I'm another fan of the long ones, and I appreciated V's long contribution as well.
When core stories came up on the previous thread, I found myself really wanting to join in but not feeling particularly satisfied with what were turning out to be more philosophical statements than stories. "Each I is a story the universe tells" was about the best I could hit, and for all that I think it's true, it doesn't really say much about how to read the world...
...but I just now remembered something that, like a good core story should, sunk in so well that I stopped thinking about it: "in life, there is coming together and there is tearing apart; even though in this world the tearing apart always wins, it's important to be on the side of the coming together."
Not that I'm always the greatest at that, but there it is.