pan to me in the late 70s. I might find again the specific passages in E.M.Foster (Passage to India?), Laurence Durrel, D.H.Lauwrence, and other authors we talked about then. Liza bought me James Hillman’s “The Dream and the Underworld” around that time, just as I was discovering “Pan and the Nightmare” and Rafael Lopez-Pedraza’s “Hermes and his Children”, the source books of PANTHEATRE.

At the funerary ceremony in Alès on Friday December 11th I spoke of her love of the tradition of “Days and Labours”, after Hesiod – which in many ways is a Demeterian tradition. Liza was Demeter. She personified the Goddess in a performance titled simply “Demeter” and sang, unforgettably, what for many of us remains the ‘divine’ version of de Falla’s flamenco lullaby “Duermete Lucerito”. Haim Isaacs sang it at the ceremony.

Every time Liza went for a walk she returned with four-leaved clovers. Demeter’s Roman name is Ceres, Goddess of cereals and farmer’s “days and labours”. She presided over the day’s labours, be they the rewards of harvests, or the fatigue of hardships. When someone was working hard say during a harvest, he or she might feel a presence and look up to discover a magnificent lady amongst the team. It was the Goddess who had rolled up her sleeves and was toiling in all earnestness and concentration. Later she would join the festivities, the wine, the singing, the fireside chat, a toss in the hay – why not! – and the falling asleep.

This will be a memorial page dedicated to divine Liza. It will include extracts from the many farewell notes she recieved, as well as photos, writings, maybe an extract of Demeter and her voice singing… “Duermete niño, duerme, duerme mi alma, duermete lucerito de la mañana”. (Sleep, my child, sleep, sleep my soul, sleep sweet morning star…)

“Sweet dreams Liza. You’ll be deeply missed and always remembered with love.”

Malérargues, December 12, 2009
with Linda, Natacha and Liza’s PANTHEATRE friends