Mad melancholics like Molière’s Alceste cherish their rigidities and seek out dark corners in rural solitudes. Not so the wise: they keep up their commerce with friends, women, books. The solitude that Montaigne advocated was never a local one. It always emphatically remained a matter of the mind withdrawing, not from people nor from the body, but from an excessive engagement in outside affairs.

— M.A. Screech, Montaigne and Melancholy: The Wisdom of the Essays

Conspicuously absenting oneself from social interaction can have the unintended consequence of attracting unwanted attention from novelty-seekers alert to the possibility of hidden treasure. It’s better to appear perfectly boring and unremarkable and remain beneath notice, even if that requires a few superficial appearances here and there to remind people they’re not missing anything. Hidden in plain sight, while maintaining a Taoist indifference to the news du jour. I’ve always modeled my hermit ideal more along these lines:

So there he sits and some may wonder
About the sly grin on his face
Yet little do they know
(they don’t have a clue)
The boundaries of his wisdom
In the solitude of his kingdom