1. I am on a temporary break from the blog—or, rather, was trying to be. I needed a few days off for health reasons. This blog is managed and primarily authored by someone who will occasionally need time away, for all the normal reasons that people need time away from their jobs, as well as for reasons having to do with my PTSD.
2. When I need/take a break, it is because it is necessary for me. I understand there are those who feel like it a calculated manipulation. I don't believe there's anything I could say that will change that impression among those who hold it, so I won't try, though I will say, simply: It is not.
3. I am quite genuinely sympathetic to the complaint that it is upsetting to not know what's going on. I would hope that, in return, there is sympathy for the position in which I find myself when I need a break—triggered, needing to step away, and facing inevitable accusations of being manipulative for needing to step away, a perception into which a main page post saying I'm taking a break would only feed in one direction ("She's so attention-seeking."), and, simultaneously, the lack of a main page post feeds in another direction ("She's holding the blog hostage."). I don't know how to resolve that issue, beyond asking the contributors to let everyone know what is going on.
4. Which they did. Within a couple of days, after working together on a post that not only explained why I was gone, but offered a solution—a rather clever and thoughtful approach, really, given that the one thing that every concerned Shaker says when I am away is: "Let me know if there's anything I can do." I know there are some who disagree, but I don't find a couple of days an unreasonable amount of time for the contributors have taken, especially by virtue of what was ultimately delivered.
5. A point of clarification: No one has been asked by the contributors, nor is being asked by me, to participate at the blog in any way they don't feel comfortable. If you're not a commenter, the inexplicably controversial point 4 on the contributors' post isn't saying you have to start commenting any more than point 1—"Think before you speak"—is. No one, least of all me, expects of anyone any contribution, whether a comment, a donation, or anything else, that is a personal hardship. (Point 4 is thus for people who already comment.) Everyone is only asked that their participation, in whatever form it comes, adhere to the blog's charter.
All of that said, my apologies—just for myself and not for the contributors' action, which I believe needs no apology—to those who felt upset by not knowing what was going on.